The GCCS curriculum focuses on the natural, social, and economic history of our community. Teachers and students tackle three intensive, interdisciplinary learning expeditions each year, combining social studies, science, literacy, and the arts. The whole school studies six historical time periods over a two-year period. All grades study the same time period at the same time, but students investigate more sophisticated topics and make increasingly complex global comparisons and connections as they advance. Sixth graders spend their capstone year investigating and proposing solutions to address a contemporary local issue. In every learning expedition, children engage in intensive research, reading, writing, scientific exploration, fieldwork, and real-world application of their studies.
At the culmination of each expedition, students apply their accumulated knowledge and skills toward creating a final product such as a book, production, public presentation, or museum exhibit. This final, difficult push, made even more rigorous by a real deadline, ultimately proves rewarding when students produce results they initially perceived as unattainable. Each class presents its final product, along with projects and performances, before an authentic audience of parents and community members, which raises the stakes and motivates students to excel.
Our English language arts curriculum reflects the shift to the Common Core State Standards, which emphasizes nonfiction reading and writing and a deep comprehension of topics. Teachers purposefully integrate the Common Core standards into the ELA curriculum. ELA instruction is typically woven into the learning expedition.
The Common Core standards serve as the central guiding framework for math instruction at Genesee Community Charter School. Our curriculum emphasizes depth in mathematical thinking and problem solving rather than superficial exposure to a series of fragmented topics. Daily work in mathematics prepares our students to master math skills, understand mathematical concepts, and apply mathematics to everyday life with in-depth experiences in number, data, geometry, and probability. Students also learn to reason and to communicate mathematically, connecting mathematics to social and scientific research and analysis.