Urban Choice serves students in grades K-8 through a rigorous academic program in a supportive and collaborative learning environment. We believe that strong student-teacher relationships are essential to student motivation, engagement, and achievement.
WHAT STUDENTS LEARN
Urban Choice maintains a curriculum that is aligned to the New York State Learning Standards and has set a schedule to migrate to the Next Generation Learning Standards based on the revised timeline as set forth by the Board of Regent. The goal of our curriculum is to consistently engage students in learning--regardless of the context--and accelerate learning such that we close achievement gaps, address learning losses, and advance proficiency for all students in all subject areas.
Key Design Element #1: Supportive Education Environment
Key Design Element #2: Rich, Rigorous, Engaging Curriculum
Key Design Element #3: Extended Learning Opportunities
Key Design Element #4: Authentic Family Involvement
Key Design Element #5: Data Informed Instruction
Key Design Element #6: Focused Professional Development
Key Design Element #7: School Culture
Urban Choice uses Eureka Math, published by Great Minds, for grades K-8. Thoughtfully constructed and designed like a story, Eureka Math focuses on key concepts that layer over time, creating enduring knowledge. Students gain a complete body of math knowledge, not just a discrete set of skills. They use the same models and problem-solving methods from grade to grade, so math concepts stay with them, year after year.
Urban Choice uses Wit & Wisdom, published by Great Minds, for grade1-8. With Wit & Wisdom, students practice reading, writing, speaking and listening, academic vocabulary, and style and conventions in concert to build holistic ELA knowledge. Every module of each grade is crafted around a topic essential for building knowledge, vocabulary, and writing skills. These topics strategically reoccur, empowering students to deepen understanding of core knowledge while scaffolding to writing and speaking on increasingly complex ideas. Students learn the joy of wondering and imagining, the exhilaration of independent thought, the fulfillment that comes from building rich knowledge of the world, its stories, and the human condition.
For grades K-2, Urban Choice supplements the curriculum with Success for All, which helps students build the fundamental skills required for reading and writing success in the upper grades.
HOW WE TEACH
Urban Choice uses several school-wide instructional practices that are aligned with the school's mission and educational program:
Classrooms Organized for Differentiated Instruction - UCCS classrooms are designed to provide ample differentiation, including the use of centers and small groups with more than one adult in each room. Centers feature either hands-on activities or online lessons, and groups are facilitated by the teacher or teaching assistant to provide intense support, re-teach an element, or instruct students in advanced content. Ample opportunities are provided for students to practice skills independently online while in school, which is important for families without technology at home.
Cooperative Groups - Cooperative learning is a well-established technique to enhance classroom instruction across grade levels. Through cooperative groups, teachers can elect to make heterogeneous and homogeneous cohorts based on the performance target for the lesson. The flexibility of groupings allows staff to take a deeper dive into individualized student performance and show students how they can work with each other on specific skills to drive their own learning targets in any given subject.
Solutions Teams - The Solutions Teams bring teachers and staff together to make data-informed decisions and develop instructional practices that focus on increasing student achievement. The team approach helps unite the school culture and establish strong connections within our community, Solutions Teams focus on the following areas of student support: monitoring attendance, parent and family involvement, making and maintaining strong community connections, supporting a cooperative culture, and making sure every student has what they need in order to be successful learners.
Urban Choice trains new teachers to use these instructional approaches effectively, and we provide ongoing professional development to teachers to refine their skills in the classroom.
COUNSELING & SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Student Support Services are available to ensure students are provided access to physical, social-emotional and health services needed to successfully focus on learning in school. Urban Choice employs both a full-time New York State Certified Counselor and Social Worker who provide individual and group counseling. In addition to this, there are three Behavior Interventionists (one provided from the Center For Youth) who support students in character education, bullying prevention, behavior plans and referrals to community agencies.
RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION (RTI)
These services are available to provide additional, supplemental, specialized instruction in areas of specific student need to increase learning. Students are identified through a variety of screenings and assessments, as stated previously. Urban Choice employs four Response to Intervention teachers, to ensure learning targets are met by every student. Services include small group and individual reading and math intervention.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Teachers, parents, and students are a critical part of the process to identify students who may require support services. Referrals for evaluation for the Committee on Special Education (CSE) are accepted by the Rochester City School District and follow-up information is provided to parents and school staff. Special Education programs and services to students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) or 504 Plans are provided on-site to students who qualify. Urban Choice employs four full-time New York State certified Special Education Teachers that deliver Resource Room and Consultant (Direct and Indirect) Teacher programs. Our New York State certified counselor and social worker deliver mandated counseling services. Related services for Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech and Language Therapy (SL/T) and others are provided on-site through therapists from the Rochester City School District.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
Based on responses to the Home Language Questionnaire completed at registration and the results of an individual interview, your child may be given the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). The results of the NYSITELL determine their level of English language proficiency and eligibility to receive English Language Learner (ELL) services. Urban Choice employs a full-time certified English Language Learner (ELL) Teacher.