academics at cmccs

Classroom Learning
Challenging our students to achieve intellectual greatness

curriculum

ELA

English Language Arts in Kindergarten through Second Grade focuses on foundational reading skills. Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School uses Reading Horizon, a science-backed curriculum. ELA in lower-grade classrooms is an Orton-Gillingham-based, multisensory approach that aids readers in learning to decode and encode. Our goal is to empower students with confidence and a love for reading.
As students progress to third through Fifth grade, our English Language Arts curriculum shifts towards developing analytical readers. We employ a blended approach of Ready Reading, Literacy Circles, and Strategies To Achieve Reading Success. Our classrooms concentrate on key reading strategies such as identifying the main idea, understanding sequence, recognizing cause and effect, and discerning the author’s purpose. This approach is designed to enhance students’ reading and comprehension skills. Our school ELA curriculum ensures students are well-prepared for state assessments by integrating comprehensive test prep into regular instruction and personalized support.

Math

Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School’s math education in grades K-2 focuses on building foundational skills in number sense, operations, geometry, measurement, and early algebraic thinking. We use Eureka Math Squared, which encourages student discourse and connections to real-world math. The emphasis is on developing a strong understanding of mathematical concepts through hands-on activities, visual aids, and practical examples. This foundational knowledge sets the stage for more complex mathematical thinking and problem-solving in later grades.
Throughout grades 3-5, students transition from concrete to more abstract mathematical thinking, developing problem-solving skills and understanding the connections between different areas of mathematics. We use a blended approach of Eureka Math Squared and Strategies To Achieve Math Success that provides CMCCS students with rigor to support the productive struggle. Our school math curriculum ensures students are well-prepared for state assessments by integrating comprehensive test prep into regular instruction. We focus on key concepts, provide targeted practice, and offer personalized support to build mastery and confidence for success on state tests.

Science

In grades K-2, science education builds curiosity about the natural world, develops basic observational skills, and introduces fundamental concepts. At Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School, we use Amplify Science. This curriculum engages students through relevant, real-life problems to investigate scientifically and arrive at solutions.
The science curriculum in grades 3-5 emphasizes hands-on learning, inquiry-based activities, and developing critical thinking skills. Students work through Amplify Science, which combines hands-on investigations, literacy activities, and digital tools. In each unit, students step into the shoes of scientists or engineers to explore genuine real-world issues. These problems offer meaningful contexts for students to delve into various phenomena. We thoroughly prepare students for the science state test by integrating targeted practice, comprehensive review sessions, and hands-on activities aligned with state standards, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills needed to excel on the exam.

Social Studies

Social studies for children in grades K-2 focuses on introducing fundamental concepts about their surroundings and the world. They learn about their community and neighborhood, including the roles of community helpers and basic geographical concepts like location and simple maps. Children explore their family dynamics and cultural diversity through holidays, traditions, and simplified versions of historical events and figures. They also begin to grasp concepts of citizenship, rules, and responsibilities at home and in their community, alongside basic economics such as needs versus wants.
Social studies for children in grades 3-5 expands upon foundational concepts introduced in earlier grades, offering a more detailed exploration of their world and its diverse cultures. Students delve deeper into geographical knowledge, including map skills, regions, and the environment. They study significant historical events, key figures, and the development of societies, fostering a chronological understanding of history. Additionally, they explore civics and government, learning about democratic principles, rights, and responsibilities of citizens. Economic concepts become more complex, emphasizing supply and demand, trade, and the interdependence of economies.

assessments

Kindergarten through 2nd grade are the foundations of a student’s education. At CMCCS, we strive to make that the strongest foundation possible with a multitude of assessments, each administered three times throughout the school year.. We use i-Ready as a diagnostic and assessment tool for ELA and math. We administer three Running Records to gauge an initial reading level and monitor growth throughout the year. We measure the student’s reading ability using a Lexile Level of passages they are able comprehend. Finally, we administer an in-house, rubric-based writing assessment to make sure writing foundations are developed.
As our student progress from their initial three years at CMCCS, 3rd through 5th grade introduces students to state testing. For this reason, we supplement all the assessments from K through 2nd grade with additional tools. We design an in-house, state exam-based mock in both ELA and Math for our 3rd through 5th graders, given twice per year. Additionally, we administer a similarly styled mock in science for our 5th graders. We believe exposure to state test questions will best prepare our students for success each spring.
For our Discovery Program, we gauge how our students are testing when compared to national norms. In addition to our school-wide assessment schedule, we use the NWEA in both ELA and math for all discovery students. This not only gives us a more complete picture of where our discovery students sit among all students in their respective grade across the country but also exposes our discovery students to questions that go beyond city and state borders. This ensures that we are doing our job as a school to push our students toward excellence.
Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School’s Dual Language program offers Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students an exciting, enriching, and challenging educational opportunity. All students will learn to read, write, and communicate effectively in Spanish and English while achieving high academic success. Students will have the bilingual skills and cross-cultural competencies needed to succeed in our multicultural society and global economy.

enrichment

IXL enriches students’ learning experience by providing personalized, interactive practice in various subjects. Its adaptive platform tailors content to individual needs, fostering skill mastery and deeper understanding. Through engaging exercises and immediate feedback, IXL empowers students to take ownership of their learning journey, making education effective and enjoyable.
Raz-Plus offers enriching educational resources for students by providing a comprehensive library of leveled books, interactive activities, and assessment tools. Raz-Plus fosters literacy development and critical thinking skills across various grade levels with its diverse selection of engaging texts and scaffolded support. Through personalized learning pathways and actionable data insights, Raz-Plus empowers students to explore, comprehend, and apply knowledge effectively, making learning a rewarding and enriching experience.
MaxScholar provides enriching educational opportunities for students by offering a comprehensive suite of literacy intervention programs. Through interactive activities, multimedia resources, and adaptive learning technology, MaxScholar supports students in developing essential reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Its research-based approach caters to diverse learning needs, empowering students to overcome challenges and achieve academic success. With a focus on individualized instruction and progress tracking, MaxScholar fosters a supportive learning environment where students can thrive and reach their full potential.
Concorde Education’s coding program enriches students’ educational journeys by providing them with essential skills for the digital age. Through hands-on projects, interactive lessons, and real-world applications, Concorde Education Coding equips students with programming fundamentals, computational thinking, and problem-solving. By fostering creativity and innovation, this program empowers students to explore the endless possibilities of technology and prepares them for future careers in STEM fields. With a focus on project-based learning and personalized instruction, Concorde Education Coding ensures that students develop technical proficiency and a passion for coding, laying the foundation for lifelong learning and success in the digital world.
ChessKid provides enriching educational experiences for students by introducing them to the timeless game of chess. Through engaging lessons, interactive puzzles, and live gameplay, ChessKid cultivates critical thinking skills, strategic planning, and problem-solving abilities in young minds. By fostering a love for the game and promoting sportsmanship, ChessKid enhances cognitive development and instills valuable life lessons such as patience, perseverance, and resilience. With a supportive online community and personalized learning pathways, ChessKid empowers students to explore the fascinating world of chess at their own pace, making learning enjoyable and enriching.
Writing A-Z offers enriching opportunities for students to develop and refine their writing skills across various genres and levels. With its vast collection of leveled resources, interactive tools, and guided writing activities, Writing A-Z supports students in expressing their creativity, honing their communication abilities, and mastering the craft of writing. By providing scaffolded support and personalized feedback, Writing A-Z empowers students to explore their voices, expand their vocabularies, and effectively convey their ideas. Through a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction, Writing A-Z fosters a lifelong love for writing and equips students with essential skills for academic success and beyond.
Varsity Tutors enriches students’ educational experiences by offering personalized, one-on-one tutoring sessions tailored to individual learning needs. With a diverse roster of expert tutors and a flexible online platform, Varsity Tutors provides targeted support in a wide range of subjects, from math and science to test preparation and language learning. Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School uses Varsity Tutors to develop student learning during study hall.

SPecials

Physical Education

In physical education classes using the Quaver PE curriculum, students participate in diverse activities designed to promote physical fitness, coordination, and teamwork. The curriculum emphasizes a holistic approach to health and wellness, integrating traditional physical education with modern technologies and interactive learning tools. Students engage in structured exercises, sports skills development, and cooperative games that encourage individual achievement and group collaboration.

Music

In music classes using the QuaverMusic curriculum, students actively explore music through interactive lessons and activities. They learn fundamental musical concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony, and form through hands-on experiences with instruments, singing, and movement. The curriculum integrates technology with traditional music education, offering digital resources like interactive games, virtual instruments, and multimedia lessons that enhance understanding and creativity. Students also explore various musical genres, styles, and cultures, fostering appreciation for diversity in music.

Art

In art classes utilizing digital art with the culmination of an art show, students embark on a creative journey blending traditional artistic techniques with modern digital tools. Students explore various mediums and artistic styles throughout the curriculum, from drawing and painting to digital illustration and graphic design. Through interactive lessons and hands-on projects, they learn essential skills such as color theory, composition, and perspective. Integrating digital tools allows for experimentation and innovation, fostering creativity and technical proficiency. Students develop personal artistic expressions and refine their digital artistry as they progress.