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Lower Division

A transformative academic program to engage young minds and promote creative thinking—in two languages

Spanning grades 1-5, the Lower Division represents a time of extraordinary growth. In these years, students cultivate independent study skills and deepen their understanding of what it means to be a member of a community, through a curricular emphasis on the following:

Language immersion in Mandarin or Spanish

Inquiry-oriented learning, from the self to the world

Interdisciplinary study and creativity-boosting projects

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LANGUAGE IMMERSION

From learning to read, to reading to learn—in two languages

Lower Division students spend 50% of their time learning in English and 50% learning in a second language: one day in English, one day in Mandarin or Spanish. Building on the foundation of early language they acquired in the ELC, students engage deeply in academic content in both English and their immersion language. Students build fluency as they progress through—rather than repeat—academic material while switching daily between languages.

INQUIRY-ORIENTED LEARNING

Harnessing the joy of discovery to maximize learning

Inquiry is the process whereby students expand their knowledge, discover solutions to problems, uncover inconsistencies and answer questions. An example of inquiry is the Avenues World Course, our global humanities program that spirals throughout the curriculum from nursery to 12th grade. In the Lower Division, the World Course asks, “What are my roles and responsibilities in the community?” and progresses through “How do humans survive and adapt in their environments?”

VISIONARY TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

A robust and thoughtful infrastructure to support student success

The thoughtful application of technology permeates almost everything we do at Avenues. Our dedicated team of technology integrators work with faculty to make the most impactful use of resources in the classroom. Since opening in 2012, Avenues New York has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School—a designation reserved for programs that meet Apple’s criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence—for four consecutive terms.

INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDY

Promoting the expansive thinking necessary to find innovative solutions to real-world problems

By asking students to think across, rather than within, traditional fields of study, the interdisciplinary approach allows them to make new connections and find new perspectives on the topic at hand. Interdisciplinary projects are an important component of the Lower Division curriculum, from the annual Invention Convention to green design challenges to capstone studies of the urban environment.

CREATIVE COMPUTATION

Empowering students to be creators, not just consumers, of technology

Creative computation at Avenues combines the academic discipline of computer science, the technical skill of coding and the problem-solving process of computational thinking, anchored in the principles of digital citizenship. From kindergarten through 5th grade, students learn to use technology to solve problems while exploring algorithms, modeling and abstraction. In addition to weekly classes, creative computation is integrated into projects across the curriculum.

The Fundamentals

The Lower Division curriculum focuses on inquiry, creativity and building community. The curriculum includes:

  • Reading, writing and spelling in English and either Mandarin or Spanish
  • Science
  • Math
  • The World Course
  • Creative Computation
  • Music and Art
  • Wellness and Movement

A Global Curriculum for a World School

What do Avenues students learn? The Avenues World Elements table is our answer to that question. Designed by our research and development team, the Avenues World Elements is a global curricular system that defines the learning outcomes of Avenues students at all grade levels, at all our campuses.

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