Our academic content is specifically designed to be highly engaging. In-depth, project-based assignments provide practical application and an interdisciplinary approach. We use New York City as a resource and bring professionals into our classrooms to expand on studies and inspire further work. Students also meet with experts in their workplaces and where they give formal presentations.
Course placement is individualized based on each student’s skill readiness, social strengths and emotional needs.
Across all subjects, teachers build competencies in students’ critical thinking, perspective-taking and self-reflection. Teachers use the language of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) in their classroom.
Below please find brief descriptions of each content area.
Stevenson offers the traditional sequence of Pre-Algebra, Elementary Algebra, Geometry, Intermediate Algebra/Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. It is our goal to engage our students in a study of Mathematics that intrigues them and fosters in them a desire to continue their study after leaving Stevenson. For those students who we identify as having severe difficulties or major gaps in mathematics, we have developed skills classes in Algebra and Algebra II. The goal of these skills classes is to fill gaps and strengthen skills so that students can rejoin the traditional sequence of courses. Regular use of scientific calculators, graphing calculators and online interactive math resources are integrated into all coursework.
The science program is activity and laboratory-based to enable students to learn from experiencing the effects of their manipulations on the world. Students learn to identify and solve problems, to recognize and use scientific methods, to be observant and make models to replicate an analogy, idea, or structure. They develop and improve skills essential in science, pursue research, record work appropriately and relate science to the world in which they live. Students learn to work efficiently on their own and in teams with peers. Our science curriculum currently includes Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Environmental Science and Physics.
The course enhances and sharpens critical thinking and problem solving skills related to geologic processes and how they impact individuals, communities and societies. Subjects covered include: Rocks and Minerals, Plate Tectonics (earthquakes, volcanos, mountain building and plate motion), Destructive Forces (weathering, erosion, and deposition), and Geologic Time (including relative and absolute dating and significant events that have occurred during the geologic eras- with a focus on those that have occurred in New York).
English courses at Robert Louis Stevenson help students develop both reading and writing skills. The Literature offered is expansive and includes work from various time periods and cultures including Shakespeare, American literature, contemporary literature and British literature. Students are encouraged to become lifelong readers and are given the opportunity to read literature that is not only required as part of the curriculum, but they are also asked to choose their own books as part of independent reading. In addition to the rich literature that students are introduced to, they also develop their writing skills. Teachers work with students to help them become better analytical writers, putting emphasis on the five-paragraph essay. Students also learn other writing styles, such as self-reflective pieces.
Creative writing courses at Robert Louis Stevenson give students the opportunity to develop their creativity through writing. Teachers encourage students to take on a variety of writing, including journals, poetry, short stories, plays, etc. Students learn various writing techniques to improve their creative writing such as imagery, dialogue and character development. Throughout the course, students practice their writing skills, in addition to learning to share their work with their peers. Creative writing teachers at Stevenson place emphasis on encouraging students to read their work to their peers, allowing students to help each other improve their writing.
Through the study of history, government and geography, students come to understand societies and cultures of the past and the present. The teaching of critical-thinking skills is paramount and emphasis is placed on helping students to develop empathy for people in different times and places. Students also learn how to analyze and evaluate both primary and secondary sources. In all history classes, students learn to express their ideas fluently in research papers, projects and during oral presentations.