Academic Program

Green Chimneys School complies with the standards and educational mandates set by New York State, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA). We follow New York State Common Core curriculum and standardized testing for all grades, modifying instruction and activities to meet the abilities of our students. Our teachers are certified special education professionals.

Our Education Team collaborates with families, service providers and home school districts to meet the individual academic and social-emotional goals of each student. All students receive counseling, and families are encouraged to participate in parent education and training offered several times throughout the year. Related services and support include speech/language and occupational therapies and vocational counseling to meet each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Green Chimneys School Delivers Established Nationally Recognized Curriculums

As part of our commitment to our students and to provide a sense of familiarity and consistency to their academic progression, Green Chimneys School delivers established, nationally recognized curriculums that are used by many of our referring districts.

Based on the individual abilities, strengths and weaknesses, educational functioning levels and IEP goals and objectives of each student, our school administrators:

  • Coordinate the alignment of the Green Chimneys core program of study with the New York State core standard requirements as delivered by the classroom teachers.
  • Are responsible for monitoring the adequate yearly progress of students in all grades.
  • Coordinate New York State standardized testing procedures, including Regents/Regents Competency Test (RCT) examinations.

Our certified special education teachers develop differentiated instructional strategies for their classes. Grade level information is delivered to the students together as a group. Teachers use an ability-based method for students to demonstrate understanding and for the teacher to assess each student’s comprehension of the material being taught.

Students also benefit from a vast array of therapeutic programs and enrichment activities that connect each child to nature as a means of developing social skills, improving self-confidence, and impart a general sense of well-being.

  • All students receive counseling, and families are encouraged to participate in parent education and training offered several times throughout the year.

  • Our certified special education teachers develop differentiated instructional strategies for their classes.

  • Related services and support include speech/language and occupational therapies and vocational counseling to meet each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

 

Course Curriculum

Green Chimneys School follows the academic curriculum standards designated for Elementary, Intermediate and High School programs. Green Chimneys Academics Meet New York State Requirements.

All students in grades 3-8 participate in New York State Standardized Testing. High school students receive instruction to fully prepare them for New York State Regents examinations or Regents Competency Tests (RCT) as determined by the Committee on Special Education.

Classrooms are equipped with current technology including SMART Boards and students have regular access to computers to benefit from educational online resources.

Mathematics

Elementary students learn with the Growing with Mathematics program to meet New York State elementary grades mathematics core standards requirements. This widely used curriculum is a complete math program based on a wide range of learning experiences that teaches math concepts in a sequential manner and builds on previously learned material.


English and Language Arts (ELA)

Students are taught English and Language Arts skills through the Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt Journeys curriculum. Journeys is a comprehensive program, created to align with the New York State ELA Common Core Standards. The program integrates reading and writing, allowing students to develop and practice skills and strategies in reading, listening comprehension, writing and speaking.


Science

The science program at Green Chimneys follows an inquiry-based (why, how, what if) curriculum that incorporates hands-on, grade level-appropriate science projects linking reading and science together in every chapter.


Social Studies

Green Chimneys School follows the Scott Foresman Social Studies text as a resource in meeting New York State elementary grades social science core standards requirements. The curriculum is designed to deliver interesting content that captures the attention and imagination of students as they participate in learning their grade-level curriculum in a format that includes built-in reading and vocabulary instruction.

Mathematics

Math courses for students in intermediate grades are designed to help students reach learning benchmarks and achieve goals for each grade:

Grade 5

  • Developing fluency with addition and subtraction of fractions, and developing understanding of the multiplication and division of fractions in limited cases (unit fractions divided by whole numbers and whole numbers divided by unit fractions)
  • Extending division to 2-digit divisors, integrating decimal fractions into the place value system, developing understanding of operations with decimals to hundredths, and developing fluency with whole number and decimal operations
  • Developing an understanding of volume.

Grade 6

  • Connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication/division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems
  • Completing the understanding of division of fractions
  • Extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers
  • Writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations
  • Developing an understanding of statistical thinking.

Grade 7

  • Developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships;
  • Developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations;
  • Solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume; and,
  • Drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

Grade 8

  • Formulating and reasoning about expressions/equations, solving linear equations, and systems of linear equations;
  • Grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships;
  • Analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence; and,
  • Understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Reading

The Intermediate School uses the Readers Journey series, a novel-based Language Arts program dedicated to turning students into lifelong readers. The curriculum focuses on reading, grammar, vocabulary and communication skills.


English Language Arts

Students learn and practice how to read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding, literary response and expression, critical analysis and evaluation, and social interaction.


Science*

Teachers in all grades incorporate age-appropriate lab experiments into their class curriculum. The science curriculum focuses on exploration:

Grade 5

Using our environmentally-rich campus environment, students investigate all living things, both plant and animal, as they become familiar with the Scientific Method.

Grade 6

The curriculum encourages students to explore the physical sciences by discovering the characteristics, properties and chemical composition of all forms of matter.

Grade 7

Students explore the characteristics of the plant and animal kingdom in greater depth through a focus on the living environment and are introduced to the microscopic world.

Grade 8

Students explore the great diversity of organisms that share the planet, study the method by which energy is transferred from the sun to all known life forms, and learn about replication of these forms through the duplication, growth and reproduction of DNA.


Social Studies

The Green Chimneys social studies curriculum incorporates culture and global understanding of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres, and U.S. and New York State history:

Grade 5

Students learn about the different cultures of the U.S., Canada and Latin America as they compare and contrast the cultures of the Western Hemisphere and focus on the geographic, economic, social/cultural and political understanding of these countries.

Grade 6

Global understanding continues as students learn about the geography and economic interdependence of all people living in the Eastern Hemisphere and develop an understanding about the social/cultural, political, and historical aspects of life in that area of the world.

Grade 7

Students study chronologically the global heritage of our nation’s people as it was prior to 1500 through the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, incorporating NY state history along with the history of the existing U.S. states and territories of the time.

Grade 8

Students continue their chronological study of the U.S. and New York State history from the industrial, post-Civil War era through the changing nature of the American people from World War II to present.

Green Chimneys High School students are assigned to a classroom based on their academic ability and receive full benefit of the Green Chimneys therapeutic programs. The school structure and curriculum accommodates all learners in this age group by providing three high school classroom environments:

  • Self-contained 8:1:1 program – designed for students who benefit from one teacher for core academic subjects in a small class size.
  • Self-contained 12:1:1 program – designed for students who benefit from one teacher for core academic subjects in a slightly larger class size.
  • Departmentalized 12:1:1 program – simulates a more traditional mainstream approach to the high school structure of a homeroom assignment and a daily class schedule for core academics and electives with different teachers for each subject in a small class setting.

Students in the high school program receive instruction to fully prepare them to take New York State Regents examinations or Regents Competency Tests (RCT) as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), and may participate in vocational training opportunities.


Graduation Requirements

Green Chimneys maintains a credit transcript which is shared with parents and home school districts for graduation/post-secondary planning review at the CSE annual review meeting. Additionally, a certified school guidance counselor monitors graduation progress and transcripts, and shares information and resources for college and scholarship opportunities.

As required by New York State Commissioner’s Regulations Section 100.5, a student will be awarded a Regents endorsed diploma from their home school district upon the successful completion of 22 credits in the New York State course work and testing requirements.


ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS

Green Chimneys High School follows the four-year English Language Arts Regents sequence, with one credit for each grade level:

Grade 9

Thematically connected units develop control of written expression, analyze elements of literature, and establish active listening and reading skills.

Grade 10

Thematically related units develop higher level critical thinking skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis. Students continue to develop control of written expression as they analyze elements of writing style and become familiar with various rhetorical modes through the close reading of poetry, novels, plays and essays. Units are integrated and made relevant to the student’s lives via discussions, as students explore in the context of their own lives how characters are impacted by life events.

Grade 11

American literature units are integrated with themes covered in American history; the course reading list consists of classic American texts. Students focus on perspectives through the study of themes: the individual’s relation to society, necessity for societal structure to prevent chaos, and the desire to be close to nature or to build an industrialized and technological society. Individualized term papers require students to analyze and read works by an American author.

Grade 12

Expository, persuasive, and analytical modes of written expression are enhanced. Students work on personal narrative essays during the first semester and progress to generate research papers with the goal of establishing independent thinking, self-aware writing and cited justification of viewpoint, and the use of academically accepted formats. The literature component of this course introduces complexity, sophistication and student analysis through the classic and contemporary works of literature.


MATH

Integrated Algebra, Grades 9 and 10 — 1 credit

A two-year course comprised of logic, polynomials, radicals, rational expressions, factoring, solving linear equations, solving quadratic equations, solving inequalities, systems of equations, absolute value, basic geometry, perimeter and area, ratio and proportion and statistics. The course focuses on process, theory, and structure of algebra as well as the application, relevance, and integration into everyday life.

Geometry, Grade 11 — 1 credit

This course follows satisfactory completion of Integrated Algebra. Course topics include logic, coordinate geometry, congruent triangle proofs, proportion and similarity, quadrilaterals, transformations, constructions, locus, circles, area, surface area, and volume. The course focuses on process, theory, and the structure of geometry, as well as the application, relevance, and integration of geometry into everyday life.

Algebra II and Trigonometry, Grade 12 — 1 credit

Offered to students who have satisfactorily completed the Geometry course, Algebra II and Trigonometry topics include functions, radical expressions and equations, quadratic functions and complex numbers, sequences and series, exponential and logarithmic functions, probability and statistics, and a rigorous treatment of trigonometry.


SOCIAL STUDIES

Global History and Geography, Grades 9 and 10 — 1 credit per year

A two-year chronological, cross-cultural survey of history that spans from the Paleolithic era to the present day and offers a comparative study of the history, politics, economics, and cultures of different regions of the world. This course interconnects societies, historical events and social movements to develop a sense of chronology and establish a framework for organizing and evaluating events as students become familiar with social science techniques and concepts that emphasize the study of the past while encouraging critical thinking about the present and the future.

U.S. History and Government, Grade 11 — 1 credit

This course covers the development of the nation from its formation until the end of World War II. Major topics include the American people, government and politics, foreign policy, and the enhancement of social studies skills. The principal goals of this course are the use of critical thinking/problem-solving skills and the gathering and use of primary and secondary source material.

Economics and Government, Grade 12 — 1 credit

Course material introduces students to economic theory, government and economic history, globalization, and contemporary economic problems. Students explore the interplay between politics and economic theory to develop a fuller understanding of government at the federal, state, and local levels, and to broaden the understanding of controversial issues.


SCIENCE

Earth Science, Grade 9 — 1 credit

This course offers a study of the forces that mold the earth and our universe. Students will explore the geology of the earth, chemistry and identification of minerals, interpretation of the topographic maps, physics of stars and planets, various aspects of meteorology, oceanography and paleontology. Laboratory skills are developed as students focus on observation, measurement, classification, prediction, data organization and analysis as they complete the 1200 minutes of required lab time component of this course.

Living Environment, Grade 10 – 1 credit

Basic ideas and laboratory skills are developed through a series of related investigations including observing, measuring, classifying, predicting, and written and verbal communication as students complete the required 1,200 minutes of lab time for this course. Topics for discussion include biochemistry, anatomy, physiology of cells and organisms, the interaction between organisms and their environment, evolution as a unifying theme, and the interrelatedness of structure, function, adaptation, and behavior.

Physics, Grade 11 — 1 credit

This course is a survey of the classical and modern laws that describe the behavior of matter and energy. The classical laws of mechanics (motion, forces, energy transformations) and electromagnetism (waves, electricity, magnetism) are examined and modified to allow introduction of newer quantum physics (standard model, photoelectric effect). Many of the laws derived will be demonstrated and verified through laboratory experiences.

Dog

Meet Shelby! As a member of the Green Chimneys Dog Interaction Program, dogs like Shelby come to us from a partner shelter for socialization. The relationship between these dogs and our students is symbiotic: the dogs get lots of attention and exercise, while our students learn patience, responsibility, and empathy. Shelby has a special place in our hearts because she was the 100th dog to pass through the Dog Interaction Program, and was quickly adopted into her forever home.