Overview of Our Unique Approach
We believe multilingualism and cultural agility will be essential for changemakers in the 21st century. Every one of our school leaders (including our founder) is fluent in at least 3 languages. 95% of our teaching faculty speak at least 2 languages. We don’t just teach multilingualism. We live it and model it every day.
In addition to being an essential 21st century skill, multilingualism enhances the brain’s function. Multilinguals have stronger executive functions, such as managing time, paying attention, multitasking, planning and organizing, remembering details, and critical thinking.
So multilingualism has a direct impact on academic achievement and many other important outcomes.
At Pine Street School, we see technology as any tool that empowers the learner to broaden the expression of an idea (often artistically), innovate, solve a problem, learn something new, verify what they think they know, communicate and collaborate with others, and so much more.
We believe passionately in the idea of our learners as engineers and innovators rather than consumers. We deemphasize devices and celebrate tinkering and taking things apart.
We have a forward and visionary approach to technology integration that sets us apart from every other school in New York and across much of the world.
Our vision is fed by the belief that it is our responsibility to look into the future on your child’s behalf and prepare them with the skills and tools they can expect to use. We draw from advanced understandings of child development to guide the timing and nature of tech integration, always ensuring age appropriate applications.
Inquiry-based learning is a form of active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The inquiry is facilitated by the teacher who is expertly trained to provide this kind of support.
An inquiry-based approach honors the complex work of learning. It prioritizes the knowledge and experience that students bring to the classroom and it promotes active problem solving, communication, and the shared construction of new ideas.
At Pine Street School, inquiry is nurtured from age 2 and cultivated into increasingly advanced processes year by year. Typically by 1st or 2nd Grade, our students are self-sufficient in developing their own complex inquiries and demonstrating impressive skills in self-management and critical thinking.
We are a future-oriented school. We feel it is a school’s responsibility to look forward, to forecast and gauge the opportunities and challenges its graduates will face.
In this vein, we believe it is time for greater accountability by schools on the subject of sustainability and global warming.
We have seen firsthand the power young people have to effect changes in sustainability practices in their families, and it is our mission to empower our learners with the knowledge and tools to inspire new and more sustainable practices while preparing themselves to be adults who can confront serious climate-related challenges.
Therefore, we are committed to making sustainability a key component of our curriculum and our school culture. Families can expect to see themes of sustainability appear frequently in the inquiries our students develop, in the priorities we uphold as a school, and in the activism we use to demonstrate our commitment to making real and meaningful change.
School Without Walls
We are not your typical “compound school” where students spend entire days on school facilities. Our school is located in the original New York City, surrounded by tangible artifacts and monuments to history that changed the world. A block from Wall Street, a short walk from the Hudson River, Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown. And beyond our neighborhood, we have the vast resources of New York and its outer boroughs filled with culture, language, arts, universities, international organizations, museums, and institutions willing to open their doors to our students.
So academics at Pine Street School have life and engaging power because of the way we constantly use our city as a resource.
We have established the importance of a curriculum that is relevant and engaging, and one of the most powerful ways to achieve this is through service to others. Therefore, we place great emphasis on connecting academics to real world applications that can enhance our environment and the lives of others.