Curriculum and Academic Grading Policy


At PS 290 Manhattan New School, the essence of our philosophy is to encourage a child’s natural curiosity, to develop a commitment to lifelong learning, and to promote social responsibility as global citizens. This climate of academic dedication, respect and understanding contributes to our vibrant learning community.


  • We engage students with a curriculum that includes rigorous academics as well as a focus on each child’s social and emotional development and wellbeing.

  • Our curriculum is aligned with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.

  • Grade-wide thematic units of study include reading, writing, math, social studies, science, technology, art, music, and physical education.

  • Students are provided with numerous and varied opportunities to deepen their understanding and apply their knowledge within the curriculum.

  • Our teachers use formal and informal assessments to evaluate each students’ mastery of educational content and academic progress within learning benchmarks.


Academic Grading Policy

At PS 290 Manhattan New School we maintain a fair academic grading policy that reflects each individual student’s achievement levels based on the New York State Common Core Learning Standards. Grades are designed to measure each student’s competency in curricular content by evaluating mastery of academic areas and grade appropriate skills and behaviors.


Grades reflect each student’s understanding of subject areas and advancement within the grade curriculum at a specific time within the academic year. Grades represent a number of contributing factors, including classwork, evaluations, class participation, special projects and behavior. 


Classroom academic assessment includes the following criteria:


Academic Standards

  • In-class assignments

  • Notebooks and folders

  • Group projects

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Mathematics

  • Listening, speaking, and language based skills

  • Social studies

  • Advancement within and consistent engagement with curricular content

  • Assessments and evaluations including tests, quizzes, and teacher evaluations and observations


Classroom Standards

  • Respect for school rules, teachers, classmates, and the school community

  • Classroom discussion and participation

  • Collaborative partner or group work

  • Adherence to classroom expectations and behaviors

  • Preparedness and timeliness

  • Completion of tasks and assignments

  • Social–emotional development

  • Attendance: Missing classroom instruction can negatively impact a student’s success both academically and behaviorally

Students are expected to adhere to academic and behavioral standards within all specialty (“Cluster”) classes, such as Science, Music, Physical Education, Art, and Technology, as well as in special programs (ex. Dance, Swim), and during Afterschool and school trips.


Student work is an essential way for teachers to gauge student understanding of materials, and it allows teachers to inform instruction. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their academic progress through multiple measures of performance. Our assessments, class projects, classroom assignments are aligned with the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.


Teachers regularly provide constructive feedback on student work and next steps to guide students in improving their understanding.


Opportunities to Discuss Student Progress

  • Parent-Teacher conferences will take place twice a year (fall and spring).

  • Teachers, guidance counselors, and staff members can be reached via email to discuss student progress any time outside the scheduled conferences. Please allow school staff 48 hours (2 school days) to respond to correspondence.

  • Teachers are available to schedule brief telephone or in-person conversations on Tuesday afternoons.

Report Cards

Students will receive report cards in November, March and June. The information provided in our Report Cards is designed to foster the vital communication between school and families that supports each student’s academic, social, emotional and physical development. 


Explanation of Grades

Performance Levels:

4     Excels in standards

3     Proficient

2     Below standards

1     Well below standards

PS 290 Manhattan New School
311 East 82nd St.
New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212-734-7127 Fax: 212-772-8879