The education program of Princeton Charter School meets or exceeds the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. These standards for each content area are listed below, together with some examples of associated activities.
Standard 1 All students will develop career planning and workplace readiness skills.
To develop workplace readiness, PCS students learn about the importance of hard work, personal responsibility, and respect for others.
Standard 2 All students will use information, technology, and other tools.
As part of the science curriculum, PCS students develop understanding of available technology, such as computers or the Web, and learn to select and use tools appropriate to a task.
Standard 3 All students will use critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
PCS students develop and hone the skills to formulate a question or define an issue; find relevant information using appropriate tools and evaluate it through critical thinking and quantitative analysis; solve problems and make decisions based on available information; and organize and present their work both orally and in written or graphic form.
Standard 4 All students will demonstrate self-management skills.
PCS students learn study skills and demonstrate personal responsibility, constructive engagement in activities, and self-discipline to tackle various assignments in a timely fashion.
Standard 5 All students will apply safety principles.
As part of the science, health, and physical education curricula, PCS students learn about and apply safety principles such as injury prevention, safe use of tools and equipment, laboratory safety rules, and fundamentals of first aid.
Standard 1.1 All students will acquire knowledge and skills that increase aesthetic awareness in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students learn basic vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of the arts. By the end of 8th grade, students use the languages of the arts to evaluate aesthetic qualities of art works.
Standard 1.2 All students will refine perceptual, physical, and technical skill through creating dance, music, theater, and/or visual arts.
Standard 1.3 All students will utilize arts elements and arts media to produce artistic products and performances.
PCS students receive instruction in and actively participate in making music, dancing, staging theatrical productions, and creating two- and three-dimensional art works.
Standard 1.4 All students will demonstrate knowledge of the process of critique.
PCS students use the languages of the arts to describe and evaluate art works based on observation, analysis, and interpretation.
Standard 1.5 All students will identify the various historical, social, and cultural influences and traditions which have generated artistic accomplishments throughout the ages, and which continue to shape contemporary arts.
Art history is an integral part of the history curriculum at PCS. By the end of 4th grade, students learn about the arts in different parts of the world during various historical periods. By the end of the 8th grade, students learn about significant artists and art works in dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
Standard 1.6 All students will develop design, artistic, and technological skill for planning the form and function of space, structures, objects, sound, and events.
PCS students participate in designing elements of the indoor (classrooms and common areas) and outdoor (garden and playground) spaces.
Standard 2.1 All students will learn health promotion and disease prevention concepts and health-enhancing behaviors.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students learn about the basic structure of a human body; know responsible health behaviors; understand how some childhood injuries and illnesses can be prevented or treated; and develop personal protection strategies. By the end of 8th grade, students learn about special health needs of adolescents; learn to analyze health benefits or risks of different behaviors; and learn about existing health and help-providing organizations in the community.
Standard 2.2 All students will learn health-enhancing personal, interpersonal, and life skills.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students learn to set and track their progress toward personal health and physical fitness goals. By the end of 8th grade, students are able to analyze the effects of behaviors on health and physical fitness and use the analysis for effective decision-making. All students learn different age-appropriate strategies for nonviolent conflict resolution.
Standard 2.3 All students will learn the physical, mental, emotional, and social effects of the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students define and understand the proper uses of drugs and medicines, recognize physical and behavioral effects of mood-altering drugs, and understand how drug abuse contributes to illness or injury. By the end of 8th, grade students are able to analyze the effects of chemical substances on human development and behavior, including drug abuse and dependency.
Standard 2.4 All students will learn the biological, social, cultural, and psychological aspects of human sexuality and family life.
By the end of 4th grade, students learn about human development from conception to death. In 5th and 6th grades, students learn about the human reproductive system and understand physiological changes that take place during puberty. By the end of 8th grade, students learn about human sexuality, pregnancy, parenthood, and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases.
Standard 2.5 All students will learn and apply movement concepts and skills that foster participation in physical activities throughout life.
Throughout, PCS students learn, practice, and refine movement skills; these movements (running, throwing, etc) are used in games, sports, and free play. Students also learn movement concepts appropriate to different dance forms.
Standard 2.6 All students will learn and apply health-related fitness concepts.
All PCS students learn age-appropriate techniques for developing cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength/endurance and flexibility, as well as for preventing sports injuries.
Standard 3.1 All students will speak for a variety of real purposes and audiences in a variety of contexts.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students have made up their own oral stories, read aloud, retold ideas and plots, and discussed age-appropriate literature. They use standard English in all discussions with and presentations to the class in all subject areas. By the end of 8th grade, students have refined their interpretations and classroom discussions of literature, presented oral reports to the class, memorized and recited selected short works, and conducted interviews.
Standard 3.2 All students will listen actively in a variety of situations in order to receive, interpret, evaluate, and respond to information obtained from a variety of sources.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students have actively listened to and discussed numerous fictional and other literary works, biographies and stories from history, as well as presentations in science and mathematics. They follow oral instructions from Kindergarten, identify syllables in first grade, record simple notes from spoken information, and recognize non-standard English as a means of characterization in literary works. By 8th grade, students listen critically to each other's reports, discussions, and arguments as well as to information provided in lectures, and take notes as appropriate.
Standard 3.3 All students will compose texts that are diverse in content and form for different audiences and for real and varied purposes.
PCS students write every day. Beginning with simple phrases and sentences, students gradually refine and expand their writing ability to include short writing assignments (journal entries, stories, letters) by grade 2 and the formal outlining-drafting-editing process to write and ``publish'' works that include smooth transitions by grade 4. Eighth graders show mastery of basic grammar, syntax, spelling, usage, and punctuation in their analytic and expressive writing and begin to develop a personal writing style. They also experiment with writing to create a given effect (e.g., to persuade, to instruct) and they cite sources as appropriate.
Standard 3.4 All students will read, listen to, view, and respond to a diversity of materials and texts with comprehension and critical analysis.
Reading extensively is the bedrock of both the PCS language arts and history/geography curricula. By the end of 4th grade, students have become proficient and independent readers who follow plot and characterization and begin to develop inference and critical interpretation skills. By 8th grade, students have read a substantial body of serious literary works, have discussed and analyzed a subset of these works in detail, and have used multiple sources to synthesize information for research purposes.
Standard 3.5 All students will view, understand, and use nontextual visual information and representations for critical comparison, analysis, and evaluation.
Throughout the K-8 education program information is presented to students in media and formats which are not limited to language in print but include sound, pictures, graphs and charts, maps and globes, photographs, electronic images, etc. Students learn to understand and analyze messages presented in these multiple forms. In particular, museum visits, live performances, etc. are interspersed throughout the program at all grade levels.
Standard 4.1 All students will develop the ability to pose and solve mathematical problems in mathematics, other disciplines, and everyday experiences.
By the end of grade 4, PCS students have posed, explored, and solved problems using a variety of strategies, models, and tools. Problems are used to motivate concepts and provide practice and challenge in all the content areas. By the end of grade 8, students have developed strong problem-solving skills including the ability to use appropriate models, to select among multiple approaches, and to develop alternate strategies.
Standard 4.2 All students will develop the ability to communicate mathematically through experiences which involve a variety of written, oral, symbolic, and visual forms of expression of mathematical ideas.
Classroom activities are designed to develop students' skill in communicating mathematical ideas. By the end of grade 4, students are able to present a mathematical problem, strategy, and solution in a variety of forms to their class. By the end of grade 8, students are able to analyze, evaluate, and explain mathematical arguments. They use symbols and mathematical language as tools for understanding.
Standard 4.3 All students will develop the ability to connect mathematics to other learning through experiences which focus on the interrelationships of mathematical ideas and the roles that mathematics and mathematical modeling play in other disciplines and in life.
Students use mathematics to enhance their understanding of other subject areas. By the end of grade 4, students have used mathematics to compute the current in a simple circuit, to make a simple map, to find symmetries in art and nature, to check whether a bean plant grows faster in the sun or the shade, and to organize nutritional data they have collected. By the end of grade 8, students have applied mathematical models to deepen their understanding of the relationship between the length of a violin or guitar string and the pitch of the sound it makes, the risks associated with smoking, and the distance to the nearest star.
Standard 4.4 All students will develop reasoning ability and will become self-reliant, independent mathematical thinkers through experiences which reinforce and extend their mathematical and logical thinking skills.
Students learn how to judge the reasonableness of mathematical results. By the end of grade 4, students make estimates of the results of arithmetic operations, and justify their guess of how many beans are in a jar. By the end of grade 8, students have used an opinion poll to make conjectures about the outcome of an election; proven an algebraic or geometric relationship by deduction or induction; and critiqued a conclusion reported about some data in the newspaper.
Standard 4.5 All students will regularly and routinely use calculators, computers, manipulatives, and other mathematical tools in both instructional and assessment activities in order to enhance their mathematical thinking, understanding, and power.
By the end of grade 4, students have regularly used counters and other manipulatives to promote understanding of numerical operations. They use calculators to check estimates and to compute such quantities as the mean of a set of data. They use technology to gather data and display mathematical information. By the end of grade 8, students use computer spreadsheets and graphing programs to display quantitative information. They use computers and calculators to investigate functions and their graphs.
Standard 4.6 All students will develop number sense through experiences which enable them to investigate the characteristics and relationships of numbers, represent numbers in a variety of forms, and use numbers in diverse situations.
Kindergarten and first-grade students use numbers for counts, measures, times, dates, and other common uses. Activities include counting up, counting down, and skip counting. Class activities with objects, measurement, and the number line help students develop a sense of the relative sizes of integers and of fractions. Students learn place value concepts through activities such as grouping objects and using number charts. As they progress through the lower grades, students work with fractions, decimals, and whole numbers, and learn equivalent representations of numbers. By the end of grade 4, students understand place values through many digits, and are able to compare and order integers, commonly used fractions, and decimals. By the end of grade 8, students extend their understanding of numbers to include rational numbers, percents, exponents, roots, absolute values, and scientific notation.
Standard 4.7 All students will develop spatial sense through experiences which enable them to recognize, visualize, represent, and transform geometric shapes and to apply their knowledge of geometric properties, relationships, and models to other areas of mathematics and to the physical world.
In Kindergarten through grade 4, students develop understanding of geometric concepts and spatial sense through work with solids, pattern blocks, templates, geoboards, and computer drawing tools. Students also learn basic geometric vocabulary. By the end of grade 4, students learn to make a perspective drawing of a simple solid; identify symmetries of geometric and natural objects; use transformations such as translation, rotation, reflection, and scaling to create geometric patterns; classify shapes by properties such as number of faces, edges, vertices, and lines of symmetry; use the scale on a map to determine a distance; use geometric measures such as length, perimeter, area and volume; subdivide complex figures into simple shapes; and use tessellations. By the end of grade 8, students characterize geometric figures using a minimum set of properties; are able to predict what the intersections of a plane with a cylinder, cone, or sphere would be; use geometric transformations; select the most efficient strategies for computing geometric measures; use the Pythagorean theorem to solve problems; draw geometric models to solve algebraic and scientific problems such as determining the height of an object from the length of its shadow using similar triangles.
Standard 4.8 All students will develop an understanding of numerical operations through experiences which enable them to construct, explain, select, and apply various methods of computation, including mental math, estimation, and the use of calculators, with less emphasis on paper-and-pencil techniques.
By the end of grade 4, PCS students have fluent command of arithmetic operations on whole numbers; apply arithmetic properties to solve problems; and use estimation to judge the reasonableness of solutions. By the end of grade 8, students extend their command of arithmetic operations to fractions, decimals, integers, and rational numbers; solve problems involving percents, proportions and ratios; and use correctly the standard algebraic order of operations.
Standard 4.9 All students will develop an understanding of measurement and systems of measurement through experiences which enable them to use a variety of techniques, tools, and units of measurements to describe and analyze quantifiable phenomena.
By the end of grade 4, students learn and use English and metric units for length, area, volume, weight, time, and temperature; recognize the need for standard units of measure; and use measurements extensively in science experiments. By the end of grade 8, students also learn the need for repeated measurements to improve precision; learn fundamentals of error analysis; test hypotheses by measurement and analysis; and understand how a change in an object's linear dimension(s) affects its measures of length, area, and volume.
Standard 4.10 All students will develop an understanding of estimation through experiences which enable them to recognize situations in which estimation is appropriate, and to use a variety of estimation strategies.
By the end of grade 4, students estimate the number of objects in a group or container without counting; estimate simple measurements; understand the usefulness of estimation in problem solving; and use estimates to judge the reasonableness of solutions. By the end of grade 8, they extend these skills to a wider variety of problems and numbers, including problems of social importance, such as total energy consumption in the U.S. or the rate of propagation of an epidemic.
Standard 4.11 All students will develop an understanding of patterns, relationships, and functions through experiences which enable them to discover, analyze, extend, and create a variety of patterns, and to use pattern-based thinking to understand and represent mathematical and other real-world phenomena.
By the end of grade 4, students construct, recognize, and extend simple geometric and arithmetic patterns such as plus 3, times 5, or the Fibonacci sequence; discover rules for patterns such as successive multiples of eleven; and use an equation with one variable to express a simple arithmetic pattern given in a table. By the end of grade 8, students represent mathematical relationships with tables, graphs, and equations; use functions to represent the dependence of one quantity on another; and use patterns and functions to solve problems.
Standard 4.12 All students will develop an understanding of probability and statistics through experiences which enable them to systematically collect, organize, and describe sets of data, to use probability to model situations, and to make appropriate inferences and arguments.
By the end of grade 4, students correctly use the terms possibly, probably, and certainly; determine the probability of a simple event such as the toss of a coin, throw of a die, or result of a spinner spin; determine the mean and range of a data set; formulate a problem that involves collecting data; and organize data into bar graphs, circle graphs, and pictographs. By the end of grade 8, students recognize the difference between simple and compound events, and dependent and independent events; predict the outcome of an event; determine the probability of a compound event; conduct experiments to learn the difference between theoretical probabilities and actual outcomes; interpret probabilities as fractions, ratios, and percents; accurately and appropriately represent data in tables, charts, and graphs; determine the mean, range, mode, and median of data sets; and make and evaluate inferences based on data analysis.
Standard 4.13 All students will develop an understanding of algebraic concepts and processes through experiences which enable them to describe, represent, and analyze relationships among variable quantities, and to apply algebraic methods to solve problems.
By the end of grade 4, students represent an arithmetic relationship with an equation or inequality using a variable; translate between a number pattern expressed with objects or a table to a graph, rule, or equation; By the end of grade 8, students solve small systems of linear equations; express laws of probability in algebraic form; understand and use the rectangular coordinate system; use graphs to represent and estimate solutions of equations and inequalities; and use algebraic methods to solve word problems.
Standard 4.14 All students will develop an understanding of the concepts and applications of discrete mathematics through experiences which enable them to use a variety of tools of contemporary mathematics to explore and model a variety of practical situations.
By the end of grade 4, students classify and sort objects by attributes such as shape or color; determine the number of combinations through activities such as selecting a lunch from three sandwich and two beverage choices; figure out all possible routes from the classroom to the outdoors; write out instructions for multiplying out two-digit numbers. By the end of grade 8, students systematically determine the number of possible combinations, permutations, or arrangements in a variety of problems; use tree graphs; use a directed graph to represent a food web; and work with iterative and recursive processes such as compound interest.
Standard 4.15 All students will develop an understanding of the conceptual building blocks of calculus, through experiences which enable them to describe and analyze how various quantities change, to build informal concepts of infinity and limits, and to use these concepts to model, describe, and analyze natural phenomena.
By the end of grade 4, students investigate simple infinite series such as doubling, and understand rates of change such as speed and growth rate. By the end of grade 8, students approximate quantities with increasing degrees of precision and understand the concept of significant digits; recognize the difference between linear and exponential growth; explore geometric and arithmetic progressions; and understand that the grid size affects the precision of measurements.
Standard 4.16 All students will demonstrate high levels of mathematical thought through experiences which extend beyond traditional computation, algebra, and geometry.
All PCS students will be challenged and enabled to go as far mathematically as they can.
Standard 5.1 All students will learn to identify systems of interacting components and understand how their interactions combine to produce the overall behavior of the system.
By the end of grade 4, PCS students have experimented with, thought about, and discussed simple systems such as pulleys and simple electrical circuits, and understand the roles of individual components, and the manner in which these components combine to form a working system. By the end of grade 8, students are able to analyze the properties of such systems using physical laws; students can calculate, for example, the mechanical advantage of a pulley system, or the current flowing in an electrical circuit. This understanding is tested and reinforced by hands-on experiments involving quantitative measurements.
Standard 5.2 All students will develop problem-solving, decision-making, and inquiry skills, reflected by formulating usable questions and hypotheses, planning experiments, conducting systematic observations, interpreting and analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and communicating results.
By the end of grade 4, PCS students have been presented with simple systems - such as a simple pulley system - for which they are asked to formulate a hypothesis or prediction concerning its physical behavior (e.g., predicted mechanical advantage of a pulley system). The students plan and carry out experimental measurements to test their hypothesis, record the results, and prepare reports describing their observations and presenting their conclusions. By the end of grade 8, students have designed and carried out experimental or observational studies on a variety of systems, including mechanical, electrical, chemical, biological, and astronomical examples. Experimental findings are communicated using words, charts, graphs, pictures, and diagrams. Student reports demonstrate understanding of the role of experimental error, statistical uncertainty, and the role of control experiments.
Standard 5.3 All students will develop an understanding of how people of various cultures have contributed to the advancement of science and technology, and how major discoveries and events have advanced science and technology.
Curiosity is a central human trait; all historical cultures have formulated explanations for the natural phenomena surrounding us. What we refer to as science is an approach to understanding nature that relies on careful, systematic observation and measurement, the formulation of hypotheses (usually mathematical) to make quantitative predictions concerning natural phenomena, and - most importantly - the testing of these hypotheses by further experiment. By the end of grade 4, PCS students have read about several different scientists and inventors, in historical context. By the end of grade 8, students have learned about major events and people in the history of science.
Standard 5.4 All students will develop an understanding of technology as an application of scientific principles.
Students appreciate that modern technology has been made possible by the development of scientific understanding of natural phenomena, and how technology in turn supports further scientific progress.
Standard 5.5 All students will integrate mathematics as a tool for problem-solving in science, and as a means of expressing and/or modeling scientific theories.
A quantitative approach to science is stressed at PCS, with mathematics integrated naturally into the science curriculum. The level of mathematical sophistication progresses as the requisite mathematical tools and skills are acquired. By the end of grade 4, students use measuring instruments such as thermometers, rulers, graduated cylinders, and scales, and recognize the importance of the units of measurement; tables and graphs are used to represent data. By the end of grade 8, students are able to compute the mean and median for a set of experimental data, and have developed an informal understanding of how the precision of an experimental result can be improved by averaging repeated measurements.
Standard 5.6 All students will gain an understanding of the structure, characteristics, and basic needs of organisms.
By the end of grade 4, students have studied several examples of living things, with attention to their basic needs, different levels of organization, and roles in a food web. By the end of grade 8, students are able to describe the major categories of living organisms, identify different levels of organization of multicellular organisms, and explain the life cycles of organisms.
Standard 5.7 All students will investigate the diversity of life.
PCS students study the diversity, complexity, and interdependence of life on earth. By the end of grade 4, students are able to describe a simple classification system for grouping organisms. They recognize that individuals vary within every species, and can describe examples of external features of plants and animals that help them survive in varied habitats. By the end of grade 8, students are able to classify organisms by internal and external characteristics, illustrate how genetic variation results in the potential for variation among offspring, explain how genetic mutation can result in inherited changes among offspring, recognize that individual organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and have offspring, and recognize how changing environmental conditions can result in evolution of a species.
Standard 5.8 All students will gain an understanding of the structure and behavior of matter.
PCS students study the states and properties of matter, how these can be understood in terms of matter being composed of atoms and molecules, and understand how this atomic model relates to the principles of chemistry. By the end of grade 4, students recognize that matter can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas, and can be transformed from one state to another by heating or cooling. By the end of grade 8, students are able to explain how substances can react with each other to form new substances with characteristic properties different from those of the original substances; know that commonly-encountered matter is made up of atoms that may join together to form molecules, and that the state of matter is determined by the arrangement and motion of the atoms or molecules; can explain how atoms are rearranged when substances react chemically, but that the total number of atoms and total mass of the substances remains unchanged in the reaction; and know that over 100 different atoms, corresponding to the same number of different elements, have been identified and can be grouped according to their similar properties.
Standard 5.9 All students will gain an understanding of natural laws as they apply to motion, forces, and energy transformations.
The basic principles of mechanical physics are studied at PCS, leading ultimately to the concept of energy. By the end of grade 4, students can understand that the motion of an object is described by both speed and direction; demonstrate that the state of motion of an object can be changed by pushing or pulling, and that the amount of change is related to the strength of the push or pull; recognize that some forces are invisible and can act at a distance; understand that sound can be produced by vibrating objects, and that the pitch of the sound depends on the rate of vibration; investigate sources of heat and show how heat can be transferred from one place to another; investigate sources of light and show how light behaves when it strikes different objects; demonstrate how electricity can be used to produce heat, light, motion, and sound. By the end of grade 8, students can explain that the state of motion of an object which is subject to zero net force will remain unchanged; can show that when more than one force acts on an object at the same time, the forces can reinforce or cancel each other, resulting in a net force; investigate how the force of friction acts to retard motion; know that there are various forms of energy, including heat, light, sound, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and nuclear, and that energy can be transferred from one form to another; can explain how heat flows through materials or space from warmer objects to cooler ones; know that the sun is a major source of the earth's energy, and that the emission from the sun includes visible, infrared, and ultraviolet light; can explain how light is reflected, refracted, or absorbed when it interacts with matter, and how materials may appear colored as a result of this interaction; and can show how vibrations in materials can generate waves which can transfer energy from one place to another.
Standard 5.10 All students will gain an understanding of the structure, dynamics, and geophysical systems of the earth.
By the end of grade 4, students recognize and demonstrate the use of different kinds of maps; are aware of the different materials that make up the earth, including rocks, soils, liquids, and gases; understand the ways in which water moves from one place to another on the earth; collect and record weather data to characterize existing weather conditions, and recognize how those conditions affect our daily lives. By the end of grade 8, students can compare different map projections, and explain how physical features are represented on each; identify the major features of the earth's crust, the processes and events that change them, and the impact of those changes upon the biosphere, including people; identify the age of fossils, and explain how they provide evidence that life has changed through time; describe and explain the causes of the natural processes and events that have shaped the earth's surface and interior; monitor local weather conditions and changes in the atmosphere that lead to weather systems; discuss the composition, cycling, and distribution of the earth's oceans and other naturally occurring bodies of water.
Standard 5.11 All students will gain an understanding of the origin, evolution, and structure of the universe.
Students should learn about the place of the earth in the universe, the size of the universe, and the history of the earth and the universe. By the end of grade 4, students observe and identify celestial objects and their apparent motion in the day and night sky; relate the motions of the earth-sun-moon system to units of time (days, months, years); depict a model of the solar system; compare the different length scales in the solar system, including the diameters of the earth, moon, planets, and sun, and the diameters of the planets' orbits. By the end of grade 8, students are able to describe the physical characteristics of the components of the solar system, and compare the earth to other planets; explain how naturally occurring events on earth (days, tides, seasons) are related to the positions of the sun, earth, and moon; describe some of the technologies used to explore the universe; discuss the distance to the nearest star, the size of our galaxy, the number of stars in our galaxy, and the distances to nearby galaxies.
Standard 5.12 All students will develop an understanding of the environment as a system of interdependent components affected by human activity and natural phenomena.
Students learn about the finiteness of natural resources, and about the ways in which both natural phenomena and human activity can affect the atmosphere, surface, and oceans of the earth. By the end of grade 4, students are able to discuss the interdependence of living things and their environment, explain how human activity affects the environment, recognize the distinction between renewable and nonrenewable natural resources. By the end of grade 8, students evaluate the impact of personal and societal activities on the local and global environment, and compare and contrast policies that affect the use and management of natural resources.
Standard 6.1 All students will learn democratic citizenship and how to participate in the constitutional system of government of the United States.
As students learn about the world's peoples and their history, they learn about different forms of government, including the government of the United States. By the end of grade 4, students have studied the Bill of Rights; participated in a voting process; and learned that the government taxes its citizens and businesses to provide such services as public schools, roads, and the protection of the people. By the end of grade 8, students learn about the three branches of the United States government: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. As part of their studies they examine the creation of a law of wide public interest and follow it through the legislative process.
Standard 6.2 All students will learn democratic citizenship through participation in the humanities, including all forms of aesthetic expression.
By the end of grade 4, students have read stories and viewed artwork from different historical and social settings all over the world. By the end of grade 8, students are able to analyze and interpret literature and art works from around the world.
Standard 6.3 All students will acquire historical understanding of political ideas, forces, and institutions throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.
Standard 6.4 All students will acquire historical understanding of societal ideas and forces throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.
Standard 6.5 All students will acquire historical understanding of varying cultures throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.
Standard 6.6 All students will acquire historical understanding of economic ideas and forces throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.
From Kindergarten through grade 3, students read and listen to stories set in many different times and places all over the world. In grade 4 students focus on the history of North America and of New Jersey in particular. In the course of their studies, students develop appreciation for the similarities and differences among cultures, and a foundation for more formal study of the history, government, society, culture, and economy of different peoples. In grades 5 through 8, students pursue a chronological study of world history including the United States. By the end of grade 8, students are able to analyze and interpret politically significant historical events and their consequences; describe different societies, including their ethical values; discuss the arts and customs of different cultures and analyze their similarities as well as differences; describe different economic systems and their effects on the daily lives of people.
Standard 6.7 All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying the world in spatial terms.
Standard 6.8 All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying human systems in geography.
Standard 6.9 All students will acquire geographical understanding by studying the environments and society.
Students study the geography of a region concurrently with its history. By the end of grade 4, students use maps and globes to locate places and physical, biological, and human characteristics; understand the effects of geography on economic activity; and identify the consequences of natural and artificial changes in the environment. By the end of grade 8, students are experienced users of maps and other geographical representations; are able to compare and analyze demographic characteristics of populations; and learn about distribution and utilization of renewable and nonrenewable resources throughout the world.
Standard 7.1 All students will be able to communicate at a basic literacy level, orally and in writing, in at least one language other than English.
Starting in 1st grade, PCS students learn to communicate in a language other than English. Conversational skills as well as reading and writing skills are taught.
Standard 7.2 All students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship between language and culture for at least one world language in addition to English.
By the end of 4th grade, PCS students learn about peoples who speak the language they study: their history, cultures, and arts. By the end of 8th grade, students analyze similarities and differences between their culture and that of the speakers of the language they study, using, for example, newspapers and literary works.