One Foot Expansion Update: Science and Out-the-Door
ECS Families and Friends,

We are in our last phase of the System Expansion Process. We are providing information about the vision for our schools and acquainting you with our renovated facility and new Garfield neighbors. This week, our focus is on  out-the-door education and  science!

Out-the-door education is one of ECS's core values. Our new Middle School, unlike our current Middle School campus, does not have a park in its backyard, but it has spaces to create and cultivate outdoor education.

Innovation drives everything we do at ECS, especially when we think about getting our middle school students outside! We have a large  upper field and  outdoor blacktop area which have so much potential! In those spaces we intend to offer  outdoor activity options for students- and continue programs we have such as urban biking and gardening. Integrating intentional, authentic outdoor moments into our curriculum will also allow for students to have regular touchpoints- potentially with places such as  Highland Park and the  Garfield Community Farm.

Partnerships with organizations in the area will help us  increase outdoor time and create  project-based learning opportunities. For example, we intend to partner with an organization to help us  re-wild a portion of the upper field by removing invasive species and planting native species to attract fauna. This would also create an  outdoor path for students and neighbors to study and enjoy. We are so excited to see what a new year in a new building will bring. We cannot wait to find more ways to  get outside!

Check out what our out-the-door education focus areas could look like!

As we create these unique and authentic experiences  outside we want to be sure that they are being continued in indoors-  for example the science room.  What is Middle School Science at ECS?

The Middle School Science Program at ECS uses the  Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in conjunction with the PA Science Standards to develop curriculum that engages in the three dimensions of the NGSS for successful science instruction:  content, practices, and  cross-cutting concepts

Content drives the experience whether it is life science, earth science, physical science, engineering, or a combination of several of these topics!  Students use scientific practices, such as asking questions and carrying out investigations, to actively engage in the content. Students act like scientists by taking risks, making mistakes, problem-solving through struggles, and persevering to create evidence-based arguments and solutions.Science allows students the chance to explore and fail so that they can develop and use processes to help them construct explanations about the world we live in. The third dimension connects the dots between different content areas by identifying the  crosscutting concepts, showing students the interconnected nature of science as it is practiced and experienced in the real world. 

The ECS science team values  student-led investigations, frequent collaboration and  working in teams, and  experiencing science instead of memorizing facts. ECS is determined to produce inquisitive, critical, and communicative consumers of scientific information by providing authentic experiences that focus on deeper understanding of content as well as application of content. The program continually strives towards teaching the  "how" and  "why" rather than simply the "what" so students can walk away with the skills they will need to make critical choices and decisions in life.

Take a peek into the science classroom!

Next week, you will learn about music for our middle grade students. 
Stay tuned!

Are there questions or topics you'd like us to cover in the next several editions of this newsletter? Email here!
Support Us As We Grow!
ECS grows citizens. And we are expanding our campuses to support additional students at every grade level and to continue our mission-based program through the high school years. Growth in space allows us to developmentally right-size our schools, support the demand for our program, and expand opportunities for students. 
Will you help us as we grow?

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Our Contact Information
ECS Lower School
309 South Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221
ECS Upper School
829 Milton Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15218
ECS Administrative Office at Shady Lane
100 North Braddock Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221

412.247.7970 connects to all three locations!
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