The Center City PCS Curriculum

At Center City, we believe that all students can grow into compassionate, curious, and engaged citizens who advocate for themselves and for their communities. Therefore, we commit to providing students with a diverse set of experiences that include a rigorous, socially-relevant curriculum and opportunities for service learning. We believe that through these experiences, our students will become self-confident and resilient young adults who are able to think critically, take meaningful risks, and contribute to a productive, just, and peaceful global society.

We infuse character education, service learning experiences, and social justice themes into our academic and enrichment programs in order to help our students become active and engaged citizens.

Our curriculum and instructional practices are aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the College, Career, and Civic Life Framework (C3). Our curriculum provides scholars with rich and authentic experiences in ELA, humanities, math, and science. Enrichment offerings vary by campus but include visual art, music, dance, Spanish, STEM, and drama. Character education is integrated throughout our curriculum and is the focus of morning meetings. Additionally, our campuses implement restorative practices as an approach to proactively build relationships and address conflicts where they arise.

Curriculum at a Glance

The K-8 curriculum at Center City Public Charter Schools is designed to engage, challenge, and meet the diverse needs of all of our scholars. We want to equip scholars with the critical thinking skills of 21st-century learners so that they can thrive in high school, college and beyond. Therefore, our curriculum is driven by the high expectations for student outcomes that are required by the Common Core State Standards.

Pre-K 3 and 4

For Pre-K we use the Every Child Ready Curriculum (ECR) developed by the AppleTree Institute. ECR’s full-day curriculum provides instruction in literacy, language, math, science, social studies, physical development, creative arts, and social-emotional development. Children participate in a structured and predictable set of instructional components, including whole group, small group, child-driven, and independent learning times. ECR incorporates thematic units that explore themes, including Family & Community, Space & Astronomy, and the Animal Kingdom.

Humanities (Grades K-3)

Our Humanities curriculum includes a comprehensive English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum that is deeply rooted in two simple beliefs: first, that students need significant “time in text” and second, that a true love of reading must be at the core of each and every classroom. Driven by these beliefs, we use a curriculum that prioritizes the major shifts in instruction driven by the adaptation of the Common Core State Standards. Center City students spend significant time reading and closely analyzing complex texts as well as identifying evidence from the texts to support strong arguments. In grades K-3, students secure foundational skills and engage in text-based discussions through the Core Knowledge Language Arts program (CKLA). CKLA also allows students to build background knowledge in history and social studies through thematic units.

Humanities (Grades 4-8)

Scholars in grades 4-8 will meet the demands of the Common Core through a Humanities block, which combines social studies and ELA content in the study of the human condition. Students engage with authentic, high-interest literature and visual arts through Wit & Wisdom, a research-based ELA curriculum that engages students in four thematic units of study. Each module includes an anchor text, a wide selection of supplemental fiction and non-fiction texts, and visual art. The curriculum integrates writing instruction at the daily level and each unit ends in a performance task. Students have the opportunity to delve deeper into the historic content of Wit & Wisdom through the reading of complex nonfiction text in primary and secondary sources. The Humanities block incorporates the C3 framework, and leads students to build the critical thinking skills necessary to develop and defend historically accurate arguments in both written and verbal formats.

K-8 Mathematics

Center City has adopted the Eureka Mathematics curriculum for grades K-8. The Eureka curriculum prioritizes the major work of each grade level, as designated by the PARCC Model Content Framework. Students spend significant time engaging in higher levels of mathematical performance – to persevere in problem-solving, to reason using various mathematical strategies, and to reflect on mistakes, processes, and solutions. Each unit includes opportunities for students to develop procedural skills and fluency while building a solid, conceptual understanding of foundational mathematics content. With a deep conceptual understanding of the content and daily opportunities to apply the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practices, students are empowered to engage in mathematical discussions and to build a level of mathematical literacy that will follow them to high school. 

Middle School Science

Center City adopted the Full Option Science System (FOSS) curriculum for grades 6-8. FOSS is a hand-on curriculum that allows students to learn science through critical thinking and active investigation. FOSS is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and integrates Earth, Life, and Physical Science in all grade levels while building students’ capacity to learn both scientific and engineering concepts. In the lower grades, we have designed a science curriculum that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and embodies the dual nature of science: a body of deep content knowledge and the processes and practices used to add to that body of knowledge. Scholars learn early about the scientific process and are asked to apply this process of disciplined inquiry and experimentation to a science project of their choosing.



Applying to Center City PCS is easy! We do not have admission criteria and welcome all families who are interested in our programs. We invite students for grades PreKindergarten (4 years old) to 8th grade to apply at MySchoolDC.org.


Center City's teachers are dedicated to developing the whole child through a rigorous, character-infused academic program. Find out if you are ready to become a Center City teacher.


Every child deserves a quality education and we strive to provide small, safe family environments that are conducive to learning. Your donation helps to ensure we are nurturing and developing the next generation of leaders.

Congratulations to @CenterCityShaw! We're extremely proud of our students and we can't wait to see your design at the parade! #centercitystrong #CenterCityPCS

Great to tour Cedar Hill today – home to Frederick Douglass— with future leaders from @CenterCityPCS! Every day, we strive to remember the sacrifices of patriots like Douglass & rededicate ourselves to their noble cause of freedom, equality & justice https://t.co/w8qVpayxSd

Ready to join our All Star Team? Center City PCS is hiring for the 2019-2020 School Year! Check out all of our available positions for next year and for immediate hire here: https://t.co/L3upH26jPU
#TalentTuesday #CenterCityPCS #DCCharterProud

In the last couple of years, @CenterCityPCS Trinidad has embraced an arts initiative. Check out how it's transformed in our Nov 2018 newsletter: https://t.co/ZPro6uZczg #TransformationTuesday

All Center City PCS campuses and offices will be closed for February Break from February 18 through February 22.

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