Curriculum and Instruction

Cultural Arts Academy Charter School at Spring Creek is a bold, new vision for public education in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. It is an academically rigorous, standards-based school of excellence that:

  • Affords students the opportunity to inquire, investigate, create, present, reflect, and take action.
  • Provides order, security, role models and mentors, high expectations and ample opportunities for students to explore, discover, research and investigate and view mistakes as opportunities for further growth.
  • Has personalized, print-rich classrooms where high priority is placed on developing the whole child through multi-sensory approaches that provide for individual differences.
  • Incorporates research-based curriculum initiatives, strategies and techniques that help meet students’ needs for security, approval, belonging, prestige, achievement and self-esteem. 
  • Employs classroom organization and management techniques that help students become self-directed learners in a collaborative, cooperative environment.
  • Provides and supports effective teaching and innovative instructional strategies through cutting edge professional development and the creation and maintenance of professional portfolios.

Inquiry Based Learning:

  • Inquiry plays a critical role in inspiring and motivating children to learn, in addition to its role in helping to assess student learning. Critical thinking and communication skills are developed in the classroom, providing a platform to feed students’ natural curiosity and spark deeper discussions.

Ash: What do I wonder? Investigate: research and finding out. Create: How can I share new knowledge with others? Discuss/present: going further. Reflect: What do I know that I didn't before? Act: How do I change the world?

The instructional environment and practices of CAA that we believe foster high student achievement and success, emanate from the eight University of Pittsburgh’s Principles of Learning:

  • Organizing for Effort
  • Clear Expectations
  • Recognition of Accomplishment
  • Fair and Credible Evaluations
  • Academic Rigor in a Thinking Curriculum
  • Accountable Talk
  • Socializing Intelligence
  • Learning as Apprenticeship

The core elements of the Cultural Arts Academy Charter School at Spring Creek core curriculum include:

  • Differentiation
  • Cultural Arts Infusion
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Research-based curriculum
  • Extended Instructional Time
  • Professional Development
  • Character Education 
  • Technology Infusion
  • Thematic Inquiry Based Learning


The research-based curriculum and instructional practices reflect an interdisciplinary arts-infused approach interwoven into the sciences, humanities and mathematics. The integration of the arts will enable students to think independently, reason cogently, and gain skills in decision-making, problem solving, collaboration and self-management, and assist them in mastering the New York State Common Core Learning Standards. Our teaching artists and specialized teachers work side-by-side with our content area teachers to cooperatively plan thematic learning units that give scholars opportunity to make connections across the curriculum.