Academic Glossary

Gateway Charter School Academic Glossary



  • Responsive Classroom – The Responsive Classroom approach is a way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong, safe school community. RC teaches students how to take ownership of their actions, how to become self-aware, and how to create a community within their classroom. One of the Responsive Classroom principles states, ”The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.”
  • Curriculum – Wonders, a comprehensive K-6 literacy solution, is designed to meet the challenges of today's classroom and reach all learners. Wondersprovide students equity of access to rich texts and rigorous instruction— in the core classroom, as an English language learner, and during intervention support. Teachers have 90 minutes a day to present ELA instruction which consists of reading fluency & comprehension, writing, spelling, grammar and phonic awareness. Wonders also has science & social studies concepts embedded in the instructional content. 

Engage New York is a free math curriculum aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards. While integrating the CCLS with rigorous classroom reasoning, extended classroom time devoted to practice and reflection through extensive problem sets, and high expectations for mastery, Engage New York provides our students with a variety of procedures and paths to understanding. Our teachers still need to implement differentiated instruction in order to target individual student needs.

  • RTI – Response to Intervention is a daily block of timeused by educators to help students who are struggling with a skill or lesson. At Gateway, our students are placed in 3 tiers. Tier 1 is on grade level. Tier 2 is approaching grade level.Tier 3 is below grade level.  Each tier is then broken down into groups of less than 8 students.  Teachers use interventions with students to help them succeed academically. RTI benefits all students, not just children with special needs or learning disabilities. If a student is struggling, the teacher will use test scores and other measures of progress to choose a researched and proven intervention suited to help the child learn. If a child does not respond to the initial interventions, more focused interventions are used to help the child master the skill.  RTI attendance is taken daily documenting that all students receive 45 minutes a day of RTI instruction. 
  • Wilson Reading – This reading system directly and systematically teaches students how to fluently and accurately decode. It is unlike traditional phonics programs in that instruction is very interactive and multisensory. It also thoroughly teaches total word construction where students learn to encode (spell) as they learn to decode.
  • Morning Meeting – Every morning the entire school has either a homeroom or an Elementary/Middle School collective Morning Meeting as part of the Responsive Classroom mindset. During this time students work on character building, community building, and work through challenges and problem solving both individually and as a group.
  • Brain Breaks – Students take brain breaks throughout the day for 10 minutes (approx.) involving a physical activity to get re-engaged and reinvigorated.
  • Structured Recess – During the indoor recess block, and sometimes outdoor as well, students participate in activities that keep them fully active and engaged, and help them build character and teamwork.
  • Homework – See GLS Homework Policy
  • HAC – Home Access Center is an online site where grades for student assignments are made available to parents. We recommend that parents check this site weekly.
  • Arts Integration –Arts Integration is designed to help students make careful observations, look closely, use details to guide inferences, develop thoughtful interpretations. AI is designed to help teachers stimulate curiosity, prolong focus and engagement, encourage ‘close’ reading, set the stage for inquiry.

When teachers integrate art forms (visual art, music, dance and drama) into their lessons, they provide multiple pathways for learners to develop cognitive and problem solving skills, demonstrate socio-emotional growth, and expand creative capabilities. Arts integrated instruction guides learners to envision, construct, and communicate deep understandings of themselves, their communities, the curriculum, and the world, so lessons become student-centered and authentic.