ECS combines the academic rigor of the best public schools with a multi-disciplinary, “out the door” learning approach rooted in real world problems that builds active, engaged, empathetic citizens.
An average day in the ECS fifth grade might include creating stopmotion animation movies for the public service announcements we created in Environmental Literacy class, a math “huddle” to review the key concepts we’ve learned that day, and looking for fossils of microinvertebrates along the creek banks.
Our team values persistence, empathy, collaboration, resiliency, and reflection, and we bring these concepts and ideas to students in a variety of ways.
Some of the projects students engage in over the loop include constructing field guides, creating a grade level culture book, earning their KEYS from McKeever Environmental Center, writing with purpose to ignite the fire for change, and Mission to Mars projects. Additionally, some of the questions we explore together overtime together include: “How can we inspire change in our community?” “How do we explore the unknown?” and “How do we make healthy food choices?”
In MATHEMATICS, we focus on collaboration, perseverance and real world application of problem solving so that students emerge with a strong foundation of math skills and the ability to use them in daily life.
ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY is a place to explore the connections between social studies and science, and many authentic learning experiences emerge throughout our time together. Topics of inquiry include astronomy, biological and human diversity, and alternative energy.
Our LITERACY team also works to foster authentic learning experiences where we explore a variety of genres and apply our skills to real world experiences and ideas. As we collaborate in Literacy, we build an understanding of ourselves, one another, and the world around us through a multitude of lenses. Genres we study include: nonfiction, current events, science fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, poetry, and spoken word.
PRIME (Personalized and Reflective Investment in My Excellence) Time is a time each day dedicated to intensely practicing Math and Literacy skills students have been learning. Groups of students are created based on our Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS) data. Students split into spaces all across our building, and the lessons that are taught are geared to support and/or enrich students’ skill set based upon their individual needs.
Athletics & Activities
Orchestra: violin, viola, cello
Band: clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, percussion
1 School Counselor
1 Social Worker
1 School Nurse
1 Gifted Teacher
2 Academic Coaches
The ECS Upper School houses students from fourth grade through eighth grade. Nestled next to the 644 acre Frick Park, students are often found peering under decomposing logs, taking water samples from the creek, scoping for birds by the Monongahela River or simply hiking through the park with teachers.
With ongoing partnerships GASP and the Penn State Master Gardener program, the outdoor spaces around the school showcase native species of plants and trees, and the current air quality index is measured and broadcast each day on the school’s flagpole. The heart of the ECS Upper School is located in the newly renovated Cafe, a place where students and adults meet, break bread, have a conversation or simply have a restful break throughout the day.
828 Milton Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15218