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Learning at Portfolio School is transformative.  

Believing that our students can and will act upon the world, we provide a safe environment for them to try and fail and try again.  So, when you visit, you’ll hear a teacher acknowledging that an academic challenge is difficult, but also affirming faith in the student’s ability to succeed.  You’ll witness students reflecting on their failures so they can try another approach. When the current estimate is that 65% of the jobs our students will hold have not yet been invented, our students will have the growth mindset necessary to innovate and succeed.

Research shows the many benefits of interdisciplinary, project-based learning over education that divides content into separate and distinct subject areas such as math or science. Children today need to know how to synthesize and transfer learning across multiple disciplines in order to creatively solve complex problems. Our expert team of educators design the curriculum within the context of projects incorporating the sciences and humanities, literacy and math, engineering, the arts and technology.

At Portfolio, we invite our students to learn from the experts around us in New York City and throughout the world --  and to become experts themselves, sharing what they’ve learned and adapting it to understand new challenges. Our students use the high-level skills they are acquiring in computation, literacy, science, social science, and fabrication to design and implement real-world projects that demonstrate their mastery of concepts and foundations.  If the Industrial Age generated factory workers, the Information Age created office workers, then the Innovation Age will require design thinkers, fearless creators, adaptive experts.

Based on research from Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and Columbia, Portfolio School is reinventing education.

  • Students’ birth dates don’t define the learner’s journey…
    Students are grouped based on level of independence and academic ability.

  • Learning doesn’t revolve around content requirements… 
    Student learning revolves around conceptual and practical understandings, which contextualize cognitive skills, character strengths, and subject-area content.

  • The school day isn’t divided into subjects…
    Subjects are incorporated and contextualized into the projects. The school day is divided into deep learning time for long-range projects, as well as time for self-paced mastering of core skills (literacy, math), self-initiated challenges, and small group seminars.

  • Students don’t just have a GPA and transcript of letter grades as evidence of learning…
    Students have a curated portfolio and a mastery transcript as evidence of learning.  Our college advisors will be communicating with colleges and universities about the high level of rigor in the program and the value of the mastery transcript. 

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What does a typical day at Portfolio look like?

Spoiler alert…there are no typical days here. But here’s a sample schedule of what a day might look like for our students.

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Physical Education

Physical Education is an important part of our week. Our children swim once a week at Downtown Manhattan Youth, play tennis once a week at Pier 25 with Super Duper Tennis.

Mindfulness & Yoga

We build many opportunities into the day to instill a mindful approach to life and learning. We partner with certified childhood yoga instructors to work with the children weekly at our school.

Afterschool Programs

And if you want more (after the day ends at 3:30) we offer a wide variety of afterschool enrichment programs such as Mandarin, Spanish, French, Martial Arts, Drama, Chess, Video Game Design, and much more. Check our our afterschool programs here.

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