At CAS, the school year is divided into four eight-week cycles. Each cycle students spend between 16 and 32 hours per week at one or more of the community resources (internships) they elect from a quarterly catalog. They typically enroll in between two and four classes held at the school and two seminars, also held at the school. Advanced students may also enroll in college courses or other structured independent study programs offered by institutions around the city.
The schools non-punitive, non-competitive environment emphasizes learning above grades. Instead students take all their classes and internships on a credit / no credit basis. That said, it is important to understand that our expectations for student performance are rigorous and demanding.
Each academic quarter, students go through a registration process similar to what one would experience in college. Students take classes on either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday and Thursday. If a student has a Tuesday and Thursday class schedule, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday they are required to attend an internship. Each student must carry a 27 ½ hour weekly schedule. These hours are a combination of the hours spent at an internship, the hours spent in classes and seminar, and the hours spent working on independent studies or portfolio projects.
Just like any high school, City-As offers a range of classes across traditional academic subject areas. Students take math courses like such as algebra or pre-calculus, English classes such as Shakespeare or the modern novel, and history classes such as global affairs or American politics and electives such as knitting or digital photography. Although our lab facilities are limited, we also offer courses in geology and environmental science.
Seminar is a required, once a week meeting between students and their advisors. Seminar provides a forum for students to discuss their experiences both at their internships and in the school community at large. Activities, which sometimes include outside speakers, address both personal and academic issues. Here students can assess their overall progress and get feedback and encouragement from their peers and faculty advisor.
Students at City-As who have strong interests in certain area can work on a project of their own design Once students have a demonstrated record of earning credits the
City-As students also have the opportunity to take classes offered by a variety of New York City cultural institutions. For example, a number of CAS students have been able to participate in a program sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As part of the program they attended BAM performances, met with directors, actors, writers, etc., and then wrote about their experiences in a student produced journal.
As part of our educational program, students must complete a graduation portfolio, which is comprised of a research paper, personal essay, career plan and a complete college application. Students are awarded a Regents high school diploma after earning 40 credits plus 7 terms of gym, a score of 65 or higher on the ELA regents, and completing the graduation portfolio.