Academic Guideline for Vincent Smith School

NY State Next Generation Learning Standards: All grades

Art: All grades   

Music: All grades   

Phys. Education: All grades   

Clubs: All grades   

Social Skills: All grades

Related Services: All grades, as needed

Vocational Program: HS, where appropriate


Students in grades 1-12 take all required courses set forth by the New York State Department of Education. Great emphasis is placed on language arts and math. Physical education, music, computers, art, and social skills are programmed into students’ weekly schedules.  

High School students must meet the following criteria for graduation and receipt of a NY State diploma:

A minimum of 22 credits, including the following units:

  • 4 credits in English

  • 4 credits in Social Studies

  • 4 credits in Mathematics

  • 4 credits in Science

  • 1 credit in Foreign Language

  • 1 1/2 credits in Art

  • 1/2 credit in Health

  • 2 credits Physical Education

  • 1 credit in an elective

  • Credit requirements of transfer students will be evaluated upon admission

JUMP Math Program

JUMP Math is a research-based program using a guided discovery approach for students to learn math.  The lessons are multi-sensory, including concrete materials, whole class or group discussions and paper and pencil.  The program integrates a variety of games, activities and extensions based on the wonder of mathematics in the classroom for students to explore and as a means for practicing, applying and extending mathematical skills and concepts. 

Reading Program

Students who qualify for reading as a related service receive instruction individually and/or in group by our Orton-GillinghamWilson, or literacy-certified reading teachers. Students who require Wilson instruction receive it individually for a minimum of three, 40-minute periods per week. To assure continued growth and progress in reading, the students are given systematic and explicit instruction in all reading areas.  

Reading specialists collaborate with classroom teachers to practice new skills in the classroom.  The in-class reading program at Vincent Smith uses UFLI, a research and evidence-based program developed at the University of Florida. It follows a carefully developed scope and sequence, designed to ensure that students systematically acquire each skill needed and learn to apply each skill with automaticity and confidence. The program is designed to be used for core instruction in the primary grades or for intervention with struggling students in any grade.

Additionally, classroom teachers use a multi-sensory approach, which provides help in the following areas:

  • Phonological awareness

  • Phonics

  • Fluency

  • Decoding and encoding skills

  • Vocabulary

  • Reading comprehension

  • Written expression

Overcoming Obstacles Program

The Overcoming Obstacles program provides students with academic and life skills instruction, including communication, decision-making, goal-setting, problem-solving, conflict resolution, empathy, teamwork, and time management. The program includes specific skills in each lesson, along with learning objectives and multi-sensory activities, and addresses all the appropriate age levels at Vincent Smith.  It is organized into elementary, middle, and high school levels, which helps to reduce redundancy over the years in using the same program. 

Related Services

Students requiring services, as identified through evaluations, are seen by on-staff providers during the course of the school day. On-site services with specialized instructors include:

  • Speech/language therapy 

  • Occupational therapy 

  • Counseling 

  • Resource Room

Every attempt is made to schedule special services so that they do not interfere with core academic classes.

Physical Education Program

Physical activity is essential to healthy physical, social and mental growth. A scheduled program of physical education at all grade levels is required by New York State Education Law. Students at Vincent Smith are required to attend two periods of physical education per week (unless otherwise directed by a physician).  

Art Program

All students are offered art each trimester. The aims of the program are to contribute to the development of art skills, appreciation, and personal enjoyment for our students. At times, the classroom teacher combines the art program with other classroom work. A competitive Student Art Show is sponsored every spring. Both faculty and peers judge the work by category, and prizes are awarded. Art is also offered as an extracurricular activity each day.

Computer Science Program

The Vincent Smith School continues to update and upgrade its computer equipment and peripherals. Students in the lower school receive computer instruction weekly. Classroom sets of computers are available throughout the school for class use. Kindles are also available on a one-to-one basis in the lower school, and iPads in the upper school. Additionally, teachers incorporate research and computer skills as part of their classroom teaching.

Vocational Explorations in Education Program (VEEP)

VEEP is a transitional program designed to teach life skills and independence to students who are not on a college track. 
Students learn basic skills such as consumer spending, daily routines, and health and safety. They are also exposed to a broad spectrum of experiences to enrich their social, communication, and intrapersonal skills. Some examples: 
• Creating schedules and prioritizing tasks 
• Time management/Planning ahead 
• Housekeeping and laundry 
• Grocery shopping
• Transportation 
(e.g. calling a taxi/Uber, reading bus/train schedule)
• Living independently 
• Applying for jobs
• Saving and budgeting money
• Using a credit card
• Preventive Care