Erie Elementary Charter School is a caring and collaborative community for children in grades K-8. Children learn in the context of small class size in a developmentally-appropriate academic environment. At EECS, children, parents and educators work together to educate students who are challenged by and engaged in their learning, independent and self-confident, proficient in Spanish, knowledgeable about their own culture, compassionate and ethical, and understanding of the collaborative requirements for citizenship in a democracy. They are prepared to undertake a rigorous secondary school program and are firmly placed on a path to higher education.



Curriculum and Programs

Habits of Work, Mind and Heart

At EECS, we work to develop children who are not only good students, but good people. This core philosophy drives all programming and focuses all of the activities at EECS. The “Habits” framework creates a culture characterized by leadership, ethics and responsible interactions in a safe and nurturing environment. They are meant to foster, in each of our students, the desire to work hard to be their best, know how to think, not what to think, and to do the right thing.

  • Habits of Work: Organization, Collaboration, Revision, Focus and Punctuality
  • Habits of Heart: Respect, Perseverance, Nonviolence, Confidence and Communication
  • Habits of Mind: Evidence, Curiosity, Open-Mindedness, Relevance, Viewpoint and Reflection

The “Habits” are integrated into the curriculum, classroom management, teacher-student relationships and family participation.

Focus on Higher Education

All EECS classrooms are named after the alma mater of its founding
teacher. Diplomas from the University of Michigan, Williams College,
Long Island University, the School of the Art Institute and others line
the halls of EECS as a daily reminder to our students that higher
education is within their reach.

We also take all EECS students and their parents on visits to local
college campuses. Students have visited DePaul University, University of
Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University and Loyola University.

We do these things at the elementary level to create a culture of
high expectations for our students—many will be the first of their
families to attend college, and we want our students to plan for higher

Look for the "Get to Class" section on the home page to learn more about each classroom.



Socio-Emotional Learning Development (SELD) Program

To respond to the needs of every child, we have crafted a comprehensive program to support the social and emotional development of every EECS student. We believe that a child who has socio-emotional issues will face considerable difficulties in their academic life as well—if a child feels isolated or scared, he or she will have trouble building relationships and taking appropriate risks, and will face obstacles in the classroom.


Academic Curriculum

Responsive Classroom

The following principles guide teachers everyday in the classroom:

  • The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum
  • How children learn is as important as what they learn
  • The greatest cognitive growth occurs during social interaction
  • There is a specific set of social skills that children need to learn and practice in order to be successful academically and socially: Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and Self-Control (CARES)
  • Knowing the children we teach--individually, culturally and developmentally--is as important as knowing the content we teach
  • Knowing the families of the children we teach is as important as knowing the children we teach
  • How we, the adults at the school, work together is as important as our individual competence.

Dual Language

The dual language program began in the 2009-2010 school year with one dual language kindergarten classroom. The program has grown each year with the addition of one grade level per year. This year, our inaugural class of dual language students is in sixth grade. The program will continue to grow by one grade level per year through 8th grade.

The goal of the dual language program is to develop bi-literate students-children who can read, write and speak in both Spanish and English by the time they reach 8th grade.

Students in dual language classrooms have diverse language strengths. Students share their strengths with each other as they all learn to read, write and speak in both English and Spanish. At Erie, most students in the dual language program are Spanish Language Learners.

In the dual language kindergarten, 80% of instruction is delivered in Spanish. The percentage of instruction in Spanish gradually shifts so that by 5th grade, students are receiving half of their instruction in English and the other half in Spanish. All students are instructed in Spanish and English literacy daily, with the percentage of time dedicated to English literacy gradually increasing across the K-4 years. Beginning in 2nd grade, the content areas (math, science, and social studies) are taught in either Spanish or English with direct instruction to support students' ability to transfer this knowledge between languages.

So why dual language? Students learning a second language:

  • Learn to embrace other cultures
  • Appreciate differences in other people
  • Prepare for advanced courses in high school and college
  • Have a foundation for learning more languages
  • Have higher employment opportunities as adults
  • Have access to broader knowledge and information

For more information, or if you would like to enroll your child, please contact Principal Velia Soto at vsoto@eriecharterschool.org or (773) 486-7161.