This site provides information on our curriculum. Click on the grades or program areas to the left for CURRICULUM MAPS that describe each of our courses in more detail. We want our students -- and you -- to know where each course is headed, what students will see along the way, what they'll learn, and how they'll be assessed. Be aware that our courses change a bit each year, so each map is a living document as we revise from year to year.

The academic curriculum at Four Rivers Charter Public School is aligned with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology, History and Social Science, Spanish, and Wellness. Its real shape, however, comes from our faculty working together to mold the Four Rivers mission, Expeditionary Learning Core Practice Benchmarks, and the state frameworks into our unique program.


English English courses take student writing and analytical skills to more challenging and complex levels. After establishing a strong foundation, students explore the many facets of both creative and expository writing, interweaving the two as fits the assignment. Through analyses of models, the critique process and extensive revisions, learners reflect on themselves as writers and students of literature. These reflections then inform areas of strength and specific needs for improvement.

Social Studies Social studies courses are research-based and follow a sequence recommended in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks. Students learn to approach the world with the sensibility of historians and social scientists. They are active researchers in uncovering and understanding historical facts, theories and phenomena, increasingly using primary sources to support their own inferences from historical data. We emphasize public speaking, debate, and taking a stand, encouraging action and providing continuous opportunities for the examination and use of relevant evidence.

Math Mathematics instruction presents the traditional content of Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus using an integrated, problem-based curriculum. Students spend 6- 8 weeks on a unit, through which they study concepts in depth and by discovery. More than just memorization and drill, they are courses in mathematical thinking. Students learn both teamwork and independence, and they share and present their work daily.

Science The science program emphasizes Scientific Inquiry, Science and Society, and the unifying principles of Science. For Inquiry, students work to conduct and design scientific investigations, identifying testable questions, formulating hypotheses, and gathering data. They also learn to analyze and interpret data. Once they’ve done the analysis, students have to draw conclusions from the data and communicate their findings. Expeditionary learning is all about inquiry, so science learning is truly at the heart of this school. Beyond that, students work to understand science in larger social contexts and as a component of active citizenship. Finally, our science program aims to help students develop strong understanding of fundamental scientific principles.

Spanish Both the Middle School and the High School at Four Rivers offer Spanish as its world language. Students are expected to read, write, and converse in Spanish, as well as gain some understanding and appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures, including those within the local community. Instruction begins in the seventh grade at an introductory level, and continues in the high school with opportunities for more advanced classes. The approach is active, including projects and the arts, and it speaks to the different ways -- aural, visual, and kinesthetic -- we learn language. Spanish 1 covers the present, present progressive and preterit tenses, as well as informal commands. Spanish 2 explores the past tense further by introducing the imperfect and present perfect tenses. In addition, students learn formal commands, the future and conditional tenses, and are introduced to the subjunctive mood in Spanish. Spanish 3 reviews much of the grammar from previous years, and exposes students to the finer details of both the indicative and subjunctive moods. Students in their third year also spend more time reading and writing about authentic literary works in Spanish, as well as improving conversational skills through class discussion. Spanish 4 is an advanced level course that reviews much of the material from Spanish 1, 2, and 3. Students broaden their previous knowledge and develop a more authentic grasp of the language by investigating the finer points of certain grammatical concepts.