John Daniels School of International Communication was the first school in New Haven to use a Dual Language model of instruction. All students K-8 learn in English and Spanish. Our challenging curriculum and emphasis on diversity prepares our students to be life-long learners in our increasingly multicultural world.

Through the incorporation of elements of International Communication in all subject areas, John C. Daniels School of International Communication aims to expand students’ knowledge about the world’s diverse countries, people and languages so that they are equipped and empowered to communicate with each other and across cultures. Students are provided with multiple and varied opportunities including the use of technology to apply their knowledge and skills in connecting with people around the world.

The dedicated teachers at John Daniels have developed a theme-based science and social studies curriculum— based on CT state standards and New Haven Public Schools curriculum, but focused on international communication. Please click here for link to NHPS Curriculum Website

All grade levels focus on four broad themes throughout the year:


JCD Themes for All Grade Levels

The World in My Backyard (a study of heritage and diversity)

This unit is designed to answer the fundamental human question, “Who are we and where did we come from?” It is a study of families and heritage as well as immigration. Students learn about the cultures and histories that are represented in their classrooms and in the world around us through interviews, biographies, diaries and other personal interactions.

Where in the World (a study of the world’s geography and natural resources)

A geography theme that brings the physical dimensions of the world together with the human ones in a study of people, animals, places and the environment. Students build map and globe skills by learning about our planet, its resources, and how we communicate and interact with other places and people.




Stewards of our Planet (an environmental theme)

During this unit, students begin to think about the big issues facing our planet: weather patterns, changing habitats, hunger and poverty, landfills and recycling, human rights and world health. Students learn that being a citizen of this world comes with responsibility and that everyone has the power to make a difference.


Around the World in 60 Days (an in-depth country-study)

This last unit gives students the opportunity to investigate specific countries and cultures of the past and present with the intention of building an appreciation for diversity and pride in cultural traditions. Studies of a particular civilization will include categories such as geography, history, culture, demographics, education, arts and economics.

We strive to teach students using project-based instructional methods coupled with the integration of the arts. JCD was a HOT School (Higher Order Thinking School) by the CT Commission for Culture and Tourism. As a HOT school, teachers promote teaching and learning in, about, and through the arts in a democratic setting. This dynamic program is designed to build higher-order thinking skills in students through the core components of strong arts, arts integration, and democratic practice. Teaching and learning are enhanced by the richness only the arts can provide. Students have the opportunity to work with Teaching Artists and experience the beauty and diversity of the world through its art, music, dance, poetry, literature.  One or two grades each year work with a professional teaching artist who integrates their artistic specialty into the content area instruction to enhance it.  Teaching artists complete a 10-day intensive residency with the teachers and students.


Past HOT Teaching Artist Residencies