Success Academy: for learning, for life!

What is a charter school? By simple definition is a school that is publicly funded, and ran by the teachers, parents, and other leaders of the community. This gives the schools greater freedoms when it comes to teaching the students they enroll in their schools. One such outstanding system is the Success Academy in New York.

Success Academy was founded in 2006, by Eva Moskowitz, an educator and official, who saw the need for something different. She noted that many districts had students who couldn’t read, write, or perform other basic skills that are typically taught in school. Success Academy currently teaches elementary through high school ages, with future interest in preschool and online programs.

The demographics of this school system are interesting. Success Academy is open to all New York residents. They currently have 41 schools, with at least 14,000 students enrolled. Over three quarters of their students are from lower income families, and over 90% identify as minority. Students with disabilities are also welcome into the schools. Language is not a barrier to Success either!

Success Academy uses different teaching methods beginning in elementary school that set each student up for success in the present, and future education, including college. The ‘scholars’ of Success Academy begin their elementary education with age appropriate learning styles. For instances, students receive 80 minutes of standard teacher lead instruction. Afterwards, they participate in group learning and individual studies. There is importance placed on students learning their individual learning styles, interests, and finding their own voice within the system. This importance on individual interests and goals continues into middle school with a variety of electives the students may choose from. As they progress into high school their education becomes more rigorous, with a more defined intention toward college.

While the teachers and educational leaders play the major role within the school, the parents are expected to have just as much of a role in their young scholars academic lives. They are expected to make certain homework assignments are done, and even participate in classrooms. Parents are part of the success of the students almost as equally as the teachers. It’s the perfect formula for succeeding in school and life!

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