Success Academy, the Success School Story

Are you looking for a successful results-oriented school in New York City for your children? Look no further than Success Academy, an Eva Moskowitz’s network of charter schools in New York City. The first Success School was opened 10 years ago and within this period it has established a network of 32 schools with an enrollment of 9,000 students. The school network has 24 elementary schools (K-4), 7 middle schools (grades 5-8) and one new high school. The school is projected to open an additional 13 new schools in the coming two years and is expected to increase its enrollment to 21,000 students in New York City.

 

The key to the growth was based on the excellent performances of Success students. Charles Sahm, an investigative writer explained that last year, 29 percent of students in New York City tested were determined to be proficient in English and 35 percent in math on the state’s common entrance exams. Compared to Success Students, English proficiency rate was 64 percent and a surprising 94 percent rate in math. Noticeably, Success students who come from the city’s poorest communities outperformed those children from the rich suburbs.

 

What did the management of Success Academy network of charter schools do differently for these achievements? The school instituted a systematic and controlled teaching and learning environment for students and teachers. Success students are considered scholars and made to wear school uniforms to ensure set standards and the pursuit of a culture of discipline and high expectation. Classrooms and buildings are named after teachers’ alma mater to honor teachers, introducing extended school days, and innovative teaching content. Charles Sahm stated, “What separates Success, in my opinion, is a laser focus on what is being taught, and how.”

 

At Success Academy “content is king.” Kindergarteners work in groups and play with wooden blocks and build imaginable things around them. At this stage, they do not use books because block play is more fun and kid-driven activities. THINK literacy approaches are used to make students undertake reading workshops, guided reading, reading aloud and shared text reading.