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  • Stay in Touch!


    Prospective Parents: If your child will be entering Kindergarten through 4th grade for the 2019-2020 school year, please register below to receive more information regarding your neighborhood Success Academies.

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    Prospective Parents: Register below to be notified when the application for the 2017-18 school year becomes available and to receive more information about Success Academy Charter Schools.


Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

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Last month, Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School families watched their school transform into a museum during an exploration of science and humanities that featured the most attentive and knowledgeable docents in New York City — SA scholars!

Which material best withstands an earthquake? Was Chinese Emperor Chin a hero or a villain? At SA Bronx 2 MS, these were just a couple of the questions scholars asked — and answered — during the Winter Academic Showcase, which combined the annual Science Exploratorium with engaging exhibits highlighting scholars’ humanities learning.

We invite you to step inside this truly extraordinary dual event, fueled by the curiosity of our scholars and the commitment of the school’s staff and parents.

  • Parents were in for a treat as soon as they entered the school: “Hear ye, hear ye, come grab a quill and sign the Declaration of Independence!” bellowed scholar Michael Solano in a British accent as parents ascended the staircase. His classmate, Deron King, had a plea of his own: “Extra, extra, read all about it. The Patriots defeat the Redcoats at Yorktown!” he shouted, hawking a newspaper written by members of the sixth grade class. Sixth graders are wrapping up a unit about the Revolutionary War — where they’re learning about political tensions between the colonists and the Crown, and the role political propaganda played in the war. By the end of the day, parent signatures filled the page!

  • Across the aisle from the Declaration of Independence, sixth-grader Ramatulai Sow pointed out that the principles — “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” did not apply to everyone in the colonies. “The whole sixth grade is reading the book Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, which is about a slave girl and her sister who try to seek freedom during the American Revolution. Not everyone had the rights laid out in the Declaration of Independence,” said Ramatulai.

  • Emperor Qin — hero or villain? That was the question asked by fifth-grade scholar Lorraine Ventura as she explained to parents the duality of Emperor Qin, a ruler in China over 2,000 years ago. “Emperor Qin founded the Qin Dynasty, united warring China, and built economic prosperity. But he also burned books in China, took away people’s weapons, and enslaved many citizens of the cities he captured,” said Lorraine. “So for our unit on Chinese history, we made ‘Wanted’ posters to show the bad things he did and also talked in class about whether or not he ultimately helped the country,” she said.

  • As part of their unit on Chinese history and culture, fifth-grade scholars learned about the genre of trickster myths. “Trickers myths are based in Chinese history and are very popular. They are where a person deceives someone to get what they want. We all wrote our own trickster myths to share with you,” said Nubia Vinson. With titles like “The Knight’s Greed” and “The Little Girl and the Stealing Heist,” parents had a lot to read — and scholars demonstrated their imagination and their knowledge of this Chinese genre.

  • The showcase also featured scholars’ science experiments — which started with a hypothesis and ended with their ideas on the real-world implications of their findings. Here, fifth-graders Kaiden Mack-Bryant (right) and Keimya Brown (left) demonstrate that the metal material they used on a mock building did not withstand an earthquake. Another model made of cardboard fared better. What does that mean? “Because the cardboard was more stable, this could mean that materials like wood might be able to flex more during an earthquake and not collapse, even if the objects in the house moved more,” said Keimya. Kaiden agreed, and added, “We also learned we need to use more glue next time!”

  • Assistant principals Todd Gentilcore (left) and Marc Sachse (center), along with Leadership Fellow Ezra Plancon (right), played a big role in managing the event. According to Sachse: “As a leadership team, what we did was set the stage, but the kids made it come alive. They wanted to write the trickster myths, they wanted to learn more about Chinese firecrackers. They really took the lead. We wanted them to experience Chinese culture and Westward Expansion and the Civil Rights Movement in a way that invested them in learning. It helped that their parents would come see their work. We built excitement for the showcase by posting projects on bulletin boards every few days so they could really see the show come to life a little bit at a time. Today, our parents had the opportunity to walk in and see all the things a scholar learns across a whole school day represented.”

  • Community Relations Manager Chastity Rivera (right), pictured with Office Coordinator Megan Mattocks (center), and Operations Coordinator Daniel Vogel (left).

    Chastity Rivera and her ops team worked hard to ensure the logistics of the event went off without a hitch. “We started with a five-page plan, and I presented it to the leadership team — but it needed some more work! Our team brainstormed how to make it even more detailed so every moment of the day was accounted for — we had to think about little things like the traffic flow and decorations, and how parents would experience the event when they first entered the school. Soon the plan was ten pages! We sat down every day for two months to think through event. We’ve been ordering supplies for the past two months. We also added a coat drive to the event — we had a family tell us their scholar was coming to school in a sweater, and we thought perhaps other families were in the same situation, so we decided to do something about that. I have an amazing ops team — we’re so connected to each other and we really supported one another to make this event happen,” said Rivera.

  • Many members of the network staff attended the event, including Associate Director of History Trevor Baisden and History Associate Marissa Friedman, who help design Success Academy’s engaging history curriculum. “The two things that stood out to me was how excited parents were to see their child’s learning and the ability of scholars to speak about what they had learned,” said Trevor. “The school really took the idea and ran with it. Our team had reapproached designing these units to be more project-oriented — this year, seventh and eighth graders did independent research to prepare for high school. We’d like to take this event and see if we can replicate it at other schools in the future to really showcase scholars’ learning in humanities.”

  • Parent volunteers like Angela Kane-Mercer (left) and Karen Kirby (right) couldn’t contain their enthusiasm. “I am not an emotional person and I found myself getting emotional,” said Karen. “This is so brilliant. The kids — they made this event. They’re the ones that took the time to do the research and then articulate what they learned,” she said. Angela added, “I learned so much today! I learned about different types of soil, and which ones encouraged plant growth, and I learned about how different building materials react to hurricanes and earthquakes. I just love to see what their creative minds can learn. The school is so hands-on!” Karen interjected, “And this is just the beginning — imagine what they’ll do in high school, college, and beyond!”

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This November, Imani Johnson and her classmates from SA High School of the Liberal Arts were invited to visit a home in Derbyshire, England. Step inside their journey to England and find out more about our experience at Chatsworth House!

 

This past weekend, Success Academy Myrtle Middle School scholars (above, with Coach Alex Beltre) became New York City chess champions in the Under 1100 division!

 
  • Stay in Touch!


    Prospective Parents: If your child will be entering Kindergarten through 4th grade for the 2018-19 school year, please register below to receive more information regarding your neighborhood Success Academies.

  • Register


    Prospective Parents: Register below to be notified when the application for the 2017-18 school year becomes available and to receive more information about Success Academy Charter Schools.