Success Academy Debuts New Online Resource To Meet Demand From Educators For Tours, Insight Into Schools’ Innovative Design
Makeable – October 13, 2015
Contact: Ann Powell
New York, NY — Success Academy Charter Schools, New York City’s largest and highest-performing network of public charter schools, today unveiled a multimedia virtual tour that invites educators, prospective families, and members of the public to explore the many aspects of its distinctive school design and innovative approach to teaching and learning.
The tour is available at virtualtour.successacademies.org.
“At Success Academy, we have reimagined public education,” said founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz. “This wide-ranging look inside Success Academy allows visitors to explore important aspects of our schools — and understand why our inner-city students are able to achieve such extraordinary academic results.”
Over the past decade, thousands of visitors have toured Success Academy schools. The demand from educators, government officials, and school administrators from across the country and around the world – has outstripped the charter school network’s capacity to host tours, workshops, and conferences. This virtual tour provides universal access to the inner workings of its schools, with the particular aim of sharing school design, elementary pedagogy, and school culture.
Utilizing a sophisticated web-based application, the virtual tour offers an immersive, 360-degree panoramic view of a Success Academy elementary school. Beginning at the front door, the multimedia journey takes visitors down the hall and into classrooms, the science lab, the art studio, the main office, and the playground. Throughout the tour, icons allow visitors to discover additional content: video interviews, text explanations, and additional photography provide insight behind every curriculum decision. Videos feature Moskowitz, principals, teachers, parents, and scholars.
Located in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, Success Academy schools consistently rank among the best in New York State in both reading and math. The schools’ rigorous curriculum includes conceptual math, reading, writing, and science five days a week, as well as subjects often overlooked or cut from traditional public schools: chess, art, dance, music, and sports.
Success Academy’s school design is built around critical thinking and problem solving. Teachers limit direct instruction to 80 minutes a day (10 minutes per subject); the rest of the students’ time is spent in guided discussions and independent practice. Teachers and principals benefit from a robust professional development program — the equivalent of more than 400 hours per year.
This innovative approach to schooling has fostered an enormous demand among New York City parents, particularly in neighborhoods that lack high-quality district schools. Since its founding in 2006, Success Academy has grown from one school to 34, serving 11,000 students. Still, the network cannot keep up with parental demand — this year, Success Academy received 22,000 applications to its random admissions lottery for just 2,300 available seats.
This project was made possible by support from the Robertson Foundation.
About Success Academy Charter Schools
In 2006, Eva Moskowitz opened the first Success Academy in Harlem, setting out to tackle the monumental crisis in public education in the largest, most prominent city in the country. In New York City, public school quality is sharply divided along socioeconomic and racial lines. Only about one in five children of color can read or do math at grade level, and 90% of all African American and Hispanic students attend a failed school where fewer than half of students meet grade standards. The education crisis extends far beyond New York. America’s 15-year-olds rank 27th in math, 20th in science, and 17th in reading among the world’s most developed economies; only 26% of our high school seniors meet math standards, and 38% are reading at grade level; only 59% of those who enroll in four-year colleges graduate within six years.
Success Academy Charter Schools serve as an alternative to the hundreds of failed district schools in New York City. They are free public pre-K–12 schools open to all children in New York. With 34 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy serves 11,000 students, primarily children of color living in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 76% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, 85% are children of color, 12% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. On the most recent state exams, 93% of students passed math and 68% passed English, ranking Success Academy in the top 1% in math and the top 3% in English among all New York State schools.
For more information, go to Successacademies.org.
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