**For Immediate Release: Monday, August 2, 2021**
Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
SUCCESS ACADEMY OPENS THE 2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR WITH 23,000 KIDS
After 17 Months of Being Remote, Teachers and Staff Are Vaxxed, Ready, and Reunited with their Students!
New York, NY – Today, Success Academy welcomed 23,000 students in grades K-12 to its 47 schools throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Even as Covid-19 kept them masked and socially distanced, teachers, families, and kids in their signature blue and orange uniforms showed up, ready to embrace the school year. Almost 90% of students opted to attend on campus, although SA provided families with a remote option until the end of the first marking period, October 8. Unlike most district school systems, SA required all teachers and staff to be fully vaccinated before the start of school.
“There’s no question students learn best in person, and their mental and emotional health benefits as well,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “The pandemic continues to challenge us, but we’ve done everything humanly possible to make our classrooms safe and inviting.”
“It’s a blessing for my son Jayden to be back on-campus — not only was remote learning challenging, but he missed his teachers, playing chess in-person with his teammates, and spending time with his friends,” said Kerry-Ann Gayle, parent of an 8th grade scholar at SA Springfield Gardens Middle School.
This year, SA opened two new schools: SA High School of the Liberal Arts – Harlem and SA Ozone Park Middle School. The network’s newly renovated second high school utilizes the space of a former middle school, SA Harlem North West, and welcomes 200 freshmen. SA Ozone Park Middle School in Queens opened its doors to 250 fifth and sixth graders, whose parents had advocated for four years to press Mayor de Blasio for a permanent school building; the mayor approved the private, stand-alone building less than three months ago.
In preparation for the new school year, SA made a significant investment to ensure equity in technology for SA students, most of whom are from low-income neighborhoods. All students, Kindergarten through 12th grade, received new Lenovo 500es Chromebooks and classrooms were stocked with loaner devices, portable chargers, and charging stations.To accommodate simultaneous learning for students on campus and remote, middle school and high school classrooms were equipped with cutting-edge streaming technology. Classrooms now have a video camera at the back of the room for a wide-angle image of the whole class; a 55-inch screen broadcasts remote scholars via Zoom so that teachers can easily monitor and call on them; and robotic video platforms, “Swivls,” allow cameras to follow the person speaking throughout the classroom to live stream audio and video.
Like school districts across the country, Success Academy faces the challenge of helping students regain learning lost since the start of the pandemic. The network, which is the fifth largest school district in New York State, launched its At Home Summer Learning program at the end of May, with enriching assignments for all students. For example, seventh graders read at least 7 books, including Things Fall Apart and The Great Greene Heist, in literature, science, and history, and were also assigned math problem sets. Third graders read 30 minutes a day, six days a week and learned coding. Students new to SA received free access to digital books and other online resources, as well as reading lists of 400+ recommended titles. SA also offered summer school and online math tutoring opportunities for struggling students to catch up before the new school year.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 23,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. For more information about Success Academy, visit successacademies.org.