Success Academy to Continue Remote Learning Through March 2021
November 10, 2020
**For Immediate Release, November 6, 2020**
Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
Without the Disruptions of School Closings, SA Educators and Students Stay Focused on Core Academics as Well as Electives Like Dance, Art, and Debate — With Great Results
New York, NY — Today, Success Academy announced to parents, students, and staff that remote learning would continue through at least the end of the network’s spring break in mid-March. Citing the unpredictability of building closures due to Covid, as well as the vast regulations that would result in reduced in-person learning time, SA noted that its version of remote learning provides a fuller, deeper educational experience for students — and educators — than a hybrid schedule.
“We miss our kids and the magic of our school communities terribly, and learning remotely is challenging,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy. “But our Remote 2.0 is giving kids and families a robust, reliable experience, with hours of live instruction, led by teachers who practically pop out of the screen to engage children.”
Avoiding the disruptions that have plagued district schools, SA has quickly settled its 20,000 students into the routines of “Remote 2.0,” a learning plan designed to mirror the network’s on-campus school, from length of school day to full curriculum. From day one, SA equipped every student with a personal laptop or tablet, loaded with software like Kami, Jamboard, Screencastify, Tumblebooks, and Google Classroom to enhance the student-teacher collaboration. All work, including math, writing assessments, and homework, is fully digital. Electives like dance, soccer, debate, chess and art are taught virtually. Teachers use Zoom breakout rooms to host small-group instruction for students who need extra help. On faculty development days when there is no school, students are treated to online performances of the Paper Bag Players and the Big Apple Circus. K-8 students also receive free, virtual after-school programming in the arts, coding, STEAM, and design.
“From what I’ve seen so far of remote learning, it’s been incredibly hands-on. My kids are with their teachers all day, asking questions and immersed in discussion,” said Heidy Espejo-Mendoza, mother of two SA Upper West scholars. “I was stressed about the prospect of remote learning this fall, but I definitely feel the partnerships with teachers.”
To support students learning at home, SA has distributed headphones, art supplies, physics kits, books, and other materials. To support teachers’ remote instruction, SA provided large screen monitors allowing them to easily see all their students on screen at once.
While nothing about this school year has been normal for any student, in any school, at Success Academy seniors are undeterred in conquering the college admissions process. Despite having had their SAT exams canceled three times since March, three-fourths of 116 seniors have submitted (or are on track to submit) their early action/early decision college applications. A few outstanding seniors have even learned of their finalist status for major scholarships.
While the Department of Education has not released enrollment data, reports of families leaving district schools are increasingly frequent. Head-spinning changes in policies (or delayed admissions policies), missing Internet devices, racial disparities, and students attending in-person classes only to receive instruction via Zoom from teachers who are remote have left parents frustrated and defeated. Since Success Academy began offering synchronous instruction in late August, attendance has averaged 97%. In addition, applications and retention of scholars is very strong. Success Academy’s enrollment has increased to 20,000 from 18,000 the same time last year.
Video of remote classrooms are available upon request.
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 20,000 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. In 2020, 100% of SA’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 22% accepted to highly selective and 47% to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 82% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.
For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.