Success Academy’s Remote Learning Will Continue Through December
September 3, 2020
**For Immediate Release September 3, 2020**
Facing Uncertain Building Readiness and Evolving Regulations, Success Academy Concludes That Continuing Remote Learning Through Semester Is Best for Its 20,000 Students
New York, NY — Today, Success Academy announced to families and staff that “Remote 2.0” will continue through December. All 20,000 students have been equipped with personal laptops or tablets and are receiving a full schedule of live instruction five days a week via Zoom. Classes started on August 4 for high schoolers and August 24 for K-8 students, and all work, from math and writing to assessments and homework, is fully digital.
Success Academy had announced in July that it would open school with a hybrid plan that combined on-campus and remote learning. But when the city restricted building access, the network had to quickly change its plans. Within a few weeks, SA retooled its model, and opened school with “Remote 2.0,” a robust plan that includes core academic subjects as well as electives such as chess, art, dance, and fitness; the network’s intent was to transition to hybrid once buildings were accessible. But as regulations evolved and with building readiness still an issue, SA concluded that continuing to be remote through at least December would provide the best learning experience for students.
“Our Remote 2.0 is ‘real school’ with a full schedule of live instruction five days a week, and we’re putting all our energy into making this experience as rich and engaging as possible,” said Eva Moskowitz, Success Academy founder and CEO. “The logistical complexities of keeping our community safe would greatly compromise the student learning experience and limit so many of the interactions kids love about school.”
Many of the benefits of attending school in person derive from the ability of students and teachers to interact closely. Students gather around a rug to hear a story read, they “turn and talk” to discuss a book, play with blocks and build together, work in groups and ask one another questions. With the level of de-densification required at this time, such interactions would be very difficult, if not impossible. The need to practice containment would also limit recess and make the use of art rooms, dance studios, science labs, and fitness spaces very challenging. Finally, the complex measures to protect staff and students — having different arrival times to avoid crowding, eating in classrooms facing away from each other, carefully coordinating bathroom usage — would dramatically reduce learning time.
SA’s Remote 2.0 model has numerous advantages:
- Scholars will have the same teachers every day.
- Scholars will receive at least 5 hours of live instruction daily (somewhat less on Wednesdays, which are half days for K-8 students), not only in their core academic areas but also in scholar talent electives such as chess, dance, choir, theater, art, debate and fitness.
- K-8 families have the option of free virtual after school programming with fun and quirky courses from creating comics and learning magic tricks to sewing and coding.
- Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts has more than 21 clubs and teams, meeting virtually.
Video of remote classrooms 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.