Rosedale Student Finally Wins Success Academy Fourth Grade Seat, Only to Learn It’s Her Last Year at Her New School
Rosedale, Queens — Mariam Jimoh just started fourth grade as a new student at Success Academy Rosedale this year, and for the first time in her young life, she feels academically challenged. Mariam was always ahead of the curve, but this year she has found pleasure in pushing herself to reach new heights — stretching to a new reading level benchmark and mastering new math concepts.
Mariam is one of the Success Academy fourth graders without a middle school next year. After 33 months of families waiting, the mayor has failed to fulfill his promise that the city would provide a permanent school. She and 226 other children will have to return to district schools, where on average only one in three students is able to read or do math at grade level. Mariam is zoned to attend fifth grade at P.S. 183, where 24% of students met state standards in ELA and 20% passed math.
Mariam was at City Hall the day Mayor de Blasio ignored the 200 Success Academy students who had come to plead for space to learn. “I was really surprised, and I was a bit mad when he just walked past,” she recalled. “I thought he was going to stop and take into consideration the kids who need a school.”
“I love to do different things and I love to learn what I’m capable of. Success is an amazing school that challenges me in ways other schools would not be able to do,” said Mariam. “I really want the mayor to give us a middle school. It’s just a building.”
At Success, Mariam has discovered a new sense of courage. Her teachers and her new friends encourage her to always be herself. “They are always so encouraging and when we’re trying new things, they say stuff like, ‘No one will laugh at you, we’re all learning,’” she said.
One new discovery is a love of dance, an elective she chose this year. “Dance is a way to be free and do some exercise and move my body,” she said. “It’s nice to dance during the day to mix things up — it’s a different type of learning.”
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS
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 45 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 18,000 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. Success Academy schools received more than 17,000 applications for about 4,000 open seats for the 2019-20 academic year.
For more information about Success Academy, go to successacademies.org.