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With Pass Rates of 93% and Above, SA 8th Graders Earn Four out of Five Regents Diploma Requirements Before Reaching High School

Success Academy Harlem West scholars Isaiah Pena and Laila Shaw with Assistant Principal Olivia Levey. The entire 8th grade class passed the Algebra I Regents exam.   

New York, NY, July 19, 2022 — Bouncing back from the hardships and learning loss of the pandemic, Success Academy’s 8th graders demonstrated extraordinary results on this year’s New York State Regents Exams. Unlike most NYC district middle schools, where select groups of students opt into taking one or two Regents exams, all SA 8th graders are required to sit for Algebra I, Living Environment, English Language Arts, and Global History & Geography exams. Eighth graders across SA’s 13 middle schools, achieved pass rates of, 93% or above on all four, passing four of the five Regents required for a New York State high school Regents diploma — and they haven’t even started 9th grade!

“The prevailing view on learning loss is that after a year and a half of remote learning, while still being in the midst of pandemic, it will take years to catch up,” said Amaury Ramirez, principal of SA Harlem West Middle School, where 100% of 8th graders passed the Algebra I Regents. “But at SA we believe where there is a will, there is a way. At my school, we worked our hearts and souls out — teachers, administrators, scholars, and parents — we came together as a community.” 

“There were a couple of Regents that I wasn’t very confident about,” said former SA Harlem West 8th grader Isaiah Pena who will be attending HSLA–Harlem in August. “But when I saw my grades, I felt very accomplished and excited. My worries went away. I’ve been at Success Academy since kindergarten, and they have prepared me well for things like this.” 

“Our scholars rose to the challenge, and not just in Algebra,” said Assistant Principal Olivia Levey, now principal of SA Hamilton Heights MS. “We were determined to get back to where we were and to ensure our scholars are prepared for a rigorous high school experience. I’m so proud of their resilience and what they’ve accomplished.”  

While 2022 data for district schools has not yet been released, an analysis of 2019 results for NYC shows that only a third of all district 8th graders took the Algebra I Regents exam, only 24% took the Living Environment, and less than 3% took the ELA or Global History & Geography Regents. Average pass rates for DOE students across all grades were also lower:

The majority of SA’s middle schoolers passed at high levels:

  • 80% scored a level 4 or 5 on the ELA Regents exam

  • 76% scored a level 4 or 5 on the Algebra I Regents exam

  • 72% scored a level 4 or 5 on the Living Environment Regents exam

  • 68% scored a level 4 or 5 on the Global History & Geography Regents exam

Roughly 1,000 8th grade scholars across SA’s 13 middle schools took these exams. At SA Harlem West and SA Springfield Gardens middle schools, 100% of 8th graders passed the Algebra I Regents exam, with 85% and 94%, respectively, scoring a 4 or 5. 

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