East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School
East Harlem Scholars Academy combines an extra-long school day--and a longer school year--with highly structured routines and lots of personal attention from teachers. Spanish, music and physical education are offered each day.
“By the 5th grade, our students will be able to speak Spanish, play an instrument and be extremely healthy,” jokes Principal Cheyenne Batista Sao Roque. (The Brazilian last name is pronounced “soun HAWKee” and rhymes with “down rocky.”)
Founded in 2011, this charter school plans to add a grade each year until it serves K-5 and, if space permits, K-8. Breakfast is served at 7:30 a.m. At 8 a.m., everyone reads for an 11-minute block in a ritual known as “D.E.A.R” — Drop Everything And Read. Classes continue until 4 p.m. The school year is 195 days, compared to 180 days for a typical public school.
East Harlem Scholars Academy is housed in the Jackie Robinson Educational Complex, In its first year, it shared the fourth floor with a middle school JHS 13 Jackie Robinson and some maneuvering was required to keep younger kids separated from the older (and sometimes loud or profane) junior high students.
The school is raising funds to build a permanent home on Second Avenue and 105th Street, next door to the offices of East Harlem Tutorial Program, the nonprofit foundation devoted to K-12 after-school tutoring that oversees the charter school.
In its current home, students enjoy bright, sunny classrooms equipped with computerized projector boards. Each class has two full-time teachers. Additional faculty include full-time specialists for music, gym, Spanish, reading and English fluency. The day begins with a healthy breakfast in the classroom (parents are allowed to attend), after which a highly structured daily schedule often breaks classes into small groups for more individualized attention. Students wear uniforms — typically a royal blue polo shirt, black shoes and tan pants or skirt.
Student behavior is monitored using color-coded sticks that range from red (bad) to blue (good). “When the kids go home, the first question the parents will ask is, ‘What color are you on?’ ” Sao Roque said. When we visited on a scorching day near the end of its first year, the kindergartners and 1st-graders appeared polite, attentive and interested in their studies. Evidence of solid progress in the early grades included posted examples of student work and eager attention to spelling worksheets. Parents are given the cell phone numbers of all faculty, who must be available until 8 p.m. and are required to return calls within 24 hours.
Special education: Two teachers in each class allows faculty to spend more time with students with special needs. Additionally, the school has specialists in speech and occupational therapy, as well as a social worker.
English language learners: In 2012, about 15 percent of students were not fluent in English. ELL students get regular language instruction from support staff, often inside their classroom at times when students break up into small groups.
Admissions: Students are chosen by lottery, usually conducted in late March or April. Open houses are held in February and March. Siblings of enrolled students are guaranteed admission. Preference is given to students living in East Harlem. In its first lottery, the school has 400 applications for 54 seats. (Skip Card, May 2012)
At a glance
Number of Students 225
Average Daily Attendance NA
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?33% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?21% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?71% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?86% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?NA 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?92% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?96% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school does not offer self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer SETSS.
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?