Success Academy Williamsburg Charter School
BROOKLYN NY 11211 Map
Success Academy Williamsburg Charter School
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Part of the growing Success charter network, Success Academy Williamsburg opened on the top floor of JHS 50 in fall 2012 with kindergartners and first graders and plans to add a grade every year until it serves children in kindergarten through 8th grade. Success Williamsburg hums with student activity and bears all the hallmarks of the Success model.
The space is bright and welcoming, and students wear the network's orange, blue and white uniform, with ties mandatory for all boys after kindergarten. Success' fund-raising guarantees a rich array of materials, from many books and ample art supplies to a designated block room for kindergarten and 1st graders.The Williamsburg school marked one of Success' first attempts to branch out into a middle class neighborhood, and its creation sparked controversy. Some parents feared the school would weaken existing district schools, and others charged the school was specifically marketed to white or affluent residents.
Although demographic data is not yet available, the school appears to have a mix of students .Lessons are fast paced, challenging and varied but also highly scripted with students going through certain routines--breaking up into pairs to discuss the work and presenting their ideas in complete sentences, such as "my hypothesis is…."
Success schools use their own curriculum for reading and writing. Children explore a variety of genres and read as a whole class, in small groups geared to their reading level, and individually, with much discussion of books and extensive writing. The school's math curriculum encourages students to find several ways to solve the same problem -- what may seems like a subtraction problem to some students, for example, is a division problem for others.
All students have science every day with classes taught by a special science teacher. On the day of our visit a 1st grade aerodynamics class dropped paper helicopters of different sizes to try to determine what factors would slow or speed their descent. "The big goal is to get kids questioning the world around them and developing tools to answer those questions on their own," says Stacy Apatov, principal of Success Academy Harlem 5, who was in charge of developing the network's science curriculum.
Technology is also a mainstay with kindergartners programming robotic bees to navigate a simple grid. Art and yoga each are taught on alternate days, and the school plans to add music. Social studies is addressed in special units, such as a recent one on bread. Students take two field trips a month -- some related to their studies and others, like one to the Big Apple Circus, for fun "We never want to forget we're working with five and six years olds," principal Abigail Johnson says.
The school day goes from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. -- but a parent we spoke with said this is not a problem since the rich curriculum and late dismissal time relieve her of having to take her child to afterschool programs. The children move around a lot, she said, so "the day doesn't seem that long." Her kindergartner has 20 to 30 minutes of homework a night, including reading.
Success as a whole is known for its strict discipline, and the classes we saw all were orderly and the children well behaved. The school has a discipline code with children rated green, yellow or red for the day's behavior, but Johnson said that rather than punish students, the school prefers to let them know what is expected of them and reward them for good behavior. Several parents held a press conference to complain that their children were suspended repeatedly for what the parents considered minor offenses. Success officials acknowledge they do suspend students for what it considers violent, dangerous or unsafe behavior but deny they to try to "push out" difficult children.
Special education: The school offers some services but does not have team teaching or self contained classes for students with disabilities.
Admission: Lottery with preference to students in District 14. (Gail Robinson, March 2013)
At a glance
Number of Students 432
Average Daily Attendance NA
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?97% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?95% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA 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?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school NULL self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school NULL team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 17% 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?