Harlem Prep Charter School

240 EAST 123 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10035 Map
Phone: (212) 876-9953
Admissions: Lottery/District 4 priority
unzoned
charter
Principal: Tameka Royal/Kimberly Dacres
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: 0K thru 07

What's special:

A structured learning environment

The downside:

Could be more of an emphasis on recess and afterschool activities

Our review

Harlem Prep Charter School joined the Democracy Prep network in August 2011 when Democracy Prep took over for the low-performing Harlem Day Charter School, which was being closed by its authorizing agent, the State University of New York, because of low test scores and failing performance. After Harlem Day was closed, the school reopened with most of the same students, but with a new name, board, and mostly new teachers.

Harlem Prep currently serves students in grades K-6, and next year it will add a seventh grade. The middle school is located at 410 East 100th Street.

According to the Department of Education progress reports for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, a year after the school joined the Democracy Prep network, it improved its grade from a D to an A, drastically improving the students’ English and math proficiency.

To turn around the school’s performance, Democracy Prep instituted various changes characteristic of the network. It lengthened the school day and school year, providing students with more than two hours of English, one hour of math, and one hour of social studies and science every day. According to DNAinfo, after performing student assessments, Democracy Prep decided to require more than half the students to repeat a grade because they lacked the basic skills to advance.

Harlem Prep now employs Democracy Prep’s strict code of conduct based on the school’s DREAM Values (Discipline, Respect, Enthusiasm, Accountability, and Maturity). Students are held to high standards, and good behavior is strictly enforced. Students wear uniforms and pass through the hallways in straight, silent lines. While the culture of discipline and structure appears to be contributing to the school’s turnaround, some students and their families worry about a lack of recess and afterschool activities, according to DNAinfo.

Harlem Prep prepares students to continue onto middle schools in the Democracy Prep network.

Admission: By lottery. Preference is given to children in District 4. Check the school's website for more information. (Pauline Zaldonis, Internet research, December 2012)

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