Harlem Prep Charter Elementary School
Manhattan NY 10035
A structured learning environment
Could be more of an emphasis on recess and afterschool activities
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 schools 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 Preps strict code of conduct based on the schools 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 schools 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)