Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School
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Charter school with a focus on social justice
New, untested high school
Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School offers a year-round academic program with a focus on social justice. Students address a yearly theme related to how social injustice affects communities in general, culminating in a big research project in their own neighborhood senior year.
Located above El Museo del Barrio, the school sits in an area of vast income disparity, making the surrounding community ripe for study. It is a short walk to Washington Carver Houses, a low-income housing project, and to wealthy mansions and museums on the Upper East Side.
The school is still a work in progress. Founded in 2016 with 6th and 7th grades, it will add a grade each year until it reaches full capacity as a 6 to 12 school serving 600 students. School surveys show the atmosphere is unsettled; some teachers have concerns about discipline and order. Only roughly half the teachers say the principal is an effective manager.
On the positive side, students with disabilities, who make up almost one-fourth of the school population, perform at slightly above the citywide average in reading. The school offers lunchtime mixed-grade advisory groups to provide students with extra support.
The school shares a spacious building with Boys & Girls Harbor, a longstanding nonprofit organization that runs a pre-kindergarten program, afterschool classes and a performing arts conservatory. Students enjoy a large gymnasium, swimming pool, dance room and a rooftop playground.
The school year runs from August through June. School hours are from 7:30 am to 3:30, with the exception of Friday when dismissal is at noon.
The school is part of the small but growing Capital Prep Charter Network, based in Connecticut, founded by educator and author Dr. Steve Perry. The network boasts a 100 percent graduation and college acceptance rate among its mostly low-income, minority students since its founding in 2006. But it is too soon to say how Capital Prep Harlem will fare long-term.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery with priority to District 4. All applications are due by April 1. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, January 2019)