Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter School

Grades 5-11
Marquee homepage

What’s Special

Students study one theme in depth

The Downside

Test scores a work in progress

Our Review

UPDATE OCTOBER 2015:In the 2014-2015 school year, Inwood Academy expanded to include high school grades, beginning with 9th grade. The school is growing one grade per year until 2017-2018 when it reaches a capacity with 850 students from grades 5-12. Founding Principal Christina Reyes is now executive director and Stacey Woodard is the high school principal in residence. Valerie Hoekstra is principal of the middle school. Inwood Academy is now housed in two different locations, a few blocks apart. The high school is in a building adjacent to Good Shepherd Services at 108 Cooper Street, 212-304-0103; the middle school is in another building at 433 West 204th Street, 646-665-5570, no longer housed in portable buildings behind PS 152, as it was on our last visit.

OCTOBER 2011 REVIEW: A can-do energy permeates Inwood Academy for Leadership, a small, growing charter school located in a long, low portable behind PS 152. Bright blue trim offsets crisp white walls and matches the polo shirts worn by every student. An outdoor space where kids eat on nice days has the ambience of a garden cafe. A knowledgeable, racially diverse staff works hard to engage every student. The school opened with 5thgraders in 2010 and will expand by one grade per year.

Principal Christina Reyes was a middle school teacher at a nearby parochial school, Manhattan Christian Academy. As an after-school tutor for local kids she noticed a lag in their skills and was inspired to offer a different kind of public school choice. She looks for experienced teachers familiar with her student population and cultivates leadership: a skilled communicator became the dean of students; an accomplished math teacher became a part-time math coach.

The staff--all type A personalities, according to Reyes--does pretty well with their limited space. During free periods, specialty teachers work unobtrusively behind dividers that separate them from students. The "art taxi" and the piano are on wheels so they can be pushed from room to room. Class and activity changes are swift. Skilled teachers draw on tricks of the trade, like saying "Thumbs up if you agree!" and calling on students at random to keep them alert.

Concerned about below-average scores on state English exams in the schools first year, Reyes and her staff regrouped. The school uses the Core Knowledgecurriculum based on the work of E.D. Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know.It became apparent, however, that the curriculum was too difficult because it builds grade-by-grade beginning in kindergarten so incoming 5thgraders were at a disadvantage. "We tried to push too far too quickly," Reyes explained. To boost reading skills teachers adopted the 100 Book Challenge by the American Reading Company to get kids reading books according to their abilities.

New teachers will continue to receive three weeks of training in Core Knowledge in the summer and will overlap with experienced teachers who will return for an additional week each year. Core Knowledge themes will be followed. For example, if an English class is reading and writing about the Holocaust, they will also study religions in social studies and depict religious symbols in art.

Teachers still tackle challenging books but at a slower pace. An English teacher read portions of Eli Wiesel's Night out loud to capture the spirit of the book, stopping to define words. "We never want to dumb it down," said Reyes.

Kids are divided into houses of about 60 students each. Half spend 100 minutes in math/science while the other half is in reading/writing and then they switch. A Louis Calder Foundation grant helps fund teacher training, books, globes, maps and other resources. A free afterschool program is available.

Special education: The school offers a range of special education services. To the greatest extent possible, children in self-contained classrooms join those in team-taught (ICT) rooms that have a mix of special and general education students.

Admissions: By lottery. Preference is given to children residing in District 6. Check the school's website for more information. (Lydie Raschka, October 2011; updated 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
801
Asian
0.3%
Black
5.2%
Hispanic
93.1%
White
0.5%
Other
0.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
22%
English language learners
15%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?
18%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
57%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
57%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
29%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
72%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
74%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
79%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
74%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
77%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
22%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
30%
38% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
65%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
58%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
66%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
0%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
78%
87% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

Are students prepared for college?

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for ICT students
1.84
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.02
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.83
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.01
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.05
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.15
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
70%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
88%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
87%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
89%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.

Location

108 Cooper Street
Manhattan NY 10034
Inwood (District 6)
Trains: 1 to 207th St; A to Inwood-207th St
Buses: M100, Bx7, Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx20

Contact

Phone
646-665-5570
Principal
Christina Reyes