East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School
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Close ties with families; Spanish and musicals
Too soon to say how middle school will do
Founded in 2011, East Harlem Scholars Academy combines an extra-long school dayand a longer school yearwith structured routines and a warm welcome to parents, who are invited to eat breakfast in their childs classroom each day and join monthly community circles. Many children score above average on state exams, and parents are pleased with the extras. Kids sing and dance in two musicals a year, and take music, Spanish, art and movement classes.
The day begins with a healthy breakfast in the classroom, after which children are often divided into small groups for more individualized attention. Standardized test scores are well above the citywide average in math and inching up from the high average range in English language arts, according to school data. Student behavior is monitored using color-coded sticks that range from red (bad) to blue (good). Parents may be in touch with faculty via cell phone anytime.
Elementary school principal Desree Cabrall-Njenga grew up in the Bronx and received a degree in Journalism and media studies prior to her career in education. Principal Maureen Yusuf-Morales founded the middle school in 2016 starting with 5th grade. She is from Bangladesh and was raised in Queens, according to a bio on the school website. A graduate of Smith College and New York University, she has expertise in diversity and anti-bias education.
The school is in a building on Second Avenue and 105th Street, next door to the offices of East Harlem Tutorial Program,the nonprofit foundation devoted to K-12 after-school tutoring that oversees the charter school. The high school will open in 2018. [photo of middle school from school website]
ADMISSIONS: Students are chosen by lottery, usually conducted in April. Siblings of enrolled students are guaranteed admission. Preference is given to students living in East Harlem. (Lydie Raschka, school data, 2017)