DREAM Charter High School
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Innovative curriculum; free after-school and summer programs
Too soon to tell
DREAM Charter opened its high school in September 2017, building on its model of offering solid academics and a supportive environment to East Harlem students. The school’s strong ties to the well-regarded DREAM organization (formerly known as Harlem RBI) allow for after-school and summer activities available to all students
Jared R. Francis, the founding principal for the high school, grew up in East Harlem. He was assistant principal at Fahari Academy Charter School and cofounder of Lyons Community School in Brooklyn, where he adopted a non-punitive approach to discipline known as restorative justice.
The high school curriculum is innovative. It includes two 9th grade math classes, one in problem solving and one in algebra. There are also two 9th grade English classes including a writing seminar and a literature class. Students read contemporary American fiction such as Kite Runner and The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Woo and non-fiction such as Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Classes run 90 minutes on alternating days, which gives teachers more time to delve deeply into lessons and projects. All students are given a laptop computer to use during the day at school.
Students are assigned to an advisory group that meets daily in the morning. Starting in 10th grade, students are assigned to a college counselor.
The high school is housed in a separate location, roughly 15 blocks away from the main DREAM Charter building, which serves grades k to 8.
There are a range of after-school activities and sports such as debate, student life committee, basketball and soccer. The DREAM organization also organizes summer learning opportunities and helps students get paid summer jobs.
ADMISSIONS: By lottery with priority to District 4 residents. The school also reserves seats for students living in public housing. (Laura Zingmond, web reports, February 2018; photo from school's website)