Harlem Academy

Vincent Dotoli, Head of School:

What We Stand For:

Harlem Academy is an independent school that offers merit-based, need-blind admissions. Working in partnership with families, Harlem Academy’s goal is to prepare each student to enter and thrive at a top secondary school while setting a course for lifelong learning and contribution to our world.

Children growing up in Harlem face formidable barriers to academic success, and even students with great promise are lost amid a community marked by poverty, failing schools, broken families, and crime. Harlem Academy breaks this cycle by setting high expectations for its students, working in close partnership with families, and providing the tools students need to reach their true potential.

Effective Practices:

  • 1. Family partnership. Harlem Academy welcomes families as a critical decision-making constituency in the life and growth of the school. Every family volunteers each month, and family steering committees play a significant, regular role in hiring, admissions, family outreach, and development.
  • 2. Comprehensive extended-day model. Harlem Academy offers programming from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Extended hours give students ample time to focus on the school’s extensive goals for learning and overall development while supporting the needs of working parents.
  • 3. Rigorous curriculum. Harlem Academy offers a challenging curriculum focused on English, math, science, social studies, and philosophy. Additional time is reserved for etymology, Spanish, and supplemental learning activities.
  • 4. Model for organizational growth. Harlem Academy has grown by one grade level per year since 2004, beginning with first grade. To ensure continuous improvement as the school expands, Harlem Academy takes a cyclical, data-driven approach to program development, incorporating curriculum design in the spring and summer, implementation beginning each September, ongoing monitoring and evaluation, and curriculum revision to improve the program every year.

Recent Accomplishments:

  • 1. Harlem Academy provides a unique environment where exceptional academic performance is the norm.
  • • 95% of Harlem Academy students scored above the national median on the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) CTP4 in May 2010. 68% of students achieved at or above the 75th percentile and 19% achieved at or above the 95th percentile nationally.
    • Harlem Academy’s median student tested at the 83rd percentile nationally.
  • 2. The New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) Board of Trustees approved Harlem Academy for provisional membership.