The Success Academy Charter School is creating a buzz in the world of education. Founded by Eva Moskowitz in 2006, the school is providing a new look at how children learn best. Serving students in low income neighborhoods in New York, the Success Academy partners with educational therapists and counselors to ensure the best possible experience for each child.
The Success Academy incorporates a philosophy that goes beyond teaching the core subjects or following a cookie cutter curriculum. With eighty minutes per day spent in a typical classroom setting, the rest of the day is used for interactive, tactile learning experiences. At the Success Academy, students learn about architecture not from books, but by “playing” with blocks where kindergartners design and build their own projects. By laying down a foundation in science, math and literacy earlier than in a regular school program, students become more confident in their own abilities.
The requirements to become a teacher at the Success Academy are a large part of why the program is working. Teachers must complete a four-week training course called T-School, where they are taught the methodology behind what they will be teaching. Eva Moskowitz feels it is important that her staff understand and support the school’s love of learning. Parents are required to participate in their child’s learning experience by actively engaging with the school and teachers. The Success Academy has an open communication policy between parents and teachers, and are encouraged to spend time with their child in the class room.
The test results at Success Academy prove that the school’s methods are working. State test scores have been in the top percentiles for New York for the past eight years. By subject, scores for math were in the top one percent, for English in the top two percent and for science in the top five percent. This is a direct reflection of the school’s approach to incorporating targeted learning in common core subject matter. The school continues to look for opportunities to add more locations in support of their educational mission to provide quality education.