The first Success Academy was commissioned in 2006, and since then, a great difference can be clearly seen in students. We can confidently state that kids who attend these schools generally perform better than their counterparts in other schools. In 2014, proficiency of New York kids was at 29 percent and 35 percent in English and Math respectively. For those in Success Academies, the rates were at an impressive 64 and 94 percent in English and Math, respectively.
This can also be reiterated by the fact that Success Academy students in the poor suburbs outperformed those in the wealthy suburbs. So what brings out this difference in student proficiency? First of all, these schools implement a system where students wear school uniforms. This instills discipline and helps them focus on their academics. A school day in any Success Academy is longer than usual coupled by a longer academic year. This increases the teaching time by over one-third of the time that other schools teach.
Strong foundations are built from kindergarten level. The focus is on building blocks for kids to interact with rather than books opening up their minds to the world around them. Books are just there for direction. The kid then develops with the understanding that everything has a purpose. Such an understanding positively influences all aspects of life including education in the future.
At middle school level, Success Academy employ a rigorous curriculum forged from internationally bench-marked college-ready standards. It focuses on critical thinking, deep learning, excellent teaching techniques and most importantly inquiry-based learning. At high school level, the objective is to prepare the students for college. This is achieved by employing student-based learning spearheaded by inquiry-based learning. The academies also offer guiding scholars to guide the students through college application. This enables them to find a college that is the right fit for them.
Teachers in Success Academy also spend a lot of time on parental engagement through various platforms. In this way, parents can keep up with their children’s academic progress and contribute to improving aspects on the same. On the seemingly tight academic schedule, co-curricular activities are included to build all rounded scholars in any Success Academy.