Our history and growth
Success Academy was born out of a dual mission: to build world-class public schools that empower children from all backgrounds to succeed and to serve as a national model for education reform.
Our first school, Success Academy Harlem 1, opened in 2006, serving 165 kindergartners and first graders. Today we operate 49 schools across four boroughs, serving 20,000 scholars, and we are expanding even further for the upcoming school year.
Our school design
At Success Academy, we believe every year of a child’s education is critical. That’s why we fine-tune each of the 13 years your child will be at SA. Each grade’s learning goals are designed to lead your child on a journey of exploration that builds academic strength and personal confidence. We are reimagining how schooling should be organized and optimized – reverse engineering from college and twelfth grade to ensure every moment of these 13 years builds scholars’ readiness and appetite to compete on the world stage.
How do Success Academy’s academic outcomes compare to district schools?
Success Academy’s school design leads to well-rounded scholars and outcomes that far exceed that of New York City district schools. In the 2022 New York State Exams, 82.7% of Success Academy scholars passed Math, compared to 37.9% of district students, and 76.4% Success Academy scholars passed ELA, compared to 49% of district students. Our middle schoolers prepare for and pass four Regents exams before entering high school, and once in high school, they have access to Advanced Placement courses as well as dual enrollment programs with Columbia and Hunter. Among our first five graduating classes, 100% have been accepted to college.
Does it cost anything to attend a Success Academy school?
No. We are a free public charter school! Success Academy also provides all children with necessary school supplies such as Chromebooks, software, pencils, and notebooks, as well as trips to museums and performances. Lunch and snacks are provided free of charge for all scholars, except on early dismissal days. Scholars who arrive at school early will also receive free breakfast every day.
What grades do you offer?
Why do I have to apply?
Success Academy is one of many NYC public schools that require an application. By submitting an application, you give us critical information that helps make the lottery process as smooth as possible. It’s easy and takes five minutes!
Submitting your Success Academy application is the first step in helping your child(ren) receive an exceptional education. Your application dashboard is the best way to get up-to-date answers about the enrollment process.
What age do you have to be to start kindergarten?
A child must be 5 years old by December 31 the year they begin kindergarten.
Do you work with students that have IEPs?
Success Academy is committed to serving all children with IEPs. We offer an array of special education services and programs at our schools. We also work with the NYC Department of Education and external agencies to ensure speech, occupational, and physical therapists are available for our scholars with related service needs. If you have more specific concerns regarding your child’s individual requirements or IEP, please contact our Family Care Team at 646-472-1911, and a specialist will follow up with you to further discuss.
How do Success Academy’s program offerings compare to New York City Gifted and Talented (G&T) programs?
Success Academy offers scholars an exceptional education, with academic and extracurricular programs that surpass many gifted & talented (G&T) programs offered by the New York City Department of Education. Our scholars engage in an accelerated program that has kindergartners programming Bee-Bots and first graders taking on physics concepts. In math, our scholars begin working with three-digit numbers at an age when their district-school peers are still learning to add and subtract single digits. In English, our first and second graders learn to identify core themes in literature and understand characters’ motivations. We believe that art, music, dance, and sports are essential to elementary education and beyond.
Unlike NYC G&T programs, Success Academy guarantees accepted scholars a seat through high school graduation — there’s no need to reapply. Our K-12 program truly puts every child, including gifted and talented children, on the path for success in college and in life!
What extracurriculars, sports, and clubs do you offer?
Success Academy offers after-school clubs and athletics, including Performing and Visual Arts, Chess, and Soccer, two days a week in elementary school. In middle school, scholars are offered Performing and Visual Arts, Competitive Chess and Debate, Soccer, and Basketball, two to five days a week.
Does Success Academy provide transportation for pick up and drop off?
No, we do not offer busing to or from the school. A close partnership between you and your scholar’s school is one of the most critical components of the Success Academy model. An important aspect of this partnership is the daily face-to-face interaction that you or another trusted adult will have with your scholar’s teacher during arrival and pickup. Watch this video to learn more.
Does Success Academy offer after-school programs?
Scholars are offered the choice to join after-school extracurriculars, sports, and clubs that each meet two afternoons a week. We do not offer 5-day/week after-school programs, but we are happy to provide information about local programming. Families are encouraged to contact the programs directly for hours, costs, and offerings and it is their responsibility to arrange for appropriate after-school service if necessary.