Recent Blog Postings

Recent Blog Postings

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2020
Yesterday we celebrated our ninth commencement, and although we couldn’t be together physically, our virtual graduation was filled with boundless joy and pride for our students’ achievements. The bond Harlem Academy eighth graders have built as a class was on display as they shared heartfelt introductions of one another, culminating in a presentation of diplomas to graduates by their families at home.  A highlight of the ceremony was the Lower School Chorus' moving rendition of “Lift Every...
Tags: lower school, middle school, video, growth
Posted on Thursday, June 4, 2020
In cities and towns across this country, people are coming together to demand justice and accountability, even in the face of a pandemic. When each of us stands up and speaks out for Black lives, we demonstrate the love and care we have for one another and our resolve to never stop fighting for justice, equity, and basic humanity. Perhaps no lines from Harlem Academy’s School Creed resonate more in this heartbreaking and critical moment than these two: “I care for my community” and “I don’t...
Tags: creed, lower school, middle school, video
Posted on Thursday, May 7, 2020
Several fourth-graders stood off to the side, anxiously watching as the rest of the lower school walked in and settled down on colored carpet squares placed in rows on the floor. Soon after, they took center stage and began their skit, a reenactment of the book “A Bad Case of Stripes.”   Buoyed by the crowd, the actors hit their stride, driving home the book’s themes of peer pressure and self esteem. “I was nervous at first,” recalls Mariah Savoy, who played the main character. “Afterward,...
Tags: lower school, middle school, creed
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
    Walk through the halls of Harlem Academy and you’ll notice powerful messages displayed on every classroom door. Black and Proud, Beautiful are My People, and Loving Engagement were just a few of the inspiring mantras that students embraced as part of Harlem Academy’s Black History Month Showcase. For four weeks, students in all grades explored the 13 principles of the Black Lives Matter movement and developed projects to highlight them. The result was an exciting all-school showcase...
Tags: middle school, lower school, DEI
Posted on Monday, November 25, 2019
It's here! Take a peek at the latest edition of the Harlem Academy Journal. Check out some of the special things happening at our school – alumni who are making a difference, the social power of literature, the meaning behind one of our most treasured traditions, and much more. Click on the image below to read the full magazine!    < Previous    |    All Blogs    |     Next >​
Tags: alumni, supporters, middle school, lower school
Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019
Producing a magazine takes a lot of work, and Harlem Academy students are up to the task – especially when that magazine acknowledges a major milestone in their lives. Moving Up! is a celebration of our fourth-graders’ transition to fifth grade. It marks their accomplishment while honing critical planning, collaboration, and writing skills that will serve them well in fifth grade and beyond.  Every year, the fourth-grade class spends six weeks creating the magazine from cover to cover, with...
Tags: lower school, middle school, English
Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2017
After teaching at Harlem Academy for four years, Alexis Viele convinced her most esteemed colleague from her former school to come teach the grade above her.  Ms. Viele is the lead teacher for third grade, while Ms. Lee is the lead teacher for fourth-graders. With 11 years of teaching experience, why is Harlem Academy where you want to teach? Viele: The families and the students are a huge piece of why I want to teach here. Our families are so committed to making sure their children get...
Tags: lower school, staff
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2017
Year after year, Harlem Academy students improve their performance on standardized tests. Most notably, scores jump an average of 11 points after a student’s first year at HA. We took a closer look at the second-grade class to see how this growth was accomplished during their first year at Harlem Academy. “Tell me about your favorite book that you’ve read this year,” asks Head of School Vinny Dotoli.  Two students are engaging with him and a visitor to the school.  They are the classroom...
Tags: lower school, school choice
Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016
LaShonda reads a nonfiction book to students.
What inspired you to pursue a career in education? I actually started out as a biology major in college, but then I volunteered at an alternative middle school in Philadelphia. It was amazing to see a school full of children who were illiterate. You’re talking about 18-year-olds in the 5th and 6th grade, and the school was really just a holding cell until they aged out. Who even knew something like that existed? As a volunteer reading teacher, I had to start with practicing kindergarten and...
Tags: lower school, staff
Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
“Chess improves my focus,” says eighth grader Miles. “Also my problem solving and time management.”Even for beginners, chess is more than just a game. It requires critical thinking, composure, and sportsmanship. Studies show that chess strengthens core academic skills.1 ”Chess teaches them to slow down and think before they do something,” says Alexis Viele, third grade teacher. “They consider the consequences before taking action, and have to deal with any mistakes that they make. These are...
Tags: chess, lower school, middle school, electives
Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
lower school student reading
Leveraging curiosity to build nonfiction reading skills and set a foundation for critical thinking Each day, lower school teachers and students spend an hour focused on locating information, summarizing important facts, isolating the main idea, and using text-based evidence to support a conclusion.  Harlem Academy fourth-grader Benjamin loves science fiction. When he discovered in his nonfiction unit that his favorite books are based on real science, he started reading more science books.  “...
Tags: lower school, English
Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Revising sentences and paragraphs helps students develop their own voices.
Lower school creative writing reinforces core skills while cultivating originality and personal voice. Revising sentences and paragraphs helps students develop their own voices. Perched on the “author’s chair,” a fourth grade student finishes reading his poem aloud. He looks up at his classmates sitting on the floor around him who begin to comment. “I liked how detailed your description was,” says one. “It really helped me imagine your feelings.”  Another adds, “I wonder if you could use...
Tags: writing, lower school
Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Ms. Viele leading a daily reading discussion. Students hold up one finger up to add to a peer’s statement and two fingers to change the subject.
Ms. Viele leading a daily reading discussion. Students hold up one finger up to add to a peer’s statement and two fingers to change the subject. How do you teach third graders to think across texts or to use literature to engage each other in the classroom? Harlem Academy’s third grade teacher Alexis Viele uses a method called shared inquiry to hone these skills and habits. During 30 minute reading discussions each morning, students sit together in small groups. They practice discussion...
Tags: reading, lower school, innovative best practices
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Grade-four students smile for the camera after their Greek myth performances.
Practicing public speaking and presentation skills while sharing what has been learned Grade-four students smile for the camera after their Greek myth performances. Greek gods and goddesses fill the room. Zeus has tired of ambrosia and nectar, so he is holding a bake-off to find something he likes better. But we are not at Mount Olympus. We are in Harlem Academy’s common room for the grade-four Celebration of Learning. The students studied Greek mythology, wrote their own myths, and, now,...
Tags: lower school