Celebrating Our First Day of School

Celebrating Our First Day of School

Monday, September 13, 2021

Dear Friends, 

What a terrific first day of school! A feeling of celebration was in the air, and for good reason – we were all back together again. Today was incredibly important for Harlem Academy. It represented the determination our community has shown in navigating this difficult past year – continuously focusing on our mission to drive equity of opportunity no matter the challenge.  

The rigor of our program and depth of support for students and families were as strong as ever during months of distance learning – and it continues now. Seeing everyone together at school today, eager and excited to start the new year in person, underscores our resilience and the ways in which we live our School Creed, especially the lines I care for my community and I don’t give up. 

The jubilation of bringing our full community back for in-person learning was clear the moment students first walked through the door. From first grade introductions to eighth graders taking their places as leaders, students eagerly welcomed each other and their teachers and then jumped into the day’s work. 

Within hours, classroom texts had been distributed – a wonderfully diverse collection of books: “The Hundred Dresses,” “Wonder,” “Behind You,” "Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali,” and “Seedfolks,” to name a few. Other classes started with graphing, word problems, algebraic equations, and our traditional eighth grade science unit in emergency medicine. It was wonderful to see (and hear!) so much excitement, joy, and intellectual engagement! Check out photos of the day.

Of course, the safety of our students and our entire community is at the forefront as we begin this new school year. For details about our COVID-19 guidelines, please click here. 

As excited as we are to finally be back together, it’s going to be even better when we have our next transition later this fall to the new campus at 655 St. Nicholas Avenue. Anticipation is high as progress continues at a steady pace. Get the latest updates here. 

With gratitude,
Vinny Dotoli
Head of School
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