Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Harlem Academy's guiding principles are a written articulation of the values that have helped the school to achieve its strong results to date and will help us to become even stronger going forward. These principles are posted throughout the school and infused into every aspect of our work.

Mission Driven:  Harlem Academy drives equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world.  We admit students whose potential might otherwise go unrealized and provide the differentiated challenge it takes to cultivate transformational growth.  Our mission guides all key decisions – in daily work, problem solving, and strategic planning. 

Accountable: We set challenging and measurable goals for our students, our school, and ourselves; we assess progress, and we own the results.  We live the school pillars and creed knowing that we create a powerful lever for change when we commit to working with common purpose.

Reflective and Growing: We perpetually engage with questions that move us forward:  Why am I doing this?  How can I harness my strengths?  What can I improve?  What can I learn from the people around me?  How am I setting an example and helping others?  How are my biases impacting my effectiveness?   How are we celebrating and sharing our successes?

Purpose Not Power:  We build genuine relationships among students, families, and colleagues. We believe each individual deserves agency, and we leave space for independent thinking, differentiated practice, and self-correction.  We are warm but demanding, consistently using least invasive interventions, assigning logical consequences, and connecting back to long-term goals.

Committed to Equity and Inclusion: We recognize and honor each individual’s personal and social identity. We model, teach, and offer experiences that help students develop empathy, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to thrive in a diverse society.  We value the hard work of anti-racism and all aspects of creating a truly inclusive community, acknowledging that it starts with ourselves and extends to each aspect of our program and school community.

Building for the Long Game: We embrace the Aristotelian ethic, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” We develop skills for growth, achievement, contribution, and wellness, providing enough developmentally appropriate and meaningful “at bats” across multiple grades to foster transferable and lifelong habits.