Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

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.

Model: We live the school pillars and creed knowing that we create a powerful lever for change when we model the habits we seek to develop in our students and commit to working with common purpose toward the realization of the school’s mission.

Include: We build genuine relationships with students, families, and colleagues, recognizing and honoring the full complexity of the individuals in our community.  We develop the skills our students and graduates need to overcome challenges, contribute to change, and thrive in a diverse society.  We understand the impact of institutional racism and educational inequity and strive to be an anti-racist organization.

Inspire: We incorporate programming that is intellectually engaging, culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate, and experiential.  We foster meaningful connection with our local neighborhoods, the rest of New York City, the natural environment, and the broader world, including a limitless view of future academic and career opportunities for our students.

Engage: We push agency to the students in active, observable ways, leaving space for independent thinking, choice, collaboration, reflection, and self-correction.  In supervision, we are warm but demanding and believe in purpose not power. We use the least invasive interventions, assign logical consequences, and nurture students’ mission-aligned, long-term goals.

Challenge: We believe that growth happens when our students face genuine challenges that are overcome with sustained effort. We understand our differentiated mission to support promising students and perpetually focus on driving achievement to the highest academic levels.

Advance: We identify core skills needed for growth, achievement, contribution, and wellness.  We build those skills with enough meaningful practice across multiple grades for our students to develop transferable and lifelong habits.