Middle School

Grades 6-8

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  • Middle school students are challenged to manage a schedule, multiple environments, and different class structures.

    In middle school, we continue strengthening our sense of community as students develop as leaders and continue to develop the habits outlined in our School Creed. Middle schoolers apply the core academic skills developed through their elementary years as they act out Shakespeare's plays, develop science experiments, work with professional poets, and meet with our nation's leaders in Washington, D.C.

Wassa Bagayoko ‘13, Chapin ‘17, Brown ‘21

Looking back almost a decade since I've left Harlem Academy, it's really gratifying to see elements of the creed be second nature to me now. I often have to reflect to understand these values/habits were taught to me, and I'm grateful for that.

Core Curriculum

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  • History

    Our history curriculum emphasizes (1) using evidence to construct and evaluate historical arguments; (2) using primary and secondary sources to analyze point of view and context and to understand and interpret information; (3) assessing continuity and change over time and over different cultures and geographic regions; and (4) understanding diversity of interpretations through analysis of context, point of view, and frame of reference. Sixth grade studies world history, seventh grade focuses on American history through 1865, and eighth grade focuses on American history from 1865 to the present.
  • Literacy

    In middle school, students focus on character motivation, the impact of actions on self and others, and analyzing their personal beliefs in the context of the story. Students are encouraged to reflect on who they are, what they value, and how their identity is shaped by ethnicity, gender, race, class, ability, and other identifiers. They share their personal stories through discussion and writing poetry, personal narratives, short stories, personal statements, and more. Each grade level has at least one unit focused on poetry and another studying the works of Shakespeare.
  • Mathematics

    Using the Math in Focus Singapore math program, students develop a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts and advanced problem-solving skills. Our program helps students to develop confidence, master techniques, and employ reasoning skills to solve real-world mathematical problems. To differentiate instruction, students who demonstrate strong mathematical foundations cover advanced topics in pullout math lab sessions and will complete a full algebra 1 curriculum. Students also use the online personalized learning tool, IXL, to support their learning in the classroom and at home.
  • Science

    Our science program was designed to (1) build the skills students need as they progress in the sciences, (2) offer rigorous and engaging academic content for adolescents, and (3) make connections between scientific concepts and future career paths. Students hone the skills of scientists through scientific inquiry, analysis, and validation of experimental information and data, as well as non-fiction reading and writing. The program explores sexuality, healthy living (including substance abuse and violence prevention), and peer relationships. The seventh grade human biology course and eighth grade applied science course were developed at Harlem Academy and include extensive collaboration with professional scientists.
  • Technology

    Each middle school student has a laptop for which they take responsibility. Students often use their laptops as a primary tool for writing, homework, and research, and they regularly incorporate slideshows, spreadsheets, and other applications into their work. Students also have opportunities to explore technology-related interests during elective periods.

Co-Curricular Programs

List of 5 items.

  • Advisory

    In middle school, advisory is a more flexible growth block, offering time to take initiative in a variety of ways that support learning, wellness, and contribution to community. Students use this time to set and monitor goals through self-reflection and in collaboration with advisors during weekly individual check-in meetings. Class meetings are called whenever events within or beyond or school walls present a need or whenever the class has a goal they want to work on as a group. We also use these blocks to prepare for special events, including our three-day outdoor adventure trip and a special day where each advisory group plans their own field trip to explore New York City. 
  • Extended Day

    Students are welcome on our campus from 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the morning, middle school students have breakfast in the cafe before starting class and are welcome to use the play yard. At the end of each day, students have an elective block, where they can pursue arts, athletics, and other activities, and then an optional study hall block, which provides a quiet time for students to complete their homework. During this time, some students work with a mentor (generally an adult volunteer or recent alumnus) on a weekly basis for academic extension activities.
  • Electives

    Electives offer middle schoolers an opportunity to take initiative and pursue their individualized interests and goals, with advisors supporting them in making choices that support growth,  excellence, and wellness. Electives are held four times per week, and generally include the following options. 
  • Wellness

    Harlem Academy is committed to supporting students’ holistic wellbeing. Athletics electives are offered every trimester, and free play (held daily) is a chance to play soccer, basketball, four square, or other games in the schoolyard. Breakfast, lunch, and snack are offered daily with a focus on lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • High School Placement

    Our goal is to ensure that every student is positioned for continued growth with a placement at a secondary school that will challenge and support them toward the full realization of their potential. The right school will push students with high expectations, provide new opportunities for explanation and learning, and open a door to college.

Learn More

View our primary school and elementary school programs

Visit the admissions page
See our secondary school and college enrollment 
Read the Harlem Academy Journal for a window into the program
Harlem Academy
655 St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY, 10030

P (212) 348-2600
F (212) 348-3500

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Harlem Academy is an independent school (grades K-8) that 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.