Community meetings are one of our most treasured traditions. Held weekly for each division, they are anchored by a message that examines an aspect of the School Creed, emphasizing the habits most critical to students’ success. Our meetings also include commendations, where teachers share stories that recognize a student’s demonstrated growth or other action that lived up to our pillars and creed.
Harlem Academy offers weekly instruction with a chess coach and time for independent play for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. With chess woven into the curriculum, students quickly move from mastering the basic rules of the game to learning complex strategies. For students who maintain interest, an after-school chess club and team are open to all grades, with opportunities for weekend enrichment as well as local and state-wide tournament play.
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Harlem Academy students study a different Shakespeare play every year in middle school using a performance-driven curriculum. Students are inspired to engage deeply because they are motivated as actors to read closely and grasp the underlying relationships between characters.
This long-standing partnership between Harlem Academy and the Poetry Society of America brings professional poets of color into sixth and eighth grade classrooms to explore the craft of poetry and guide students through the writing and revision process. As a culmination of the partnership, students take the stage to recite their original pieces before an audience of family and friends.
Our arts program guides students in exploring a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, theater, music, and dance. Led by professional teaching artists from HSA, the program takes place twice per week for primary and elementary students, with middle schoolers continuing to pursue areas of interest through electives. Students experience a range of engaging courses, including drumming, improvisational acting, and comic book art. Throughout the program, students develop foundational skills, discover new interests, and experience the joy of creating art.
The eighth grade year serves as a culmination of our students' journey in science. They connect their knowledge of human biology to the appropriate response to emergency situations in an emergency medicine unit; conduct scientific research and write a formal research paper; connect physics concepts to daily applications during a simple machines unit; and study food science.
Held twice during the spring of eighth grade, High School Week offers an introduction to life at the next stop in students’ educational journey. This includes more independence, an increased workload, new privileges, and higher expectations. Along the way, students are asked to reflect: What has been challenging? Where have they struggled? What strategies have helped? It is a chance for students to learn where they may struggle, with time to establish goals and develop strategies to overcome those challenges.
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Beyond Our Campus
We take advantage of opportunities in our neighborhood, city, and the broader world to extend classroom learning and broaden horizons. Signature opportunities include:
- A three-day middle school trip to the Princeton-Blairstown Center for outdoor adventure challenges and team building.
- A student-planned field trip that explores New York City’s five boroughs and diverse cultures.
- A three-day leadership trip to Washington, D.C. in the spring prior to graduation.
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.