Harlem Academy is open from 7:15 a.m. until 6 p.m. Students who arrive early are welcome to have a full breakfast in our cafe, use the play yard, or read quietly. At the end of the day, students have time to complete their homework, participate in our mentoring program, and pursue activities of interest during a choice block for primary and elementary students and an electives block for middle schoolers.
For primary and elementary students, we have an optional two-hour block at the end of each day, beginning with an hour of quiet time to focus on completing homework and personal learning. Even in the youngest grades, we encourage independent completion of homework. However, teachers are available to answer questions, give additional practice work, guide students in choosing independent reading books, and help students organize their desks. After that, students can end the day with an hour of choice time, selecting from a variety of enrichment activities, such as block building, coding, mancala, chess, and more.
Middle school students use the first hour to pursue electives and then have an optional hour for study hall.
During this time, some students work with a mentor (either an older student or adult volunteer) on a weekly basis. Mentors are assigned based on teacher recommendations and parent interest. They don’t focus on homework or remediation but can be terrific in offering academic extension activities and additional engagement around independent reading.