Success Academy to Open 11 High Schools in Next Decade

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The Success Academy charter school network has announced plans to create a network of high schools throughout four New York city boroughs, and will be recruiting college counselors for the first time.

The expansion of the network to include high school grades will make this one of the first New York City charter chains to test the premise that students who attend charter high schools are more likely to attend college than their traditional school peers.

Local charter leaders, including Success Academy C.E.O. Eva Moskowitz, routinely refer to their schools as college preparatory programs for poor and minority students.

However, there is not yet much proof that a New York City charter school education will in fact increase a student’s chances of attending and completing college due to the low number of charter schools present in New York City in addition to a lack of college admissions data, writes Eliza Shapiro for Capital New York.

The Success Academy outlined its goals for expansion of its high school program in a seven-page job listing distributed by Wickenden Associates.  The listing stated that the network is “prepared to enroll” 7,500 students at 11 new high schools over the next 10 years.  Moskowitz had said recently she hoped to open 100 schools in that time frame.

Success plans to have 46 schools and around 3,600 students by 2016.  The network’s newest addition, the Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts, will open this fall for students in grades eight and nine.

Satellite high schools will be opened beginning in 2017, in addition to the 11 new high schools opening by the 2025-26 school year.

Each new school will spend its inaugural year within an already opened Success school, then moving to its own “campus,” starting with about 300 students in ninth and tenth grades in each school.

The network is also planning on hiring a “high school director of academic achievement and college guidance” in order to help ensure that its students are accepted to college.

The job listing states that the new high schools will prepare students for college “in ways that even New York City’s most elite public and private high schools cannot.”

“Without the need for remediation, our high school teachers concentrate exclusively on fully preparing students for college,” a description of the high school on Success’ website reads.

The job listing goes on to say that students at the charter schools will begin to visit colleges in kindergarten.  Every classroom in the network’s elementary schools are named for different colleges, with teachers encouraged to decorate their rooms with items from the college they attended.

The new high schools will feature tiles painted in orange with the names of the top colleges across the nation.  The tiles will then be painted blue as students are accepted to those schools.  Plans include for freshman, sophomores and juniors to be taken on college tours in New York and the Eastern United States.

“The goal is for every scholar [Success' parlance for 'student'] to attend, and to graduate from, a high quality four-year college,” the listing reads. “For the great majority of scholars, they will be the first in their family to attend college.”