Getting students back on track in Harlem

November 4, 2011 3:13:29 PM PDT
Students pay attention at the Harlem Prep charter school.

Until this school year, in these same classrooms, learning was not so easy in what used to be the Harlem Day charter school".

The name has been changed, and the school is now led by the successful Democracy Prep charter schools, which now operates four charters in Harlem.

Seventy percent of the 273 students were enrolled at Harlem Day.

After the approvals were in order and the Democracy Prep administrators came in to this building and tested the students that were here, it was determined that 60 per cent of the Harlem Day students needed to repeat a grade.

Scholars, as all the students are called, read at least 180 minutes a day.

"The heart of the message to our families was that this was going to be hard and different, and that we expected all of their kids to go to college," Katie Duffy, interim executive director, said.

The school day and the school year are much longer.

"This is an opportunity to show that it's not the scholars that were failing here. It's the school that was failing here, and that if we change the right factors, we can actually get every single scholar who was failing in the former school to be a success in the new school," Seth Andrew said.