When Success Academy was founded over 11 years ago, one of the things the fledgling charter school network wanted to do was avoid the typical public school problems. After all, why run charter schools that are plagued by low attendance, a high drop out rate, violence in the classroom and a drug problem?
In the time since, not only has Success Academy avoided the typical public school problems most New York schools seem to have, it has also made a name for itself as the organization that runs some of the best schools in the state.
How has it done that? With a mixture of strict discipline and the insistence that learning is fun.
How has discipline solved public school problems? — Success Academy runs their schools with an emphasis on strict discipline.
What that means is lateness is not tolerated, a strict dress code is in effect at all times, and students are expected to work hard, and be polite. Should they decide they do not want to adhere to the rules, there are severe consequences.
Students should feel like learning is fun — While going to a school with such strict rules may seem terrible to some, Success Academy students do not seem to mind it. That is mainly because, while there may be strict rules in place, being in the classroom and learning is actually fun.
Success Academy’s teachers teach for just over an hour a day, so students do not have time to get bored.
After the formal instruction, students at all levels are then put into groups and projects are worked on with their classmates. These projects teach critical thinking skills, teach problem solving and have students learning skills that will be beneficial for them throughout their lives.
While English, math and science are the subjects that are stressed, each one is taught in an atmosphere of fun, and the projects the students work on are innovative and interesting.
With this mixture of expected behaviors and an insistence on learning in a fun environment, Success Academy is able to help create some of the best students in New York state both test score-wise and in their ambitions.