The Mentoring Program East Harlem began in 1958 as a children’s reading group, and over the years, it grew into a multi-site after school plan for public school students, but also into a network of charter schools focused on significantly increase the college graduation rate in those Manhattan neighborhoods.
Today East Harlem Scholars Academies (EHSA) offers studies from Pre-K through high school. According to its directors, its philosophy is based on a “inclusive and student-centered education.
“We know that each student has amazing talents, which we seek to cultivate every day. Our work is based on our knowledge that historical systems of oppression, including racismhave profoundly affected our communities in East Harlem and the South Bronx,” he said. Pavan Vangipuram, spokesperson for this institution.
The neighborhoods that are in the catchment area of this charter school face several challenges, including low income, high unemployment, and lack of access to health care.
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“One of our great goals, in addition to quality education, is to ensure that our students, their parents and our communities have access to the nutrition, safety and an environment where through learning they can thrive”, highlighted Vangipuram.
The effort of the founders of this charter school, with a tradition of several decades, is that students don’t have to move from their neighborhoodsto have access to an education that promotes their desire to excel.
East Harlem remains one of the neighborhoods of greater poverty in New York City, where according to some projections the 33% of residents did not complete high school.
In addition, the public housing complexes they account for more than a third of the apartments for rent in this Upper Manhattan town.
Given the educational demand for options that would allow closing social gaps, in 2011 it opened its doors East Harlem Scholars Academy Charter School, a K-8 school that started with 500 students, which expanded to serve a second cohort of 500 students in 2012. And since then, it has not stopped growing.
Now, they are building a state-of-the-art high school that will become home to hundreds of students, including a new 70,000 square feetwith a gym, a full-size auditorium, laboratories, art and music rooms as well as spaces for events open to the community.
“We are expanding our headquarters to include a new high school, which is currently being built. Currently, our high school students and staff are split between two campuses,” EHSA sources noted.
This scheme causes a great challenge for academic offers, since they have had to duplicate multiple staff positions to offer certain courses at each site.
“Moving forward, we want to give our high school students the typical high school experiences: participating in the same classes, making friends in every class, and participate in extracurricular activities between grades,” Vangipuram said.
Priority: School District 4
A charter or autonomous school is an educational center approved by the State of New York and managed by an organization, in this case, the East Harlem Mentoring Program.
They are tuition-free institutions and students cannot be denied admission for reasons of language, disability, academic skills, or other special needs.
Most of these campuses require students to submit a brief application for admission. However, if more students apply than the school can accept, by law, the school must hold a lottery.
The draw is completely random, which means that every student who submits an application has an equal chance of being admitted.
It is worth noting that legally, according to the philosophy of each center, some students may receive preference.
“Our school gives priority to students who reside in Community School District 4 (East Harlem), as well as English language learners,” it highlights on its EHSA web portal.
- 40 primary and secondary schools (including 12 charter schools) serving 16,500 students has East Harlem. This neighborhood has the fourth highest number of charter schools of any community district in New York City, according to a State Comptroller report.
- 1,400 students receive classes Pre-K through 10th grade at EHSA’s two elementary, two middle, and high schools.
How to enter?
If you need information about the admission processes in this educational center, consult: https://www.eastharlemscholars.org/apply-today