Learn about the upcoming opening of Eagle Academy for Young Men in Newark, another all-boys school in the Eagle Academy Foundation network of schools. This network is designed to help minority at-risk boys succeed in school and beyond.
Following on the heels of their success in urban areas like Brooklyn and the Bronx, the Eagle Academy Foundation network is about to expand into Newark this fall. The all-boys public school was designed to help at-risk youth discover academic success that leads to a wealth of life opportunities. The single-sex school
will open up for the 2012-2013 school year and will eventually serve male youth from grades six through 12.
About Eagle Academy Foundation
According to the Eagle Academy Foundation website, the foundation “empowers at-risk inner city young men to become academic achievers, engaged citizens, and responsible men by providing quality education resources and proven effective community-based initiatives to address the shortfalls in public education to effectively educate them.”
Eagle Academy strives to combine a rigorous academic curriculum with instruction in vital social development skills to help young men succeed in school and after. According to the Newark Patch
, these schools were founded in 2004 and currently boast more than one thousand students across their three locations in the heart of New York City. The academy is a partnership between Newark Public schools and a variety of faith-based and community organizations, which provide personalized mentoring to students.
“We see so many young men engaged in negative behavior, walking around with their pants hanging off their behinds,” David Banks, president and chief executive officer of the Eagle Academy Foundation, told the Newark Patch. “This school is where we teach them discipline and respect for themselves and the community. We instill that in them on a daily basis.”
Unique Features of Eagle Academy
Students are not seen with hanging pants at Eagle Academy schools. According to Inside Schools
, “Students must wear smart uniforms
of grey slacks, blue shirts and different colored ties that indicate their school year.” Students have told reporters investigating the school that they are proud of their uniforms, and the clothing helps them feel like they are a part of a brotherhood with their classmates. That brotherhood also holds them accountable for keeping up academically and getting extra help when they need it.
Students attend classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on Saturday mornings. The school also offers additional academic help after school and on weekends. Mentoring opportunities abound, and the school staff works with students to provide necessary support to help them get into college. Recently, 90 percent of graduates of the Eagle Academy in the Bronx went on to enroll in college after high school. Some of them have attended institutions like West Point, Howard and Morehouse College.
The curriculum is indeed rigorous, consisting of challenging coursework like “introduction to law,” AP English and World History. Some students at the New York Eagle Academy schools even take courses through CUNY’s College Now program, heading to college campuses
twice a week to take classes after school. Students coming into the program as high school freshmen are required to take a three-week session titled, “Summer Bridge,” which was created to build a sense of community and begin students on the college path
Mentors are a strong component of Eagle Academy schools, and companies like UPS and News Corp. have come onboard to help students develop life skills in finance and health. Providing positive role models is another important factor that mentoring companies and organizations are responsible for.
“We’re trying to change the trajectory some of them are on,” Myron Williams, UPS senior vice president of U.S. operations, told the Newark Patch.
New School Offers Opportunity to Newark Students
According to the Wall Street Journal
, Eagle Academy Foundation is an expanding network of schools based on an educational model already successful in schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, New York. The Eagle Academy has selected Newark, New Jersey, as its next location, in hopes of reversing the high dropout rate among African-American youths in that area. Currently, the dropout rate for black male students in Newark runs between 50 and 60 percent.
This fall, Eagle Academy in Newark will open to 80 sixth-grade students. Each year, the school will add another single-sex class
until it has grades six through 12. The exact location of this school has not been decided, since the city’s school district is currently in the midst of major restructuring. Meetings for interested parents and students have been held in community buildings thus far.
When it comes to determining which students will get a place in the new single-sex public school
, academic screening will not be a part of the selection process. Eagle Academy has a strong policy against screening applicants, superintendent of the school, Cami Anderson, told the Newark Patch.
“There won’t be an academic screen because we believe that all kids need to get in,” Anderson said.
However, the schools do state the ideal student is a “young man serious about his studies and serious about his future.” The Bronx school gives enrollment priority to those who attend an open house, and students are required to participate in orientation day, which involves a test and essay evaluation. Recently, that school has seen more than 900 applicants for 100 ninth-grade openings. Getting in is certainly not a given.
The Newark school may not even have a location at this time, but parents and students are excited about what is to come. Parent Crystal Bates told the Newark Patch she was considering a move, but with the school coming, she feels she has a better option for her nine-year-old son.
“I want the school to hold me accountable as a parent to be performing properly to help my son learn,” Bates told the Patch.