School Design

Our high school scholars seize every opportunity to develop into the person they are going to be by building their own academic specializations, choosing electives that they truly care about, and using summers to increase college preparedness. It’s the SA school design of joy and rigor, grown up.

At every Success Academy high school:

We are incredibly proud of what our scholars have achieved.

Our schools offer scholars an education as good and often better than the best selective high schools in New York City. And we’ve got the results to prove it.


Our seniors have been accepted at highly selective colleges and universities including  Barnard, MIT, Tufts, Skidmore and others.

+ Read More

Academics are paramount.

The workload at our high schools is collegiate in both volume and nature, with a curriculum that focuses on critical thinking, problem-solving, academic writing, researching, and public speaking across content areas.

  • In literature, scholars discuss and analyze rich texts from diverse genres; in writing, scholars compose argumentative, narrative, and research papers.
  • Scholars begin an inquiry-based science sequence with conceptual physics in Grade 9 followed by chemistry, bio-chem, and biology.
  • In math, scholars focus on conceptual understanding and applied problem solving in algebra, geometry, statistics, and calculus. Select scholars are invited to enroll in a mathematics honor sequence.
  • Our scholars take three years of world history and one year of American history, including global politics and economics.
  • Scholars have the option of applying to the STEM track their freshman year, a selective program that enables scholars to take additional STEM classes, complete a senior thesis, and apply for an internship in a related field. STEM track scholars will graduate with a STEM specialization on their diploma.
+ Read More

Every aspect of our high school design focuses on college persistence.

Our groundbreaking program is designed to ensure that every student has the skills and knowledge to succeed in college and in life. We believe that a college diploma gives scholars the path forward to economic stability, fulfilling careers, and the adult life they deserve.

  • Colleges by design are very independent places and our high schools give scholars direct instruction and time to practice collegiate work habits. Scholars practice prioritizing, goal-setting, and time-management in their advisory course. They also budget time during free blocks and manage long-term assignments.
  • In their junior and senior years of high school, scholars meet three times a week for college knowledge courses that address topics like physical and mental wellness, goal setting, professors and office hours, and managing stress.
  • Starting in ninth grade, our College Access and Persistence Counselors partner with scholars and families to support a holistic school experience. While the ultimate goal is to match scholars to their “best fit” college and identify potential financial support for attending, counselors also work to ensure that scholars are taking the best advantage of their high school options.
+ Read More

Non-academic subjects aren’t “extra”—they’re essential.

In high school, we offer a number of electives, clubs, competitive teams, and student-driven experiential learning opportunities, which serve as a critical, creative outlet for exploring and developing passions, and building rich talent portfolios.

Options may include:

  • Architecture
  • Astronomy
  • Varsity Basketball
  • Boot Camp
  • Varsity Cheerleading
  • Ajedrez
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Debate
  • GSA (Gay Straight Alliance)
  • Girls’ HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Robotics
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Science Magazine
  • Varsity Soccer
  • STEP
  • Student Council/Character Committee
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Theatre Production
  • Varsity Track and Field
  • TriM (Music Honor Society)
  • Varsity Volleyball
  • VoxHawks (Acapella Group)
  • Yoga and Mindfulness
+ Read More

Innovative schedule allows for special individualized programs.

Once in college, you are the captain of your own ship — and scholars need to practice choosing courses, finding internships, discussing important topics, and managing their time. With our schedule, scholars get to choose and experiment, but are given coaching on how to get the most out of their time in high school.

  • The Winter Opportunity Academy is an innovative, 3-week program that mirrors what many colleges offer as Winter Term and gives scholars a unique opportunity to explore academic interests and spark passions. These mixed-grade, seminar-style courses aren’t offered during the rest of the school year. Course examples include: The Ethics of Harry Potter, Quantum Physics, 3-D Printing, and Sustainable Urban Design.
  • Beginning in junior year, scholars can take credit-bearing college courses at Hunter College or Baruch College for free. They also have the opportunity to earn early credit and placement in college through AP Exams.
  • Every Wednesday, scholars study and discuss current events helping them become informed citizens of the world and improve their public speaking and debating skills.
  • Scholars gain practical hands-on experience by pursuing research projects and internships. This past summer, scholars studied debate at UCLA, digital logic design at Cooper Union, sports management at Syracuse University, and psychology at Gettysburg College.
+ Read More
Student Photo
View more

See a day in the life of a High Schooler »

View more