Central to Storefront Academy’s mission is our commitment to placing our eighth grade graduates at high-performing high schools. Every Storefront Academy Harlem graduate goes on to attend high-performing private, parochial, boarding or specialty public high schools, and since 2001, nearly 95% of Storefront Academy Harlem graduates have gone on to receive their high school diploma, far surpassing the City average of 70%. At Storefront Academy, our high school placement initiative is spearheaded by our full-time Director of Placement and Admissions, who works with students and their families through the high school application process, assuring that each graduate attends his or her “best-fit” school.
The Director of Placement and Admissions works closely with Cluster 3 faculty to prepare middle school students for high school placement. Program components include:
Students meet regularly, one-on-one with Storefront Academy’s Director of Placement and Admissions to decide where they will apply and to confirm that all students have completed the materials and testing required for each high school application. The Director of Placement and Admissions will also meet with students and parents together to discuss scholarship applications and planning for the high school years.
Application and Entrance Exam Support
Seventh and eighth grade students participate in weekly test preparation classes to prepare them for high school placement exams and interviews. To prepare applications and write the essays that must accompany many application packages, students also work closely with faculty members and the Director of Placement and Admissions, who help students hone their essays for submission.
Beginning in sixth grade, all middle school students and their families take part in regular evening workshops to prepare for high school applications and placement exams. Storefront Academy provides financial workshops for families to assist them in completing scholarship applications and application fee waivers, and to help them plan for the high school years, to assure that current 8th graders are able to attend and graduate from their best-fit school.
High School Visits
Nearly half of all Storefront Academy graduates attend a private boarding or private day school after graduating. To help current middle school students understand the culture and lifestyle at these schools, middle school students take an annual trip to an area boarding school and local private school to meet with admissions staff and current students to learn more and help determine the schools where each 8th grader will apply.
In addition to the support they receive from Storefront Academy Harlem, students and families also benefit from longstanding relationships Storefront Academy has with local organizations, including Student Sponsor Partners (pairing underserved students with sponsors who offer financial support and mentors who offer one-to-one mentoring throughout their high school years), A Better Chance (helping students of color find placement and funding to attend quality schools), as well as pipeline programs at the Boys Club’s Independent School Prep Program, HEAF, Fordham Prep, Winston Prep and Cathedral High School.
On-Site Admissions Presentations
Storefront Academy coordinates on-site visits and presentations by high school admissions staff and alumni to help students make the best decision at application time. Visitors meet with large and small groups and also interview individual students on campus.
Storefront Academy alumni attend prestigious schools and go on to do incredible things. Many of them continue to be involved with the school and stay in touch with their fellow alumni and teachers for many years. Others speak to students about their chosen field during classroom visits, give their time and resources generously as summer interns or to provide career advice to younger alums, and others choose to continue the Storefront Academy legacy by enrolling their own children as students.