After four years of advocacy and rallying, Success Academy Queens families have finally got what they have been asking for: A suitable permanent middle school so that their children can continue their education.
Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy, said they’re grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio for “doing the right thing” by kids and their families.
“Success Academy families were tenacious in their advocacy, and we appreciate the support of Congressman [Gregory] Meeks and the Queens delegation in securing this new educational home,” Moskowitz said.
In August, Success Academy Ozone Park Middle School located at 109-55 128th St., will open its doors to 250 fifth- and sixth-graders, who had previously been temporarily co-located with I.S. 238 Susan B. Anthony Academy in Hollis.
The school opened in 2020 as Success Academy Hollis Middle School, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were learning remotely and never entered the building, according to Moskowitz. The new space will be in a private, standalone building with a gymnasium/auditorium and cafeteria, and is large enough to accommodate all middle school students from SA Rosedale and SA South Jamaica when fully enrolled.
Success Academy operates 47 schools in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens and enrolls about 20,000 students — primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
In Queens, parents of 2,200 Success Academy students have been pleading with the city for years for an additional permanent middle school site. Since 2017, parents have sent thousands of emails, secured thousands of signatures on petitions, and met with many Queens elected officials — all in an attempt to get the mayor to be accountable to their children.
In March, Moskowitz joined parents and students from SA Hollis Middle School in a Zoom conference call demanding that the mayor find a permanent home for the students whom they said would be evicted from the one-year temporary co-location at I.S. 238. Parents had voiced their frustrations and concerns during the conference, questioning why they couldn’t get the space they need for their children to learn.
In 2020, 100 percent of Success Academy’s third and largest class of 99 graduating seniors were accepted to college, with 69 percent accepted to selective institutions with robust financial aid packages; 82 percent of the class will be the first in their families to attend college.