Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem
- New York
Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem (formerly Sisulu Children's Academy-Harlem Public Charter School) was founded by ten men and women with one mission: to create a truly outstanding public school for children living in Central Harlem, a neighborhood with historically low-performing schools and a dearth of quality public school options. At the time Sisulu-Walker was formed, the percentage of children in Central Harlem schools scoring at or above grade level in reading was an abysmal 26%, indicating broad academic distress. The founders of Sisulu-Walker and its management company, Victory Schools, resolved to exceed these results.
When we opened our doors for the first day of class on September 1999, Sisulu-Walker became the very first public charter school in the State of New York. On that historic day and during our first year we hosted President George W. Bush (then Texas governor), Governor George Pataki, Secretary of State Randy Daniels and other national, state and local dignitaries who recognized the promise Sisulu-Walker held for a brighter future for its students and their families.
MISSION & VALUES
The mission of the school is to prepare K-5 students living in and around Central Harlem for matriculation to outstanding public, private and parochial middle and high schools by nurturing their intellectual, emotional, artistic and social development. The school is accomplishing this by offering a rigorous and challenging academic curricula taught by a highly-prepared and committed cadre of professional educators. Beginning in kindergarten, we prepare our students for college and a lifetime of achievement, honor and service. Sisulu-Walker is achieving this in a small and supportive learning environment that sets high expectations for all of our students and encourages strong parental and community involvement.
Our school's crest personifies the guiding principles of The Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem. The graduation cap signifies achievement, the handshake represents honor and the medal exemplifies service. It is these three principles that we seek to instill in our students and the entire Sisulu-Walker community.
We are committed to help each Sisulu-Walker student develop and realize his or her individual goals of achievement by setting the highest expectations for each student. Our academic program engages students in a wide range of subjects that nurture their capacity to learn, to reason critically, and to apply knowledge in a moral and ethical way. We inspire our students towards academic achievement and a commitment to excellence, but we also encourage them to develop and master their natural talents in the arts, athletics and civic leadership. We shape Sisulu-Walker students to become caring and involved members of their community, and successful and contributing members to society as a whole.
Sisulu-Walker aspires to the highest standards of honor and integrity. We are committed to the fundamental values of honesty, respect, fairness, trust, responsible citizenship and compassion. Cultivating honor within our students allows students to know the expectations and responsibilities of membership in the Sisulu-Walker community, and lays the foundation for lifelong integrity.
Our school is named in honor of Walter Sisulu and Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, two men who have dedicated their lives to public service in their communities. Sisulu-Walker strives to instill the principles of public service and commitment to community within each of our students. To that end, we engage students in service learning projects as part of our core academic program. Sisulu-Walker believes public service supports young people in mastering important curricula content by helping them make meaningful connections between what they are studying and its many applications. Participating in public service can increase our students' engagement in learning, bolster their self-confidence and enhance their preparation for the world ahead.