Success Academy Charter Schools

Success Academy Charter Schools Employee Reviews

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Difficult and Rewarding
Associate of Operations (Former Employee) –  New York, NYFebruary 6, 2017
Extremely difficult place to work but if you survive you will learn a tremendous amount.

When I was there management was often unwilling to provide essential information for doing my job and yet expected extreme levels of performance.
Pros
Snacks, Responsibility, Benefits
Cons
Difficult management, no work-life balance
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Stay Away
Staff Accountant - Finance Department (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJanuary 18, 2017
The management can't make up their minds what they want to do so they change what they do every two weeks it seems. People are unhappy, turnover high.
Pros
Nice offices
Cons
Expected to work insane hours despite low pay and no motivation
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Great for Kids, Horrible environment for Staff
Teacher (Current Employee) –  New York, NYDecember 24, 2016
Working with the scholars is the only highlight of my day. I hate the fact that I was shuffled around from class to class with some of the worst behaviors in them. No, one cane to my rescue when I needed help and all i got was rude and belittling comments from higher ups. My co workers (some of them) were absolutely amazing to work with. The hardest part of the job was the culture of fear that is set in this place. They are reliant on studying data and if scholars don't do well then you're at fault. Some of the teachers are REALLY inexperienced and therefore don't know how to manage a class well. They give these people more help than the ones who know how to manage a class and just might need a little assistance. It also doesnt help that we are expected to take our prep periods to do testing because they messed up on the schedule. The most enjoyable part was working with the scholars. They are simply amazing. Oh and the benefits too!!!
Pros
Benefits, Students, Snacks, Staff Outings
Cons
Little to no preps, belittling emails, robotic culture
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Good resume building company.
Operations Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Springfield Gardens, NYDecember 15, 2016
The work life balance here is horrible and the management generally has limited experience in the schools. The hardest part of the job is finding the will to wake up the next day and go to work for 10 more hours without a scheduled lunch break.
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Poorly run and very political
Business Operations Manager (Current Employee) –  Brooklyn, NYNovember 15, 2016
A lot of people want this job to be great because education is very important, however the management abuses that mission and runs through people until there is nothing left of them.
Pros
Great mission
Cons
No breaks, long hours, terrible leadership
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Please, by all means, don't apply for any teaching-related positions here!
Associate Teacher (Former Employee) –  New York, NYSeptember 25, 2016
This company makes it clear that you don't have a contract, but it's "at will" employment. So, there's no job security. First off, when you apply, there are 4-5 rounds before you're given a job offer. Second, when I started training, we were supposed to have two and a half weeks to be trained before going into the classroom. Be prepared to receive feedback for how fast you can use their scripted curriculum on children and parents. They berate the kids and train them to be robots. You receive a lot of feedback that if you don't gain all the skills necessary during the training, you will be fired. So, I got fired after one week of training before working at the school because they said I didn't make any improvement and didn't seem confident, yet I went through 4 interviews before receiving a job offer, really? Plus, my laptop was taken back as well. They also like to hire new college grads, which makes this job even more suspicious. Most don't even have any teaching background along with staff that currently work there. Don't count on this job if you hope to be an educator. You will get fired at some point. By the way, the CEO is only money hungry with no education background whatsoever. Don't believe the lies that the employer tells you.
Pros
Good pay, benefits
Cons
Bad management, company philosophy, politics, no job security
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Collaborative and Smart
Associate Director of Enrollment (Current Employee) –  New York, NYJuly 20, 2016
Very collaborative environment with great people all working toward the same goal of providing a world class education to as many deserving children as possible.
Pros
low health insurance costs, normal working hours
Cons
lots of commuting to different locations around the city
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Productive
Operations Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Harlem, NYJuly 19, 2016
Great place to start your professional career. Also a lot of room to grow within the charter school. You do not have to stay in one category, you can go from teaching to network.
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Eggshells
Elementary Classroom Teacher (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJuly 13, 2016
Working at SA was like walking on eggshells all of the time. While I fully support closing the achievement gap, it should not be at the cost of employee sanity. The management approach pits teachers against each other to get higher data results. If your results are not high enough, you're not asked back or are fired mid-year. I know of five teachers in my building alone that ended up on prescription anxiety medication. This is very common across all SA schools.
Pros
pays well
Cons
Unless you are friends with the principal, your job is on the line.
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Stay Away If You Value Yourself!
School Operations Talent Recruiter (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJune 13, 2016
If you value yourself please do not ever work here. It is a toxic environment where your work is completely undervalued. Management is horrendous and the lack of support is infinite. I was so excited when offered a position but wow what a mistake. In just 6 short months that place took years off my life. I have worked for many non profits, including Teach For America and The Henry Street Settlement but I have never experienced treatment like this and such a backwards philosophy. No wonder they lose such great talent on a daily basis.
Pros
I wish I could say the scholars but I don't think Success Academy actually cares about them.
Cons
Lack of support. Zero work/life balance. Terrible management. No vision of big picture.
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Avoid at all costs
Associate Director of Marketing (Former Employee) –  New York, NYJune 2, 2016
It's a toxic culture that is motivated more by city politics than by what is truly the best for students or the neighborhoods.
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It was a fun time and I learned a lot
Tech Intern (Former Employee) –  New York, NYMarch 31, 2016
While Interning here at Success Acadamies, I learned a lot. Not only did I learn about hardware, troubleshooting, and other tech things, but I was provided many opportunities to build my leadership and work well with teams. I worked in the network office in Manhattan.
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Great Mission, Great school enviroment, tough work/life balance
Associate Teacher (Current Employee) –  NY, NYMarch 29, 2016
Success Academy has a great mission to give scholars a high quality education no matter what their socio-economic status is, however the work/life balance was hard to manage. 12 hour days were the norm, and the work day did not include sufficient break time.
Pros
great enviroment, great support
Cons
work/life balance
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Rigorous team environment
Kindergarten Lead Teacher (Current Employee) –  Bronx, NYMarch 28, 2016
Success is a rapidly growing network with the best interest in mind for both students and adults involved. Work / life balance is hard to achieve, as Success is a results-driven corporation, and teachers can always strive to do more.
Pros
relentless support, constant feedback, results achieved
Cons
no life balance, stressful environment, young staff
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Great for 1st year teachers
Lead Teacher, 1st grade (Current Employee) –  NewJanuary 15, 2016
Great structure and support, especially if you are a first year teacher. The leadership teams are constantly providing feedback around areas of growth and strength. Wonderful place to work!
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Productive and comfortable work place
Enrollment Coordinator (Former Employee) –  New York, NYSeptember 3, 2015
SA was a great company to work for, everyone works as a team. Management is very helpful and coworkers are dedicated and enjoy working.
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Miserable place to work
Teaching Assistant (Former Employee) –  HarlemAugust 1, 2015
The modus operandi of Success Academy is to hire college kids right out of school. Hardly any of the "teachers" have any real experience or have any idea what they are getting into. The majority wash out within a year or two -- or get fired.

The atmosphere can best be described as Kafka-esque. The hours are long, and the kids are held to quasi-abusive standard of discipline. My 5th graders, for instance, were only allowed to go to the bathroom twice a day at predetermined times and are accompanied into the bathroom by a teacher. The students must remain silent during lunch. Special Ed students are quietly purged. Teachers are constantly being fired or quitting midway through the year, so expect co-workers to be mysteriously disappear, never to be heard from again.

Most of the year, the children do nothing but practice taking standardized tests. Unsurprisingly, when at the end of the year the kids score well on standardized exams, Moskowitz points to this as evidence that the kids are being given fantastic educations. Unfortunately, the truth is that most of these kids can't do anything outside of a state test.
Pros
None
Cons
Bad hours, absurd discipline policies, awful culture
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Horrible Place To Work
Teacher (Former Employee) –  West HarlemJuly 17, 2015
I would NEVER recommend anyone to work for this school! It has turned me off to all charters, which is a shame because many of them are great academies.

Don't even both applying. You might as well quit teaching
Pros
intellegent staff
Cons
Culture of fear as someone put it so perfectly
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All Work and No Life, So Run Teacher, Run!!!!!
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Harlem West Middle SchoolApril 8, 2015
A typical day at success was 7 to 6.
The building opens between 6:30-6:45
7:00 -7:20 was a whole school meeting
7:30-8:05 Homeroom (which the teacher covers)
8:05-55 Electives (which you as a teacher have to teach)
8:55-9:50 Snack time, library time, vocabulary time, (which you the teacher had to teach and cover)
9:55-10-45 was my only prep or break of the day and sometimes they would take that away for a meeting or training

10:45-11:35 taught a class
11:35-12:25 taught a class
12:25-12:55 Advisory time which you the teacher lead and teach as well
1:00 -2:00 Lunch time (which you the teacher cover as well)

2:05-2:55 taught another class
2:55-3:45 taught another class
3:45-4:35 taught another class

4:35-4:50 dismissal (which you the teacher lead)
4:50-5:00 you must stand outside until all students are dismissed then you go back up stairs
5:00-5:30 All teachers were required to report to detention and sit with and talk to students
5:40-6:00 All staff team meeting

At 6 :00 you were free to do what you wanted
At 6:30 our building permit was up so half the time they would kick you out the building

WARNING STAY ANYWAY FROM HARLEM WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL AND POSSIBLY EVEN SUCCESS Academy in general!

The Ceo made a recent statement in the New York Times about former employees stating,
"As for the teachers who said they did not like the environment, Ms. Moskowitz said: “Most of the people who leave are a little angry, like they don’t like their work and they don’t seem happy teaching, and we really can’t have people who don’t love it.”"

Translation
  more... meaning that those who left success were not cut out for teaching even though you had success teaching prior to teaching there.

Really!
  less
Pros
Free snacks and good medical benefits
Cons
Lil to no prep time, no lunch time
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Comment – April 16, 2015

I had the above schedule two times a week on Monday and Friday with one prep.

Wednesday I had one prep as well.

On Tuesday and Thursday I had the same schedule as above except I had two preps and four classes to teach. But these preps were taking away sometimes for meetings or to cover a class when people quit, went to a training, or they were absent. Mind you before Christmas we lost 8 staff members, then after we lost 7 staff members.

This is the norm here because the first year in this school building we lost 13 staff members before Christmas, and the second year in this building we lost 12 staff members before Christmas.

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Productive and extremely fun and friendly work environment
Human Resources Intern (Former Employee) –  New York, NYFebruary 23, 2015
Success Academy Charter School has one of the best attitudes towards improving education. Everyone works their hardest to improve the Academy, and the culture they have created is full of energy and diverse. Have been there only one summer, but I felt like a part of the team.
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Overall rating

2.8
Based on 36 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
2.2
Compensation/Benefits
3.4
Job Security/Advancement
2.8
Management
2.5
Culture
2.6

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