Skip to Main Content

Welcome to Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) Promise Academy! We are a top-performing K-12 charter school within HCZ’s cradle-to-career pathway of comprehensive, no-cost services. 

When young scholars join our community, we promise to do whatever it takes to get them to and through college. Everything we do — from quality instruction to exceptional extracurricular activities to healthy, home-cooked meals — is designed to keep that promise.

Since the opening of HCZ Promise Academy I in 2004 and HCZ Promise Academy II in 2005, we’ve made an enormous impact on our young people. We’ve enrolled nearly 100% of our scholars in college; we’ve closed the Black-white achievement gap; and we’ve helped our graduates build successful careers and become conscientious citizens.

At the same time, we’ve transformed the landscape of education in our country, redefining what’s possible for communities like ours.

We hope you’ll consider joining the Promise community — whether as a family who dreams of sending your scholar to college; an educator who’s passionate about empowering young people; or a donor who wants to fuel our work and mission. Together, we can build on the success of our scholars, our school, and our Promise community for years to come.

Dr. Achil Petit smiling in blue suit

Dr. Achil Petit

Superintendent, HCZ Promise Academy Charter Schools and Early Childhood Programs

Dr. Saskia Brown

Deputy Superintendent, HCZ Promise Academy Charter Schools

Our Schools

Promise Academy scholars smile
Promise Academy scholar reads in library
Promise Academy scholar next to microscope in classroom

HCZ Promise Academy Charter Schools constitute three distinct but interconnected schools in Central Harlem. 

  • Promise Academy I High, Middle, and Elementary School (245 West 129th Street)
  • Promise Academy II High School and Middle School (35 East 125th Street)
  • Promise Academy II Elementary School (70 East 112th Street)

Our Approach

We address the “whole child” — doing whatever it takes to ensure our scholars get to and through college, build successful careers, and reach their true potential. We offer free tuition, access to technology, uniforms, and much more.

Scholars reach their full potential through a relentless focus on academic excellence. Scholars enjoy an extended school day and year, ensuring their success in core subject areas — math, language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. Scholars are taught by leading educators in cutting-edge facilities designed for interactive learning.

Promise Academy teacher teaches scholars in classroom

From notebooks to calculators to backpacks — and even laptops! — we provide our scholars with everything they need to be their best at school. This also includes access to top-of-the-line learning technology such as science equipment, musical instruments, and media and broadcasting tools.

A young boy is working at a computer with headphones on

Scholars' experiences both inside — and outside — the classroom are key to their academic and personal growth. To that end, they enjoy a range of extracurricular and after-school activities, from athletics and the arts to civics and wellness, along with access to the vast cultural opportunities New York City has to offer.

Promise Academy teacher and scholar play chess in classroom

Proper nutrition is key to fueling healthy minds and bodies. That’s why our scholars enjoy nutritious, home-cooked meals served up by our executive chef and exceptional culinary team.

Promise Academy scholars hold a bowl of soup and smile

Social-emotional learning is steeped in our school culture and drives our practices and policies. Scholars learn about self-awareness, responsible decision making, conflict management, and other critical life skills. Trained social workers and guidance counselors provide individualized support to scholars, and they share expertise with parents and staff to ensure coordinated support to scholars at home and at school.

Promise Academy scholars in classroom

Our scholars leave school ready to thrive in college and their careers. From the time they’re in kindergarten, scholars learn the importance of college; as juniors and seniors, they prepare for their post-secondary journey with advanced placement courses, college exposures, and internships with leading companies. Our College Success Office provides guidance on their journey.

HCZ Promise Academy scholar in white shirt giving a presentation during an event hosted by Center for Higher Education and Career Support.

Promise Academy exists within HCZ’s pathway of comprehensive, cradle-to-career services. As such, scholars benefit from a wide variety of programs: nutrition education through Healthy Harlem, social services, foster care prevention, and after-school support, with additional opportunities that put our scholars on the same playing field as children from more affluent communities.

Promise Academy staff and scholars juggle in gymnasium

Data drives everything we do. Armed with real-time data on our scholars’ academic progress and social development, we design actionable plans tailored to the unique needs of each child and confront any challenges that might hinder their success.

Promise Academy scholars hold trophies

We will go to college. We will succeed. This is our promise. This is our creed.

Promise Academy Creed

Our Impact

20

Classes have graduated from Promise

900+

Promise scholars are currently in college

1,300+

Promise scholars have graduated from college

Enroll

HCZ Promise Academy Charter Schools enrolls children in grades K-12, with preference given to those living in our 103-block Zone. There are no application or tuition fees.

We start enrolling scholars as young as 3-years-old

Three-year-olds (children born in 2021) are encouraged to apply now so that they can be guaranteed a spot in kindergarten at HCZ Promise Academy.

Once you apply, your child will enter our lottery and assigned a random number. If your child’s number is called during the lottery (to be held summer 2024), they will be accepted into HCZ Promise Academy and will begin kindergarten at the start of the 2026-2027 school year. If your child is not chosen during the lottery, they will be placed on a waitlist and may be accepted to HCZ Promise Academy at a later date.

To find out your child’s number on this waitlist, call 646-539-5941.

Enrollment for 4-year-olds and older

Once you apply, your child is placed on a waitlist. If your child is accepted, they will join HCZ Promise Academy either in fall 2025 (for those born in 2019) or fall 2026 (for those born in 2020). 

To find out your child’s number on this waitlist, call 212-360-3230. 

Join the HCZ Promise Academy Team

A HCZ Promise Academy teacher kneels down and talks to a scholar in a classroom.

When they enroll at HCZ Promise Academy, your child will receive high-quality instruction from some of the best teachers in the field.


You’ll help to ensure that every one of our scholars enrolls in and graduates from college. In the 2020-21 academic year, 100% of our graduating seniors were accepted to college.

Our team is relentless in the pursuit of our scholars’ success. Everything we provide our scholars — from world-class instruction and extracurricular activities to social emotional support and healthy meals — is designed to fulfill the promise that they will graduate from college.