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Promise Academy® High Schools offer advanced placement courses that prepare students to thrive in college, career, and beyond. Alongside rigorous instruction, students engage in community service projects, college exposures, and a variety of internships so that they build the academic, social, and professional skills needed to excel in any environment.

Our Approach

College readiness is the cornerstone of everything we do at our two Promise Academy® High Schools—and a rigorous, standards-based curriculum is just the beginning.

We provide standardized test preparation courses and one-on-one tutoring as needed in a range of subjects. Students also engage in team sports, community service projects, and recreation and enrichment activities aimed at developing their skill sets, fueling their passions, and strengthening their character. Events such as debates and academic competitions build on coursework, while fostering determination, resilience, and critical thinking skills.

Group of girls pose in front of NYU banner

College campus visits help students discover schools and make informed decisions about those that will best fit their needs and career goals.

Many students also participate in pre-college programs over the summer to help prepare them intellectually, socially, and emotionally for the responsibilities, challenges, and culture of college life. Finally, career exposure experiences—from visits to local companies to workshops with successful professionals—expand their understanding of the various paths available to them in their fields of interest, as well as the practical steps required to realize their dreams.

In 2012, we celebrated the graduation of the first Promise Academy® High School senior class. It was an extraordinary event—and not just because 100% of our seniors were accepted to college. That was only the start.

Select Student Achievements:

  • The 4-year graduation rate for PAI and PAII class of 2019 exceeded the New York City 4-year graduation rate by over 20 percentage points.
  • The 4-year graduation rate for PAI and PAII class of 2019 exceeded the 4-year graduation rate for NYC and NYS students, NYS and NYC White students, and NYC and NYS charter school students.
  • 98% of the PAII class of 2019 passed the Regents ELA exam.
  • 100% of the PAII class of 2019 passed at least one Regents math exam.
  • The PAI and PAII class of 2018 graduated high school and enrolled in college within 6 months at rates 50% higher than NYC students.

The success of our students at both schools—like all of our successes at HCZ—would not be possible without the tireless, concerted commitment of our staff. From teachers to coaches and social workers, each and every member of the Promise team does whatever it takes to support the academic and personal growth of our students and make sure they are prepared to flourish in and after college. Ultimately, all of our students will be responsible, conscientious citizens—prepared both for a wide range of post-graduation opportunities and to make a positive impact on their communities.

After School Program

The Promise Academy® High School After School program brings additional support and learning opportunities to PA High School students. It was designed to provide them with practical and constructive services, as well as opportunities to experiment with enrichments and explore and develop interests outside of the classroom.

All activities are thematic and project based, incorporating positive youth development and social and emotional learning. Each enrichment offering incrementally advances students through well-defined performance standards and builds towards mastery in STEM, arts, civics, and health & wellness programming. We intentionally embed opportunities for youth leadership through our Youth Advocacy Council (YAC).

We take an approach that encourages students to explore a diverse range of activities, discuss and think critically about those activities, and learn the specific cognitive and non-cognitive skills that are necessary for college success. Our character education and leadership development components support social and emotional learning and positive relationships with adults and peers. Ultimately, we aim to enhance students’ soft skills in order to prepare them for professional and civic responsibilities in high school and beyond.

After School Enrichment Offerings:

  • Leadership Offerings: Your Voice Matters, Youth Advisory Council
  • STEM: Code Busters, Robotics
  • Arts: Dance, Theater, Broadway Bound, Creative Writing, Media Arts, Culinary Arts, Chess
  • Health & Wellness: Nutrition, Fitness


Participation in athletics helps our students grow, learn, and develop key cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. Guided by HCZ’s values, we design sports programs that foster teamwork, sportsmanship, and ethical and responsible behavior both on and off the field. Our coaches instill behaviors that will lead students to better and healthier lives. Because winning is not the be all end all, we believe that our student athletes’ efforts to be their best will prepare them for achievement throughout their lives.

High school students stand at starting line on a race track

We build a stronger community when students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members come together to enjoy Promise athletic experiences. Promise pride is deeply rooted in our students and staff. We are dedicated to inviting community members to share in our Promise pride.

Athletics at Promise:

  • Boys Basketball
  • Girls Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Co-ed Flag Football
  • Soccer
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball
  • Yoga
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A Promise Academy High School Student’s Inspiring Journey

Enrollment and Lottery

Promise Academy® schools are free to attend and have approximately 2,000 children enrolled. Admission is by lottery or through a waitlist.

Admission Lotteries & Waitlists

Admission is determined by a lottery, which gives preference to Zone residents to ensure that we are supporting children and families with the deepest needs. All eligible applications submitted are automatically entered into the lottery—no further steps are needed.

If your child is not accepted during the initial lottery (as determined by his or her random lottery number), they will be placed on our waitlist. We update the waitlist regularly and will notify you if your child becomes accepted.

Locations and Contact

Contact Us

Have a question? Please send us an e-mail or call us for assistance.

Promise Academy® I High School
Call: 212-360-3234

Promise Academy® II High School
Call: 212-360-3238

For Educators

Our Promise staff consists of specialists committed to helping our young people succeed and includes talented, trained teachers; teaching assistants; reading specialists; literacy and math coaches; special education managers; guidance counselors; and social workers who work one-on-one with students.

Learn About Careers
Community Members | With instructors guiding them, young kids participate in a fitness class in a large sports space.

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Health and Community

In and of Central Harlem, we listen and respond to the needs of our neighbors to build strength in children, families, and our community—today and every day.