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Middle school is a critical time for students, full of change and growth. To address the unique needs of our students, Promise Academy® Middle Schools offer an enriched learning environment and an encompassing system of supports designed for the whole child. Our approach ensures graduates will be prepared with the advanced skills needed to excel both academically and socially in high school.

Our Approach

To help our students navigate the highs and lows of middle school years and prepare for the increased responsibilities of high school, our dedicated, caring staff works to ensure that each student receives the wraparound supports necessary to stay on track academically, socially, and emotionally.

Core training in math and language arts is coupled with deeper study in the humanities and sciences. Early exposure to literary classics helps students heighten and refine their reading and analytical skills, while fully-equipped science labs and expert instruction help them discover the rigors and rewards of inquiry and experimentation. Activities such as Model United Nations Summits further help our students not only think through the real-world applications of their coursework but also develop greater confidence and communication skills.

Select Student Achievements:

  • In 2019, PAI and PAII students outperformed NYC, NYS, and NYS White students on grades 3-8 ELA exams. PAI also outperformed NYS charter schools.
  • In 2019, PAI and PAII students outperformed NYC, NYS, NYS, and NYC White students on grades 3-8 math exams. Both schools also outperformed NYC and NYS charter schools.
  • In 2019, PAI and PAII students with disabilities passed grades 3-8 math exams at rates more than twice that of NYC students with disabilities.

Social-emotional learning is also an area of emphasis for all middle school students. In addition to engaging in wide-ranging fitness and enrichment activities, students meet regularly in gender-based groups to discuss issues such as peer pressure, bullying, insecurity, and conflict management. Trained social workers and guidance counselors are on hand to give students individualized support and to offer parents and staff the expertise they need to provide consistent, coordinated support at home and at school.

A man and a woman speak to each other at a desk.

Trained social workers and guidance counselors give individualized support to students, staff, and parents.

We are committed to providing for our students an exceptional education that includes content mastery in key areas and strong cognitive and critical thinking skills. We also promise to do this in a safe, supportive environment, where students explore their interests and come to better understand the world around them and their place and boundless potential within it.

After School Program

The Promise Academy® Middle School After School program brings additional support and learning opportunities to PA Middle 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.

Young girl smiling with medal on 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 Look Inside Promise Academy

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? Send us an e-mail or feel free to call us.

Promise Academy® I MiddleSchool
Call: 212-360-3233

Promise Academy® II Middle School
Call: 212-360-3237

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.