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Back to School 2022 Guide: What Harlem Children’s Zone Families Need to Know

Hello to all the scholars and families out there! We don’t know where the time has gone. All of the sudden, summer is winding down and September is here — and that means Back to School 2022 is upon us!

This month, we’re excited to open our doors for the first day of school at HCZ Promise Academy (September 6) and the first day of fall Zone Programs (scroll down for your program’s start date). This year is particularly special as we are back to starting off classes and programs fully in person!

As we head into the 2022-2023 academic year, we want all our scholars and families to be ready to start school and programs on a positive and productive note. From updated safety policies to important dates, here’s everything you need to know about Back to School 2022!

Step 1: Know your Back to School 2022 dates and times 


First things first, mark these dates in your calendar:

Promise Academy: Classes begin Tuesday, September 6

Fall Zone Programs: Begin Monday, September 19


Next, know your pick-up and drop-off times:

  • Promise Academy I and II
    • Elementary School: Drop-off at 7:30 AM (breakfast) | Pick-up at 3:30 PM for bussed scholars, 4:05 for independent scholars, and 4:30 for all other scholars
    • Middle School: Drop-off at 7:30 AM | Pick-up at 3:45 PM for bussed scholars, 4 PM for independent scholars
    • High School: Drop-off at 7:45 AM and Pick-up at 4 PM for all scholars
  • Zone Programs
    • Harlem Gems preschool: Sept. 6
    • Zone University: Sept. 19
    • A Cut Above: Sept. 26
    • Peacemakers PS 154: Sept. 19
    • Peacemakers PS 76, PS 149, and PS 197: Sept. 28

Step 2: Understand Updated Safety Protocols 

After remote and hybrid learning, we’re thrilled to welcome our scholars back for fully in-person classes and programs! With these changes, we’ve made a few updates to our safety protocols. Here’s everything you need to know to stay safe and healthy for Back to School 2022:

COVID Testing and Questionnaire

Scholars will no longer be required to fill out the daily COVID-19 questionnaire. But they will still be required to test so that we can monitor positive cases. Staff will continue to fill out the questionnaire daily.

Protocol for Entering Buildings

Parents will not be permitted to enter the building for morning arrival, early dismissal, or regularly timed dismissal. This includes the first week of drop-offs (you’ll learn more during parent/scholar orientations).

However, they will be permitted to enter the building, with prior clearance and adherence to safety protocols, for meetings and events. Please note, this protocol may change depending on COVID infection rate.


Step 3: Get to Know Your Principal (for HCZ Promise Academy Scholars)

Our principals care deeply about all our scholars and are committed to their success. Get to know them! 

Joseph Cordero

Principal, Promise Academy I Elementary School

Madelaine Schultz

Principal, Promise Academy 1 Middle School

Amy Deal

Principal, Promise Academy 1 High School

Amanda Neal

Principal, Promise Academy 2 Elementary School

Ryan Carroll

Promise Academy 2 Middle School

Kaitlyn Conley

Principal, Promise Academy 2 High School


Step 4: Know your school or program location

To locate your HCZ Promise Academy Charter School or Zone Program, see our Locations page or view our Zone map below:

Step 5: Get ready for your first day

Chances are, you’re feeling some back-to-school butterflies — that’s totally normal! The more you prepare, the better you’ll feel about your first day. Scholars should:

  • Set your sleep schedules back to “school time” two weeks before the first day of school.
  • Talk about your feelings returning to school, especially what, if anything, is bothering you.
  • Put together a rough outline of your school and activity schedule, and make sure to sync up that schedule with the family’s calendar.
  • Get in touch with your friends and classmates ahead of time and make plans to meet up in school.
  • Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. We can’t wait to welcome you for Back to School 2022!