New York, NY   |  www.harlemacademy.org


Harlem Academy drives equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world.

Ruling year info


Head of School

Mr. Vincent Dotoli

Main address

655 St. Nicholas Avenue

New York, NY 10030 USA

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Formerly known as

Harlem Episcopal School



NTEE code info

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Harlem Academy brings a rigorous, independent school education to an underserved community, filling a critical gap in the educational landscape for promising children. Public and charter schools focus on raising low performers to proficiency. In Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Bronx, most students perform below state standards, and schools face significant hurdles to bringing them to proficiency. This leaves few resources for promising students already meeting these basic thresholds. Selective programs are inaccessible to low-income children. Gifted and talented (G&T) programs admit students who already have top scores. Students from disadvantaged neighborhoods are overwhelmingly unprepared to compete for admission to these schools and programs. In the low-income neighborhoods we serve, just 0.3% of kindergarteners have the resources or preparation needed to test into the citywide G&T programs. The rates in other neighborhoods are 20 times higher.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Harlem Academy

Rigorous academic coursework and character development within extended day for students in grades 1-8.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Charity Navigator 2012

Charity Navigator 2013

Charity Navigator 2014

Charity Navigator 2015

National Association of Independent Schools 2011

Charity Navigator 2017

Charity Navigator 2018

Charity Navigator 2019


Gold Award winner from New York Times Nonprofit Excellence Awards for nonprofit management 2011

New York Times

Recognized as a model for quality education for underserved students 2010

Schools That Can

Affiliations & memberships

National Association of Independent Schools - Full Member 2015

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We monitor and evaluate a range of indicators throughout the year to track progress toward our mission and inform improvements to our program. Detailed metrics seek to answer the following questions:
1. Are students showing strong academic growth and achievement?
2. Are students demonstrating strong character growth and achievement?
3. Are graduates enrolling in and succeeding at top secondary schools?
4. Are graduates enrolling in and succeeding in college?
5. Are we partnering with families to realize our mission?
6. Are we maximizing our impact by sharing best practices?

SKILLS FOCUS. Harlem Academy offers a challenging academic program, with a focus on developing core academic skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. We sequence our curriculum, schedule the school day, and plan every lesson so that students have enough “at bats" to internalize these skills. Our curriculum prioritizes depth over breadth. Focusing on fewer topics allows time for synthesis and retention. We select content that will guide students in their development as thoughtful citizens, and to serve as a springboard for close reading and insightful analysis.

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION. We offer weekly math and reading labs, where students receive targeted enrichment or remediation in small groups. To strengthen this personalized approach, we harness computer-based programs to guide students' progress during independent reading and math periods. Interim assessments offer frequent data on student progress to guide targeted instruction and curricular adjustments.

INTEGRATED ADVISORY. Every teacher serves as an advisor, providing consistent support as students strive to embody our community pillars: integrity, initiative, compassion, and determination. Starting with “I am bold and creative" and ending with “I don't give up," our creed establishes a standard of character to which we can all aspire.

Small groups of students meet with their advisors daily for structured activities designed to help them develop the skills, behaviors, and habits they need to achieve their academic and personal goals. This work takes many forms throughout the week, shifting between individual reflection, small group discussions (often divided by gender), and division-wide community meetings.

JOYFUL ENGAGEMENT. Our program nurtures students' creativity, helps them to develop their voice, and introduces them to the wonders of our world. Our students are exposed to inspiring role models and NYC's rich cultural and educational resources to complement our faculty's expertise and expand students' horizons.

EXTENDED DAY. Harlem Academy offers programming from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., providing ample time for a challenging curriculum, individualized support, a robust advisory program, electives, and after-school mentoring and enrichment. A long school day also provides vital support for families by ensuring that every child is safe, supported, and engaged until after work hours.

FAMILY PARTNERSHIP. We value families as key partners and set high expectations for supporting their child's education and fully participating in the life of the school. Most families volunteer at the school, organizing the school library, chaperoning trips, providing classroom support, serving as mentors, participating in admissions, and supporting fundraising events. All attending families must make a tuition contribution, which is set on a sliding scale based on income.

Harlem Academy opened in 2004 with a small first-grade class and expanded by one grade each year, positioning the team to build based on experience. The school currently serves 120 students in first through eighth grade.

We are reversing the downward trajectory that often defines the opportunities available to promising, low-income children. Students enter Harlem Academy with median scores in the 74th percentile and earn 16 points of growth by the time they reach eighth grade. Nationally, a promising, low-income student starting first grade at the 72nd percentile (a similar profile to our students) will lose 13 points by eighth grade.

Harlem Academy students matriculate to top secondary schools, including Andover, Chapin, Horace Mann, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Peddie, Riverdale, and Trinity. Annual independent school scholarships average $46,000+ per student.

Harlem Academy graduates have closed the college-access gap with high-achieving, wealthier students nationwide, with 90% of graduates entering four-year colleges. Our graduates attend leading colleges, including Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Dartmouth, New York University, Princeton, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tufts, University of Rochester, and Wesleyan.

Harlem Academy has a successful history of fundraising, careful budgeting, and strong fiscal management. The School was awarded the New York Times Nonprofit Excellence Gold Award for best practices in nonprofit management; a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for financial management and transparency; and GuideStar’s platinum seal of transparency.

Harlem Academy's strategic plan outlines two critical goals that the school continues to pursue:

(1) Physical permanence: the establishment of a permanent home within Harlem that supports the program and expands the school's impact. The new five-story, 29,000-square-foot school building, which broke ground in 2020, will allow Harlem Academy to nearly double its student population, strengthen its program, and reduce cost per student. The new school will include a library, bright classrooms with strong technology, a multipurpose space, and an adjacent outdoor yard for learning, play, and sports.

(2) Financial permanence: fundraising for the school to grow to capacity; to meet students' full need for financial aid; to build a permanent campus; and to position the school for future sustainability.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Board of directors
as of 12/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Peterson

Onera Media, Inc.

Tony Asnes

Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P.

Will Cook

Sunriver Capital Management

Valarie Hing

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP

Ann MacRae

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hillary Thomas

Van Wagner Communications, LLC.

Alan Washington

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Graham Cole

Westminster School

Mary Ganzenmuller

Bray Family Academy

Dale Hemmerdinger


Tom Reycraft

Benchmark Education Company, LLC

John Belizaire


Betsy Michel

Drew University

Rodney Pope

Turner Construction

Hank Prybylski


Richard Schaps

Van Wagner Group

Doug Griebel

Rosa Mexicano Restaurants

Robert Harteveldt

Goldman Sachs

Elizabeth McHenry

New York University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/11/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/11/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.