Harlem Village Academies Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Harlem Village Academies Reviews

Updated 13 Aug 2019

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3.0
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Rating TrendsRating Trends
40%
Recommend to a Friend
45%
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Harlem Village Academies CEO  (no image)
11 Ratings
Pros
  • "HVA combines the best of high achieving charters and autonomous neighborhood schools(in 15 reviews)

  • "HVA goes out if it's way to serve and support students and families(in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Long hours-- we work very hard here(in 14 reviews)

  • "HVA has changed things to meet kids needs and create the best curriculum(in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "A Lot Happening"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager 

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The organization is dedicated to doing good work, and they offer competitive salaries.

    Cons

    A lot of the work you are doing is done under direction with not a lot of opportunity for innovation

    Harlem Village Academies2019-08-13
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Not your typical charter school!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher 
    Recommends

    I have been working at Harlem Village Academies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    HVA combines the best of high achieving charters and autonomous neighborhood schools. It is a great place to work for teachers who want to have the ability to shape the culture, community, and instruction in their own classroom while also receiving support.

    Cons

    This is a high stakes job that requires a roll up your sleeves attitude and a lot of hard work.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-06-25
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Disorganized, chaotic team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -There are pockets of the network with incredible leadership and extremely dedicated teachers. -The arts program is robust and amazing -Salary and benefits were competitive

    Cons

    -My team was disorganized from the beginning, and there was little to no support or follow-through. It led to chaotic behavior and what felt like a wasted, traumatic year. While there is excellent leadership at the school level (I saw it, did not experience it directly), it feels like no one has confidence in the network-wide leadership. Many of the decisions that negatively affected me and my students came from the... network. It was a challenging, stressful year that left me demoralized about teaching.

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    Harlem Village Academies2019-06-21
  4. Helpful (1)

    "Teacher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great Kids Lots of Autonomy Whole week for Thanksgiving break off.

    Cons

    Low level expectations about kids from many of the staff. Lack of consistent policies and procedures. Lack of meaningful professional development. Low level standards set for children. Only two departments have set curriculum aligned with standards. Wasted a majority of planning time, due to the focus being about the “hypothetical” situations that could occur during the school year in a month... long institute. Does not support teachers in behavioral management and curriculum development. Principal is barely visible, and has not made an effort to build meaningful relationships with most students or parents. Inconsistency and bias was used consistently pending on who the child and/or staff members is. Principal lacks basic leadership qualities and has never taught within field of education. Decisions are made based on personal feelings and not logic. Majority of the leadership team lacks experience and leadership skills. Does not believe in teacher observation or cultivation. Small network, and not much room for growth. Very few teachers with proficient classroom management skills and content knowledge. Willingly hires teachers who lack content knowledge, classroom management and teaching skills.

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    Advice to Management

    The current high school principal is ineffective. There has been a more than normal turn over rate since August under her leadership. Placing people in positions they are not qualified for just for the sake of a seat warmer is not a smart on the behalf of the organization. Work on becoming a culturally responsive organization in which the children that are being served are not consistently being treated with the... bias of the adults. Spend more time investing in teacher training. Hire more teachers who look like the students in which they are serving. It is time to clean house, and reconstruct the vision and mission for the high school. Schools are supposed to be a safe haven for students, and taking the time to organize a better after school program wouldn’t hurt. If the daily operations of the high school continue on this path, you will sink soon enough.

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    Harlem Village Academies2019-07-01
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Not what it seems!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great kids and good resources.

    Cons

    This school advertises itself as a progressive school, and yet the curriculum for elementary school is run by a consultant company from Success Academy that specializes in test prep. I was told at my interview that I was going to have teaching freedom, that the school taught to the whole child, and a lot of other claims that were completely false. I was forced to teach test prep for the majority of the year, and... make the students in elementary grades take many 3+ hour tests starting in January. I was also told by management to virtually ignore students who were not capable of passing the state test due to special needs. The school also asked me to lie about services students with disabilities were receiving there. So unethical. I am honestly so sad that this school is allowed to continue calling itself “progressive”—please do your research before working here, it is not what it seems. It is extremely disorganized and the administration is focused only on test scores. I even saw the administration printing out class rankings of the scores of different classes in each grade compared to one another. Don’t let the pretty buildings and claims fool you!

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    Advice to Management

    Be true to your mission. Progressive education actually works, it just needs to be trained. Don’t give up on the mission just for the sake of test scores. Think: would you send your own child to this school? I’m sure most would say no, and that’s a serious ethical issue.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-06-27
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Laid off a ton of teachers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Lead Preschool Teacher 

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    They're trying to be progressive.

    Cons

    They're not very good at being progressive. Also, they laid off a ton of teachers in fall 2017 because of low enrollment.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-05-12
  7. Helpful (1)

    "A revolving door of leaders who devalue teacher talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Harlem Village Academies full-time

    Pros

    teaching staff is supportive of each other Good health benefits

    Cons

    Long days No instructional leadership Not enough support staff

    Advice to Management

    Hire more staff, teachers are overworked Pay teachers market rate

    Harlem Village Academies2019-05-06
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Not the place for you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Harlem Village Academies full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Ib classes are good for you

    Cons

    Coo, no belief or support, long hours, no personal freedom, everything

    Advice to Management

    Get a new coo who thinks you’re a capable person.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-05-11
  9. Helpful (1)

    "HVA is what you make it. It can be absolutely wonderful (hard work) but very rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Harlem Village Academies full-time

    Pros

    This review is specifically focused on the west elementary school. I have been with HVA for several years and continues to return because of the relationships I have developed with staff, students, and families. HVA west elementary staff is very bright, driven, and like to have fun. The environment is generally positive. Teachers have all the materials they could ever dream of and want for very little. The... building itself is beautiful, convenience, and well taken care of. This is not a school that feels like yet another charter school. There are no demerits or color charts and students are supported by caring adults around them. Additionally, as far as the retention of teachers, the west elementary staff still has founding members on their team. The school has grown every year so new staff has needed to come on board, but for the most part, staff stays from year to year. The retention rates are well within normal limits. Additionally, the benefits provided are great and they recently updated their pay scales!

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    Cons

    I have seen many changes throughout the years I have been here but feel that we are moving in a good direction. The hours are long and sometimes directions can be see as unclear but the more you stick with it the better you will do. The teachers work very hard. My major gripe is that the professional development is not always very helpful and can feel frustrating to attend for seasoned employees. Additionally,... the consequence structures in place can feel confusing and at times inconsistent.

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    Advice to Management

    More support staff is needed. You have a few people running around doing many jobs. The more support staff and the more seasoned teachers you have the better the kids will do.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-04-03
  10. Helpful (2)

    "Horrible, Toxic Environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Elementary Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Harlem Village Academies full-time

    Pros

    Amazing students, families, and teachers.

    Cons

    The school is going downhill fast. Leadership is extremely unprofessional and biased. The school is run like a business, where the main concern is money. Extremely high turnover rate with almost 15 teachers leaving this school year alone. The school has no structure, concerns from staff are ignored, student behavior is out of control, and k-2 is practically ignored while the school, spends months test prepping 3-6.

    Advice to Management

    Admit that you don’t know what you’re doing and step down.

    Harlem Village Academies2019-04-30
Found 83 reviews