Upper School

Students start entering the building at 7:45am and are greeted by multiple staff members before they head to their classrooms. Students move with their cohort through core academic classes, electives, and advisory sessions.

Advisory is a core part of the upper school model and is a time for students to peer-mediate, deal with different situations, and read articles and books that show healthy conflict resolution and regulating emotions.

Throughout all parts of the day there is a focus on supporting students to advocate for themselves and giving students options to choose how they want to learn. This may look like deciding between presenting a google slide deck or writing an essay to share learning, or integrating technology in an innovative way.

The day for Upper School students ends at 3:25pm, with many students opting for after school activities such as arts, sports, theater, drama, or academic-focused enrichment.


Haven students continue to experience a rigorous academic program grounded in a responsive learning environment as they go through the middle school grades. Starting in 6th grade, students change classes to learn from content experts, apply to honors and college prep courses, and experience even more voice and choice in the form of selecting participation in electives, clubs, leadership opportunities, community service, and sports teams.


Haven students outperform comparison schools in academics and in other key metrics, like attendance, chronic absenteeism, special education referrals, and suspensions, Haven students involved in the child welfare system fare better than their peers in other schools. Additionally, 98% of Haven parents reported that staff at the school work to build relationships with “parents/guardians like me” and that their child’s teacher views them as a partner in educating their child. Additionally, the teacher turnover is among the lowest of NYC Charters schools, contributing to Haven’s stable environment for students.

Preparation for High School and Beyond

Support for High School admissions starts in the 6th grade. Students focus on mastering executive functioning skills such as time management, study skills, and academic skills. In 8th grade, staff support students on the actual process and understanding of the high school admissions criteria. Staff work with both students and their families to understand what they are looking for in their high school experience and work on matching them to the high schools that would support their interests. Staff go with students and families to open houses and high school fairs and provide resources and support on the application process. Haven continues to support our alumni with tutoring, connection to resources, and preparing for college and the college application process as well.

Learn more about what our students do outside of the classroom.