Mott Haven Academy: Going Above & Beyond!

Children in the child welfare system face unique educational challenges. Repeated moves from one foster home to another often mean a change in schools. For children in New York City’s child welfare system, including foster care, building trust with adults requires special sensitivity. Issues like poor nutrition, a lack of health care, and absent or incarcerated parents affect every aspect of the lives of these children and the level of support they need at school.


Haven Academy continues to break barriers and reach new heights. This summer it was awarded a 2016-2019 New York State Charter School Dissemination Grant which is a federally funded grant that will enable Haven Academy to document and share its school’s culture and trauma sensitive design with the broader public school community.  Only eight schools were selected for this great honor!


In addition, this year’s New York State test results illustrate how Haven Academy has exceeded the norm:


  • Surpassed all comparison groups in math by nearly 30 percentage points on average.
  • Surpassed the district results on all tests
  • 3rd graders surpassed all comparison groups in both English Language Arts and Math percent proficient.


We are also very proud to announce that The Foundling’s Haven Academy was highlighted in Richard Whitmire’s latest book The Founders: Inside the Revolution to Invent and Reinvent America’s Best Charter Schools. Whitmire explores the narrative and practices of today’s “high-performing public charter schools — the game changers, the best of the best, the top 20 percent.”


Accompanying the book is an online video series which includes an interview with Jessica Nauiokas, Haven Academy’s principal. She shares advice to recent educators, reveals the school’s concept behind its design and explains the school’s history. When speaking about the origin of Mott Haven Academy, Nauiokas recalled that “Bill Baccaglini from The Foundling recognized that kids in the child welfare system are underserved under traditional education systems, and we needed to do something that was different. And together, The Foundling team put together the plan for Haven Academy.”


About Mott Haven Academy:


Established in 2008, Mott Haven Academy Charter School, more commonly known as Haven Academy, serves 290 student ‘scholars’ in grades K-5, and 36 pre-kindergarten students in the South Bronx. One third of our students are in foster care, one third are involved with a foster care prevention program, and one third reside in one of the nation’s most impoverished congressional districts, Mott Haven.


The Foundling is excited and proud to see what the future has in store for all our student ‘scholars’ at Mott Haven Academy and wish the best for this coming school year!


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