About Dream Charter School

About Dream Charter School

DREAM Charter School is a model learning community with high expectations, a strong culture of care, and a vision of student success and excellence. DREAM was established in 2008 with 100 scholars in kindergarten and first grade. Today we serve over 900 scholars in East Harlem and Mott Haven.

Our Approach

DREAM Charter School develops life-long learners who make positive change in their communities and the world. Here’s how.

Our scholars are challenged every day to meet high expectations because we know they can. Students are held accountable for completing their work on time and participating in classroom activities while being fully supported to meet those expectations.

DREAM’s challenging and innovative curriculum motivates students to apply higher level thinking in a joyful learning environment. Scholars are encouraged to apply inquiry-based learning to take ownership of their education and develop a deep love of learning.

Every child in every classroom needs excellent, well-trained, and effectively supported teachers. We develop, celebrate, and retain the best teachers at all stages of their careers through weekly professional development sessions, individual coaching sessions, and opportunities for growth.

DREAM operates on an extended day model to ensure students have enough opportunities to grow. We also have a longer year, requiring middle school students to attend a high-quality summer program, such as DREAM’s summer program, so that kids continue to succeed throughout the year and avoid summer learning loss.

Our Impact

DREAM’s model works. In the 2017 – 2018 school year, DREAM outperformed the district, city, and state in both ELA and Math testing.

% at or above proficiency


English Language Arts

  • DREAM scholars have outperformed their statewide, citywide, and district peers in both ELA and Math for three years in a row.

  • DREAM scholars made larger overall gains in ELA than statewide, citywide, and district peers.

  • 27% of DREAM’s population are scholars with special needs compared to New York City’s 20%.

  • DREAM special education scholars outperformed city peers and district peers on both ELA and Math.

“I love this school. My child has excelled and keeps getting better each and every year.”

-DREAM Charter School Parent

Family Survey Results


of families feel welcome at DREAM


of families are satisfied with opportunities to be involved in their child’s education


of families say that DREAM has high expectations for their child


of families report that their child is learning what they need to succeed in college and beyond

What Drives Us

We love how each scholar is unique and learns in different ways. We embrace diversity and use multiple methods to reach every learner. We welcome scholars with Special Needs and English Language Learners.

Our families are critical partners who make our work complete. They visit our classrooms, and we visit their homes. We actively work together to provide the best for our scholars every step of the way.

We believe in the whole child. A scholar is defined by more than his or her grades. We surround our scholars with a variety of enrichment activities including physical education, arts, and music to ignite their passions.

DREAM Charter School is committed to promoting and protecting children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn. Please download our Wellness Policy to learn more.

College and career readiness is at the core of our work. Through college visits for every grade, career talks, a rigorous curriculum, and more, DREAM ensures scholars will not only get to college, but thrive there.

We believe in the power of collaboration and community. Scholars, families, staff, and teachers work together to ensure each student gets the best education and experience possible while they’re at DREAM.

“DREAM Charter School is a good neighbor, eager to serve its community... The vibe throughout is sweet and calm.”

DREAM Charter School is a staff pick at InsideSchools. Read more at our InsideSchools profile.

What's going on at our schools

Explore our schools

Growing up with DREAM

Last year, Taraji came to Pre-K every day eager to learn the lessons for the day. Throughout the year, Taraji learned about the five senses, natural resources, color composition, dinosaurs, and much more. This year, as a kindergartner in the Eagles classroom, she is soaring. She is surrounded by friends and always helps her classmates when they need it. Just like in Pre-K, Taraji comes to school excited and ready to learn. She’ll be ready for first grade before we know it!

“My expectation and the expectation of every single person who works in this building is that every one of our kids is going to college.”

— Eve Colavito, Chief of Schools


Our community partners include:  Union Settlement, New York City Autism Charter School, New York City Police Department 23rd precinct, Manhattan Community Board 11, Smile Mobile Dental Clinic, Volunteers of Legal Service, PwC.

Sign up for our newsletter.

You may be interested in After-school and Summer Programs