About Us » School Overview

School Overview

At the Academy for Independent Learning and Leadership, students are immersed in a culture of academic excellence, character building and service learning. In our school community we believe that every child possesses inherent excellence and genius. Our goal is to empower our scholars to use their voices and address the aspects of their community that they believe need to change. We do this with a focus on the core subjects of ELA, math, science, and social studies. Our scholars also take classes on social justice, visual and graphic arts, technology, music, and Spanish. We want our scholars to be well rounded and prepared for their future endeavors.


Throughout the school year each class is centered around our scholar's identities so that they can truly connect to the learning and that all learning experiences are relevant. By the time scholars graduate from the Academy for Independent Learning and Leadership, they are prepared for the academic rigors of high school, as well as civic minded and aware of social issues that affect their communities and are equipped with the tools to become the change makers of society.


Honors classes are considered more advanced and reserved for students who wish to challenge themselves to excel to a higher academic level.  All students are eligible to be placed in one of the honors classes based on test scores and overall academic performance.  Students who meet requirements for an honors class will begin high school preparation in advance, such as participation in the New York State Regents Examinations in Algebra I and the Living Environment in grade 8.  

Recommended services available for students with special needs include self-contained special education classes, integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes, special education teacher support services (SETSS), counseling services, and speech & language therapy. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and hearing and vision services can also be made available on an as-needed basis. 

ENL (English as a New Language) teachers provide push-in or pull-out services for students identified as English Language Learners (ELLs).    

M.S. 129 is rich in technology and technology-based instruction. The school provides students with a laptop or iPad to use in their classroom and students receive instruction in a state-of-the-art computer lab and a 3D printer lab. Teachers are able to infuse technology into their core curriculum. Each classroom has a SMART-board (interactive white-board) for effective delivery of a lesson by the teacher.   Additionally, M.S. 129 will be introducing Veative headsets in class for students to participate in instruction through virtual reality, such as virtual field trips to different countries, time periods, and human body systems.