Talent Unlimited High School

An Insideschools pick

317 EAST 67 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10065 Map
Phone: (212) 737-1530
Website: Click here
Admissions: audition
Principal: LINDA HAMIL
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
District: 2
Grade range: 09 thru 12

Buses: M1, M101, M15, M31, M57, M66, M72, M98, Q101, Q32, Q60

What's special:

Strong performing arts program

The downside:

Friction between the administration and faculty

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Talent Unlimited combines a strong performing arts program with engaging academics, preparing students either to go to a liberal arts college or on to conservatory training in musical theater, voice, instrumental music, drama or dance.

Housed in a wing of the Julia Richman Educational Complex on the Upper East Side, Talent Unlimited has its own entrance. It shares facilities such as a library and cafeteria with other schools in the building. The corridors could use some fresh paint and brighter lighting, but the classrooms are sunny. Students were consistently engaged in both their academic classes and their performing arts classes on the day of our visit.

Music classes are on the same floor as math classes; dance is on the same floor at science, and drama is on the same floor as English and social studies. This arrangement encourages teachers to integrate academics and art and to take advantage of students’ artistic talents to make academics more accessible.

Students read Shakespeare in English class--and act out scenes in drama. A math teacher gives a lesson on wave lengths, and the musicians learn about intervals and frequency. A science teacher makes a connection between radioactive decay and the rhythms that dancers understand. Students taking an introduction to engineering make props and sets for a school play.

While seniors at many New York City schools have a very light course load, Talent Unlimited encourages students to take four years of math and four years of science and about one-third of them do. The school offers a few Advanced Placement courses. Some students take courses at Hunter College, just a few blocks away. Under the leadership of Principal Linda Hamil and Assistant Principal Pierre Orbe, Talent Unlimited has become increasingly popular in recent years. Both the academic and the performing arts are stronger now than they were on our previous visits.

There is some friction between the administration and faculty. Two-thirds of the teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey in 2012 said the principal was a poor manager, and nearly half said the principal does not put children’s interests above other concerns. A disgruntled staffer wrote Insideschools that the principal spent more time on her Broadway shows than on the kids. Hamil, a former actress, is proud of her work as a producer of plays such as the “Scottsboro Boys.” However, she acknowledged that the survey was a “wakeup call” and she is committed to improving relations with the staff. [The Learning Environment Survey for 2013 showed improved relations between the principal and staff. However, about one-quarter of teachers responding to the survey said the principal is a poor manager who does not put children's interests above other concerns.]

College admissions: A few students have won POSSE scholarships to the University of Southern California and Wheaton College in Massachusetts. One dance student was admitted to Juilliard.

Admissions: Students may audition in dance, drama, voice, instrumental or musical theater. Applicants should score level 2-4 on standardized exams and have an 80 average or above in academic classes. There are weekly tours from September to December. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Julia Richman Educational Campus

Number of Students 530

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
35%

Hispanic

  
39%

White

  
19%

Free Lunch

  
58%

Special ed

  
6%

English Language Learners

  
0%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.20 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

30 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

67% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

76% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

95% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

88% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

16% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

96% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

96% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

96% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

42% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

96% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

1% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

19%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

27%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

65%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

51% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

479
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

86%

SAT math scores

488
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

76% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

NA 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

80% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

96% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Instrumental Music

Audition

Students study music theory and history and have the opportunity to perform in a variety of ensembles, including concert band, string ensemble, jazz band, and orchestra.

Musical Theatre

Audition

Students are transformed into “triple threat” performers who learn to sing, dance and act in a variety of venues; emphasis on vocal technique, scene study, movement, ensemble and solo performance.

Dance

Audition

Students study modern and ballet technique, choreography, repertory, pointe, pilates, anatomy, and dance history; comprehensive program that includes junior and senior internships and performances at all grade levels.

Drama

Audition

Students study movement for actors, voice and speech, theatre history, scene and monologue study, communication skills, stage production and performance repertory; opportunity to perform in a variety of venues.

Vocal Music

Audition

Students study music theory, vocal technique, and music history; opportunity to perform in a variety of vocal ensembles.

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, Chemistry, English Literature and Composition, United States History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Arista, Career-based Internships, Chess, Citywide performances in Vocal Music, Community Service Outreach, Dance, Drama, Extended Day Tutoring in all academic and arts subjects, Film, Gospel Choir, Hip-Hop, Improv Comedy, Mentoring, Musical Theatre & Instrumental Music, SAT Prep, Saturday School, School Newspaper, Step Team, Student Government, Weight Room, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

Other schools sports: N/A

Source: High school directory

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)

New! Insideschools on your phone