High School of Graphic Communication Arts

439 WEST 49TH STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10019 Map
Phone: (212) 245-5925
Website: Click here
Admissions: No new admits
Principal: BRENDAN LYONS
Neighborhood: West Midtown
District:2
Grade range: 9-12
Vocational

What's special:

Very cool Mac and photo labs

The downside:

Closing because of poor performance

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

JUNE 2013 UPDATE: The High School of Graphic Communication Arts is being phased out and replaced after years of poor performance. No new students were admitted in September 2013, and the phase-out will be completed in June 2016. The DOE has proposed to open and co-locate a new district high school in the building. As of 2014, there were four other schools in the building: The Urban Assembly Gateway School for TechnologyThe Business of Sports SchoolStephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School and Success Academy Hell's Kitchen Charter School.

OCTOBER 2011 REVIEW:

The High School of Graphic Communication Arts trains students to work in digital photography and digital printing. Founded as the High School of Printing in 1925, the school has replaced its outdated printing presses with shiny Mac labs where students learn desktop publishing and video editing with programs like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.

A Career and Technical Education (CTE) school, Graphic Communications is designed to train students for a trade as well as offer them regular academic classes. It faces many challenges. Attendance is poor and graduation rates are low. Students must pass through metal detectors to get to class. A majority of students responding to the 2010-11 NYC School Survey said students are disrespectful to teachers and to one another.

However, Brendon Lyons, who became principal in 2011, has brought new ideas and new energy. He hired student aides to telephone classmates if they miss school. He gave teachers common planning times so they can discuss students' progress and coordinate lessons. He is working with his staff to ensure that the training the students receive prepares them for current jobs in industry—and not for yesterday's trades.

Lyons, who taught at the progressive Central Park East High School and a number of schools in Manhattan and the Bronx, believes the best way to improve attendance is to make classes so exciting that students will want to come to school. At least in the classes we visited, his strategy seemed to be paying off: students in the photo dark room, an English class and a digital printing class were focused and engaged in their work. Class changes were calm, with no signs of rough-housing.

The school has long had a Navy Junior ROTC program, which emphasizes leadership training, community service and citizenship. Students march and drill in lieu of physical education.

Special education: Nearly 300 students receive special education services, including "self-contained" classes and Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT). Nearly 200 are designated as English language learners.

Admission: Students were admitted to Graphic Communication based on the educational option formula. (Clara Hemphill, October 2011)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Graphics Educational Campus

Number of Students 735

Average Daily Attendance 71%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
33%

Hispanic

  
62%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
21%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 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

27 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

71% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

27% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

86% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

35% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

72% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

59% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

63% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

54% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

56% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

19% 11% 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?

3%

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

11%

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

5%

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?

10% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

399
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

41%

SAT math scores

390
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?

92% 76% 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?

35% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

31% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

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

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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