Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts

215 WEST 114 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10026 Map
Phone: (212) 749-5800
Website: Click here
Admissions: Audition
Principal: Daisy Fontanez
Neighborhood: Harlem
District: 3
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: EUNICE PAUL
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Performing Arts
Visual Art & Design
Screened

Buses: M1, M10, M102, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M7

What's special:

School nurtures arts-minded students

The downside:

Low test scores

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

August 2015 update: At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Wadleigh discontinued the school's drama program. The school principal Tyee Chin left at this time to become principal of Flushing High School. He was replaced by Daisy Fontanez, who previously worked for the Children's First Network 108. 

December 2012 review: As its name implies, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a combination middle and high school where students may study dance, drama, music, painting, photography and ceramics. Wadleigh also offers culinary training in its commercial-quality kitchen, as well as all core academic courses required for a high school diploma.

Principal Tyee Chin took over in February 2012 from Herma Hall, an interim principal who was the latest in a string of Wadleigh administrators to come and go. Jamaica-born Chin quickly earned praise from teachers, but he faces a number of challenges if Wadleigh is to achieve the academic success most principals strive for. Student test scores are far lower than they ought to be, and its tiny middle school has long been threatened with closure. (Chin would like to enlarge the middle school, but Department of Education officials “want to see progress first,” he said.)

Wadleigh (rhymes with “oddly”) is one of three public schools sharing a handsome landmark building that opened in 1903 as Wadleigh High School for Girls, New York’s first all-girl public high school. (Famous alumni include Jean Stapleton, Lillian Hellman and Isabel Sanford.) The all-girl school closed in 1954 and reopened in 1956 as a co-ed junior high. In its latest incarnation, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts takes up the first and second floors, Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School is on the third and fourth floors, and Success Academy Harlem West (a middle school that opened in 2012) occupies the fifth floor. The three share the cafeteria, auditorium, gym and library.

Student enthusiasm is most visible in the arts, music and dance classes. We observed a drawing class where students working in small teams diligently sketched out cartoon characters for a competitive assignment in which the principal would select a winner. Distracted girls in a vocal music class snapped to attention when their teacher began leading them in warm-up scales. Dancers rehearsing in the mirrored studio worked up a sweat as they practiced choreographed moves for an upcoming performance.

In the kitchen, students learning from professional cooks baked challah bread and other autumn favorites. (Cooking classes are an elective, but Chin said he hopes to improve the curriculum so future graduates can earn a culinary CTE endorsement on their diplomas.)

Academic enthusiasm is less obvious elsewhere. Haphazardly arranged desks gave classrooms a sloppy look, and late-arriving students suffered no visible punishment. The school dress code (black and/or white clothing) is so liberally interpreted that the rules aren’t apparent. Administrators roamed the halls so they could dish out on-the-spot discipline (usually a stern lecture) to disruptive kids, yet loud voices regularly boomed down the historic hallways. Students and staff often moved at a speed that seemed to suggest a lack of urgency—perhaps a reaction to the overactive furnace that kept rooms at near-sauna temperatures. Test scores and graduation rates are low.

Wadleigh has produced a few notable performers: Graduate Joshua Johnson was a featured dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” and has appeared several times on “Ellen”.

College: Wadleigh graduates often go on to SUNY and CUNY universities, although some are regularly accepted to colleges such as Ithaca, Skidmore, Wake Forest and Penn State, according to guidance counselor Julia Garcia.

Special education: Wadleigh offers self-contained classes as well as integrated co-teaching (ICT) classrooms in which students with special needs are mixed with students from the general population. ICT classes feature two teachers, one of whom is certified to teach special education.

Admissions: Eighth-graders often audition, although a number of students are accepted without auditioning. Grades and attendance are weighed, although Chin said, “I rarely accept a child that has good grades but bad attendance.” (Skip Card, December 2012)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This schools shares the Wadleigh Secondary Building with two other schools

Number of Students 377

Average Daily Attendance 80%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
53%

Hispanic

  
44%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
24%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.18 2.59 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Safety & vibe

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

49% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

56% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

85% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

55% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

0% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

14% hi 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

0% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

36% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This schools shares the Wadleigh Secondary Building with two other schools

Number of Students 377

Average Daily Attendance 80%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
53%

Hispanic

  
44%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
24%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.18 2.39 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Middle school students reading at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

82% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

85% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

92% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

55% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

65% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

1% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

64% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

6% 9% 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?

2%

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

4%

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

1%

Are students ready for college?

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

7% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

401
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

39% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

381
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

58% 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

Vocal Music

Audition

Performance in Musical Theatre, Solo Voice, Music History and Chorus.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 55-100) , Math (Scores 55-100) , Science (Scores 55-100) , Social Studies (Scores 65-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.6-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.7-4.5

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Dance

Audition

Modern Dance, Jazz, African and Tap.

Drama

Audition

Acting, Voice and Diction, Dramatic Literature.

Visual Arts

Audition

Drawing, watercolor, painting, ceramics, multi-arts, sculpture and computer graphics.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 55-100) , Math (Scores 55-100) , Science (Scores 55-100) , Social Studies (Scores 60-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.5-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.8-4.5

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Instrumental Music

Audition

Music Electives such as Violin, Band, Orchestra, and Woodwinds.

Wadleigh Secondary

Limited Unscreened

Students will be prepared to pass the five required NYS Regents. Students will also earn an Advanced Regents diploma. A college-level equivalency course in precalculus will be offered to help prepare students for entry into a four-year college program.

Academics

AP COURSES: AP English, AP World History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Culinary, Art Club, Dance Company, Hip-Hop Dance, Musical and Play Production, Poetry and Spoken Word, Student Government, Yearbook, Big Ideas Club, Hype Club, Chess Club, Glee Club, Track Club

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball

Other schools sports: Track, Volleyball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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