The High School for Language and Diplomacy
MANHATTAN NY 10003 Map
The High School for Language and Diplomacy
Buses: BM1, BxM10, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M1, M101, M102, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M23, M3, M5, M8, M9, QM21, X10, X12, X14, X17, X2, X28, X37, X38, X42, X5, X68
UPDATE 2014: Amber Najmi-Shadid, a former assistant principal at Brandeis High School, became principal of the High School of Language and Diplomacy in 2013.
2010 REVIEW: The High School of Language and Diplomacy is designed to offer students four years of Chinese, French or Arabic; to give them a chance to travel abroad; and to introduce them to activities such as Model United Nations. In its first year, several dozen students traveled to Istanbul for a 10-day trip. The school is planning student exchanges with sister schools in India and China.
The High School for Language and Diplomacy is a partnership between the city Department of Education and the Asia Society, which has sponsored a network of high schools to foster international relations. The school opened with a ninth grade class in 2009 on the sixth floor of Washington Irving High School, a cavernous building that also houses Gramercy Arts. At the time of our visit, the halls were bare, apparently because teachers didn’t want to decorate temporary quarters. The school felt new, and it is too soon to say whether it will succeed. Still, classes were filled with engaged and interested students. In both French and Chinese classes, students were speaking the language—not working on worksheets or chatting in English. Principal Santiago Mayol seemed passionate and enthusiastic as he walked into classes, sitting next to students to help them individually.
The first period, “Embassy Program,” includes advisory, Model UN preparations, cultural diplomacy and college prep. Students have the same Embassy Program teacher for four years. Wednesdays are elective days and students take only elective classes, including human geography, psychology, photography and academic help, if needed, then finish the day at 1:05. “The philosophy is not, ‘Let’s get you to pass the test,’ but let’s prepare you for life,” Mayol said. “Students stay afterschool and they come early. It sets the tone that this is [their] space.”
The new school had a rocky first year. The founding principal, responsible for designing the school, left in August 2009, just before the school opened. Staff complained that Mayol, who replaced him, did not make his expectations clear and that order and discipline were uneven, according to DOE surveys. There was a significant amount of teacher turnover the first year, but Mayol was confident the school was on the upswing. [In October 2012, Mayol was arrested on charges of shoplifting from Home Depot. He remained at the school during the 2012-2013 school year and Amber Najmi-Shadid became principal in 2013.]
Special education: The school offers integrated Collaborative Team Teaching classes and additional studio classes for English and math, designed to target specific skills. Classes are scheduled in free periods before or after the normal school day and are required for some students but open to all who are interested.
Admissions: Priority to those who attend a school fair. Prospective students are encouraged to visit and sit in on a class. (Aryn Bloodworth, October 2010; updated December 2014)
At a glance
Number of Students 437
Average Daily Attendance 86%
Metal detectors? Yes
INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.42 2.38 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Safety & vibe
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average english class21 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?
How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?58% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?92% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?
How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?75% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How Many Students are Chronically Absent?38% 36% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Class of 2015
How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?10%
Is the guidance counseling helpful?
How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?68% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
Programs and Admissions
School admission priorities:
- Priority to Manhattan students or residents who attend an information session
- Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
- Then to Manhattan students or residents
- Then to New York City residents
High School for Language and Diplomacy
AP COURSES: Calculus, English, French Language and Culture
EXTRACURRICULAR: IRIS Literary Magazine, Chess, Japanese, Journalism, Model UN, Peer Mediation, Service, Student Government, MOUSE Squad, Tutoring, Yearbook, Girls Acapella
BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Handball, Soccer, Volleyball
GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Softball, Volleyball
Other schools sports: As we expand, we plan to offer Intramural Sports including Martial Arts.