M.S. 224 Manhattan East School for Arts & Academics

An Insideschools pick
410 EAST 100 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10029 Map
Phone: (212) 860-6047
Website: Click here
Admissions: selective; citywide
Principal: Luis Genao
Neighborhood: East Harlem
District: 4
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: ANGIE ORTIZ
Unzoned
Screened
Citywide

What's special:

Strong arts and academics attract bright children from across the city

The downside:

Located far from nearest subway, some concerns over shared building

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Manhattan East School for Arts and Academics is a small, citywide middle school that offers students strong academics and lots of arts instruction in music, visual arts, dance and drama. A magnet school since it opened in 1981, Manhattan East attracts motivated students from diverse backgrounds; many come from across the city, traveling at least an hour to get to school.

The music program is very strong, and students we observed seemed serious in class. All 6th- and 7th-graders study instrumental music and choose a wind, brass, or percussion instrument to play. Starting in 7th grade, students can join the school's concert or jazz band. All students can choose to participate in chorus.

Students in all grades study visual arts. By the beginning of 8th grade, serious artists develop portfolios for admission to competitive arts high schools such as Frank Sinatra and LaGuardia. In addition, interested students can choose dance and drama taught by faculty from The Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts.

In academic classes, we saw strong instruction and engaged students. Teachers have flexibility in lessons and tend to balance traditional text book-based exercises with more creative projects. In 7th grade, social studies students wrapped-up their study of the Algonquin Indians by making dream catchers out of yarn and plastic hoops. "After we study a subject in class, we always finish up with a project," said a student. The 8th grade English teacher, who was new to the school, wove social theories into lessons, having his students examine Marxism, utopia and dystopia through their readings of "Lord of the Flies," "The Hunger Games" and "The Giver."

All 8th graders take algebra and earth science, but only about half take the Regents exams in those subjects. "We used to have all students take the exams, but now we have a cut-off to qualify," said longtime principal, Liliana Sarro. Strong students also take the U.S. History Regents exam, which is typically taken in the 11th grade. "The 8th grade curriculum covers what's tested by the U.S. History Regents, so why not take the test in 8th grade?" said Sarro.

Though no student misbehavior was observed during our visit, there have been complaints of bullying and fights at school. The issues that have arisen, parents say, are more often between Manhattan East and students at the other schools that share the building, rather than within Manhattan East itself. Sarro said that the school is safe and calm, but when a problem arises between students at school, or develops outside of school and is brought to the staff's attention, the school addresses it immediately.

Manhattan East is located in East Harlem, a long trek from the nearest subway station. It occupies the entire the fifth floor of a 1920's era building that was the former home of JHS 99. The school shares the building with the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation, and Success Academy Harlem 3 kindergarten through 2nd graders.  All schools share use of the auditorium, cafeteria, library and renovated outdoor track and yard.  Each school has its own lunch and recess times.

Many graduates go on to LaGuardia and Frank Sinatra High Schools. In recent years graduates have also attended Bronx Science, School of the Future, Millennium High School and Frank McCourt.

Special Education: Students with special needs are placed in general education classes as well as in self-contained classes. Students in self-contained classes are integrated with the others for gym, art and some music classes.

Afterschool: The Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center runs activities such as dance, step and academic help every afternoon until 6 p.m. at the school. The Beacon Program sponsors after-school activities that are open to students from all schools in the building as well as to community members. Manhattan East has a basketball team.

Admissions: Parents tour the school in the fall, and prospective students who submit an application are invited back to sit in on classes for a whole day to see if the school is appropriate for them. During their full-day visit, children take a math and writing test and are interviewed by a faculty member. "It's important for kids to want to be here, because the work is challenging and many will have a long commute," said Sarro. Applications are accepted from students citywide. (Laura Zingmond, November, 2011, updated on shared building, 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Renaissance Charter HS and Success Academy Harlem 3 Charter

Number of Students 166

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
36%

Hispanic

  
51%

White

  
7%

Free Lunch

  
69%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 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?

43% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

92% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

75% 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?

21% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

33% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

47% 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:

32% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

40% 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:

5% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 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:

14% 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:

13% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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