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:

Out of the way location

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Manhattan East is a tiny middle school on the southeastern edge of East Harlem. It occupies the entire fifth floor of a 1920s era building (with no elevator). Many students travel an hour to get there from Harlem, Brooklyn or the Bronx, yet with three bands, visual arts, dance and three Regent's courses, this warm and unique school is worth the trip. 

The staff is so sincere and friendly you soon forget how out of breath you are from the climb. The tone is light and filled with banter and often the sound of music. Office staff and teachers check in on children frequently, and take action if a child looks grumpy or sad, by pulling them aside to chat. "Teachers know you really well," said a student.

There are no uniforms. "We are an arts school," said principal Luis Genao, a long-time educator and graduate of Wesleyan University, who grew up in the South Bronx. "Kids express themselves here."

The school was founded as part of the progressive, small schools movement in the 1980s, along with Central Park East and River East. Its location on the border of low-income East Harlem and the wealthy Upper East Side, is intentional—designed to draw children from different neighborhoods. It is "a desegregated school by design," Genao said.

Teachers have flexibility in how they teach. Eighth grade English teacher William Meehan weaves 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." Children listen to the soundtrack from the musical Hamilton in American history.

Children take up to six arts and sports classes per week. Sixth and 7th-graders study a wind, brass or percussion instrument. Starting in 7th grade, they may join the school's concert, rock or jazz bands. On the day of our visit, students brought up new and refurbished instruments donated by National Public Radio. They may dance or participate in drama.

All students take algebra, earth science and U.S. History Regents courses, but not all take the Regents exams. Parents rave about the academic rigor, but some students complain the lessons are too fast-paced.

One 8th grader said teachers move "on to the next topic, but if you missed things it is hard to catch up." She added that friends and teachers are always willing to help.

By the beginning of 8th grade, visual arts students develop portfolios for admission to competitive arts high schools such as Frank Sinatra and LaGuardia. Electives include basketball, and tennis on Randall's Island in the East River, accessible by a footbridge.

The school shares a building with the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation and Success Academy Harlem 3. It is a ten-minute walk from the 96th Street station on the Q line, and ten minutes from the 6 train on Lexington Avenue. A parent said an evening meeting can be a three-hour time commitment, if you factor in travel.

Manhattan East staggers entrance times with the other two schools in the building and there is little contact between them. Students said getting to school on time is a challenge. "The stairs are a hustle!" said one. The upside is the fun bonding time with friends on the subway or bus rides home, said the mother of an 8th grader.

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

ADMISSIONS: Applications are accepted from students citywide. Parents and children tour in the fall, and prospective students who submit an application are invited back to sit in on classes for a whole day. During their full-day visit, children take a math and writing test and are interviewed by a faculty member. (Lydie Raschka, January 2017)

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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