University Neighborhood High School

An Insideschools pick
200 MONROE STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Phone: (212) 962-4341
Website: Click here
Admissions: Educational option
Principal: Elizabeth Collins
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
District: 1
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: LISA RANSON
Science & Math
Business
ESL Focus

Buses: M14A, M14D, M15, M21, M22, M9, X14, X37, X38

What's special:

Founded in collaboration with NYU, school works to create college-bound graduates.

The downside:

School is trying to find a way to offer internships and college courses to more students.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At University Neighborhood High School, spreadsheets cover one wall of principal Elizabeth Collins' office. The sheets contain the names of every University Neighborhood student, and blank boxes reveal what credits and Regents exams each student still needs to graduate.

The spreadsheets underscore Collins' determination to improve the school's graduation rate, which once was a dismal 48 percent but by 2011 had risen to 71 percent. Collins also points to her school's most recent Department of Education Progress Report grades, which have gone from a "D" to a "C-plus" since she took over in January 2010. The numbers quantify the general sense that University Neighborhood, once officially categorized as a school in need of improvement (or "SINI"), is making necessary fixes and heading in the right direction.

"When I came, I just put everything in order," Collins said. Fights were common when she arrived in 2010, and often half her day was spent dishing out discipline. At the faculty level, teachers were free to create courses that interested them; as a result, students were enjoying a variety of electives but often hadn't mastered the math, English and science required for diplomas. Collins retooled the curriculum to focus on core subjects, remedial courses and Regents prep. "People didn't like this," she said. More than a dozen teachers left.

The faculty had stabilized by the time we visited in March 2012, but University Neighborhood High School is still working to improve its image. In the classrooms we observed, many longtime teachers kept kids engaged (students eagerly listened to one history teacher's description of gangster Al Capone), but young teachers often had little control over rowdy students clearly uninterested in their lessons. Students we spoke to praised teachers' caring attitudes and willingness to share advice, but in the classrooms teachers often had to raise their voices to be heard over the background din.

University Neighborhood High School opened in September 1999 in what had originally been Manhattan's PS 31, a Lower East Side landmark built in 1902. (It has no connection to University Neighborhood Middle School, despite the similar names.) The five-story Beaux Arts building features high ceilings, large window and ample natural light, but also narrow hallways, a tiny library and no gym (although it does have an indoor weight room and dance studio). A nearby park provides an athletic field.

The name "University Neighborhood" reflects the school's founding collaboration with New York University, a relationship that fed many NYU student teachers to the high school but sent relatively few graduating seniors to NYU. The high school has three full-time employees who help students apply to colleges and prepare for pre-college tests (which the school requires all students take in their junior and senior years). Seniors meet weekly to get advice on their post-graduation options. Recent graduates have been accepted to private schools such as Pace University, St. John's and Penn State, as well as SUNY colleges in Binghamton, Stony Brook, Buffalo and Albany.

The school offers few advanced-placement courses, but one-third of the seniors take business, economics or English classes at Baruch College. Collins said she wants students "to have a sense of being a college student" and experience the rigors of college coursework. She also tries to tailor courses to fit each student's individual needs "to make sure that the students will get as much as possible and be ready for college."

The school offers a number of options for students struggling to master English, particularly recent immigrants from China, including Spanish and Mandarin classes. There are few courses outside of required classes such as math, science and English, but the options are slowly growing.

Special education: The school has six special education teachers who work with other teachers in integrated co-teaching (ICT) classrooms. The school has no self-contained special ed classes, because Collins wants all students held to the same standards. "I want all kids to be treated the same," she said.

Admissions: The school accepts students from throughout New York City, but priority is given to students living in Districts 1 and 2. Applicants must tour the high school during an open house. (Reviewed by Skip Card, March 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 343

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
28%

Black

  
27%

Hispanic

  
41%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
88%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
14%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.32 2.39 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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

66% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 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?

27% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

85% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

16% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

82% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

10% 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?

41%

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

65%

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

28%

Are students ready for college?

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

23% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

355
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

60% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

437
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?

NA 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

79% 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

University Neighborhood Early College

Screened

University Neighborhood Early College (UNEC) is designed for students interested in pursuing a career in business. UNEC provides rigorous curriculum with individualized academic supports, enabling students to earn a High School diploma and up to 24 college credits through City University of New York (CUNY) Baruch College within 4 years.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 65-100) , Math (Scores 60-100) , Science (Scores 65-100) , Social Studies (Scores 65-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.9-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.8-4.5

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

Bilingual Mandarin

Screened: Language

Students with limited English are taught by bilingual Mandarin speaking teachers in all core subjects and get extra support during Academic Intervention Services (AIS).

University Neighborhood High School

Ed. Opt.

An interdisciplinary, project-based program, with advisories, art and music electives, community service requirements and learning centers.

Academics

AP COURSES: AP Calculus, AP Chinese, AP English, AP Spanish, AP Studio Art, AP US Government and Politics

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Basketball, Badminton, Handball, Glee, Dance, Weight Training, Ping Pong, Tennis, Step Team, Tutoring, Lunchtime Tutoring, Saturday SAT Prep, Saturday Regents Prep, ESL Saturday Academy, Regents Prep, National Honor Society, Council for Unity, Young WomenŒÍs Empowerment, Student Assistance Services, Aviation, Book, Chess, Robotics, Computer, Spanish, Student Government, Art, Audio, Music, Digital Art Studio, Guitar and Piano, Literary Magazine, Murals, Video, and Cooking.

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Handball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Bowling, Softball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)

New! Insideschools on your phone