Eleanor Roosevelt High School

An Insideschools pick
411 EAST 76 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10021 Map
Phone: (212) 772-1220
Website: Click here
Admissions: selective/District 2 priority
Principal: DIMITRI SALIANI
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
District:2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: MARTIN TRACHTENBERG
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible
Screened

Buses: M101, M15, M31, M66, M72, M79, M86, M98, Q102

What's special:

Strong technology and science program, small class size.

The downside:

Very few openings for out-of-district students; tiny gym and cafeteria.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

One of the most sought-after schools in the city, Eleanor Roosevelt High School (aka ELRO) on Manhattan's Upper East Side provides an abundance of resources, class offerings, and opportunities that most New York City public schools only dream of acquiring. In 2008, 100 percent of students graduated in four years, and fewer than a handful did not attend a four-year college. The school, however, is required to give priority to District 2 students, and therefore very few seats are available for out-of-district kids.

Building and location: Located on a tranquil side street, ELRO looks and feels more like a private institution than a public school. Wide hallways, immaculately polished floors, windows in every classroom, and spotless modern bathrooms make the former Sotheby's warehouse one of the most impressive school buildings in the city. It is just a short walk from a host of museums, institutions, universities, and Central Park, where the baseball team practices. Local residents frequently donate items to the school: When a tenant across the street relocated, he donated his baby grand piano to the school.

The school boasts two large science labs and two science demo rooms. There is a music room with four small soundproof practice suites, and a separate storage room for wind and string instruments. A large art room has three kilns and digital photography equipment. There are also 11 laptop carts and a separate technology room filled with desktop computers. Most classrooms are large. The cafeteria and gym, however, are small.

School environment and culture: The school feels like a well-to-do, traditional, small suburban school. In September, entering 9th-graders attend an overnight camp to work on team-building skills. ELRO students are mature and focused, and the administration speaks to them like responsible adults. With fewer than 150 students per grade, everybody knows each other. Students say they feel safe and their teachers are always available for extra help. There are no bells and, unlike most public schools, ELRO hallways were calm and students didn't require any prompts to get to class on time. While the majority of students in New York City public schools are black or Hispanic, 80 percent of ELRO students are either white or Asian, reflecting the District 2 population. We noticed that during lunch, the cafeteria was filled with mostly Asian students, while white students ate lunch off-campus.

Teaching and curriculum: All the teachers we observed were extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and creative. Lessons are fast-paced, cover content in detail, and often mimicked a college lecture with a touch of teen-nurturing. Teachers guide classroom discussions by probing students with thought-provoking questions: "Who has been our helpful friend in genetic engineering?" asked one teacher. "Bacteria," responded one student. In an Advanced Placement U.S. History course, students compared their responses to a survey about "chief moral qualities" with student responses from 1924, which resulted in a highly-engaged conversation about life in the era that ended with the Great Depression. The school's course offerings look like a catalogue from a small college. Students can choose among 11 AP courses, and many electives, such as digital photography, videography, organic chemistry, forensics, philosophy of criminology, music, and drama. Students who develop a passion for a subject also have opportunities to work on in-depth projects and research projects.

Art is also integrated into academic lessons. Walls were covered with student projects. In a science room, a student created mitochondria out of foil, construction paper, and a shoebox, while in a Spanish class a student created a poster size Facebook page in Spanish.

ELRO has an impressive array of clubs, such as the ski/snowboarding club, gardening club, Friday film clubs, and the green team club, which purchased separate recycling trash cans for paper, plastics, and non-recyclable trash. Students can also participate in baseball, basketball, track, cross country running, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.

Family participation: Typically about 40-60 parents attend a PTA meeting, according to Marty Trachtenberg, the school's parent coordinator. The PTA sponsors an annual auction that raises over $30,000. During our visit, Principal Dimitri Saliani often referred to overseas trips and expensive equipment being paid for by a "private donation," although he would not disclose the total amount.

Partnerships and programs: Students can work with professors at Rockefeller University, Museum of Natural History, Barnard College, and Polytechnic University. In 2009, five students worked with a physics professor to enter an international physics competition in Israel. Their project - a box with a lock that can only be opened by decoding physics principles - came in fifth place.

Special education: Ten students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and receive additional support outside their regular classes.

Admissions: Preference is given to students who live in District 2 or attend a District 2 middle school; very few students are admitted from outside the district, according to the guidance counselor. The school receives applications from 500-600 qualified applicants - those who have scored a 3 or 4 on their 7th grade state exams and have been late or absent fewer than 10 times. Some students are admitted with "high 2s" if they provide a good explanation in a supplementary letter, the counselor said.

After graduation: In 2008, all but three seniors attended a four-year college. Some go on to private colleges like Bard College or Brown or Carnegie Mellon Universities, while others choose public institutions such as the University of California at San Diego, Virginia State University, as well as SUNY and CUNY schools. During the 2008-09 school year, students received at total of $2.5 million in merit-based scholarships, according to the school's college guidance counselor.

Also of note: The principal is creating a online system that, with the help of Google Docs, staff can track students' progress in multiple subjects on tests, homework, and their overall achievement to find out whether they require special services. Everybody in the school has an ELRO e-mail account. When a student needs a form signed or a letter of recommendation, they simply send an e-mail. (Vanessa Witenko, April 2009)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 531

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
21%

Black

  
4%

Hispanic

  
11%

White

  
62%

Free Lunch

  
25%

Special ed

  
3%

English Language Learners

  
1%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.70 2.80 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

27 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

75% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

71% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

98% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

87% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

6% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

100% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

100% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

98% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

83% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

100% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

2% 11% 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?

74%

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

24%

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

94%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

96% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

598
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

99%

SAT math scores

621
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

85% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

NA 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to District 2 students or residents
  2. Then to Manhattan students or residents
  3. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Eleanor Roosevelt High School

Screened

A program incorporating the arts and technology as essential components of learning.

Selection Criteria

  • English (90-100) , Math (90-100) , Science (90-100) , Social Studies (90-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

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

Academics

AP COURCES: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Economics: Macro, English Literature and Composition, European History, Government and Politics: Comparative, Music Theory, Physics B, Statistics, Studio Art: 3-D Design, United States History

Online: N/A

Language classes: French, Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art Gallery, Black History Month, CANstruction, Cheerleading, Chess, Dance, Debate, Drama, ElRo Ambassadors, ElRo Sibs, Fed Challenge, Film Club,Gay-Straight Alliance, Glee Club, Green Team, Human Rights, Jazz Ensemble, Making a Difference, Math Club, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, "Pawprint" Online Newspaper, Peer Tutoring and Mentoring, Philosophy, Recording and Sound Engineering Group, Senior Class Council, Ski/Snowboarding, Student Government, Student Movement Against Cancer (SMAC), Technology Club, World Quest, Wounded Warrior Fashion Show

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Football & JV Football, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Football, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis

Other schools sports: Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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