Manhattan Village Academy

An Insideschools pick
43 WEST 22 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10010 Map
Phone: (212) 242-8752
Website: Click here
Admissions: Screened: interview/writing sample
Principal: Hector Geager
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Ircania Vega
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: M101, M102, M14A, M14D, M2, M20, M23, M4, M5, M7

What's special:

Strong college-prep curriculum and imaginative teaching

The downside:

Not all students can keep up with the workload

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Manhattan Village Academy offers a demanding college-prep curriculum, imaginative projects and plenty of writing practice. It's an unusual blend of teaching philosophies: Like a traditional school, the kids wear uniforms, call teachers "Mr." and "Ms.," and study hard for Regents exams. Like a progressive school, they have plenty of hands-on work. They may explore themes such as "globalization" and "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" or work in a group on a physics experiment measuring and graphing the speed at which they walk.

Principal Hector Geager says he wants to make sure students get the breadth that traditional schools offer and the depth that progressive schools offer. His students take nine Regents exams—four more than the state requires. In addition, they must complete five "portfolios," which may consist of hefty term papers, projects and oral presentations. Twelfth-graders are expected to write term papers of 10 to 15 pages on topics like global trade agreements. Everyone takes four years of science, including physics. Ninth- and 11th-graders take two hours of math a day, so by the end of four years everyone has had the equivalent of six years of high school math.

The workload is heavy, and not all students can manage it. Geager says eight to 10 students typically transfer to less demanding high schools after 9th grade. (The school accepts a similar number of incoming 10th-graders) But for those who can do the work, the rewards are great. The principal says graduates have been admitted to top private colleges—including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Cornell.

The tone of the school is serious but not oppressive. There are no bells, and class changes are orderly. Students wear uniforms—gray pleated skirts or trousers and blue sweaters. Eleventh- and 12th-graders may leave the building for lunch, although many choose to eat in the pleasant cafeteria.

Kids say they typically do three hours of homework a night, but teachers are available to help during the day and after school. "They give you one-on-one attention," one girl said. "It's hard, but it's worth it."

On our recent (2015) visit we saw a small group that had failed the Regent's Chemistry exam working with a teacher during school hours for extra help. Teachers have incorporated SAT prep into all grades. The school also offers eight Advanced Placement classes.

It's a small school, with only 100 students in each grade, and the principal knows every student by name. A "no excuses" leader, he waits at the top of the stairs in the morning to confront tardy students. Manhattan Village seems to have a knack for taking kids who were only average or even below-average students in middle school and helping them succeed in high school. "If the kids have good attendance, we can work around the academics," Geager said. Most students come from Inwood, Washington Heights, the Upper West Side and the Bronx. (Although Manhattan Village Academy is physically located in District 2, it does not give preference to District 2 students.)

Gaeger is open to ideas new teachers bring but has little patience with those unwilling to change practice if needed. A young teacher said, "It's very structured, but that makes it better." Teachers have pioneered new ideas here, such as Delta Math, an online tool created by teacher Zach Korzyk.

The school has a full-time college counselor. Eighty-five percent of graduates enrolled in college within six months of graduation, according to the school's 2014 School Quality Guide.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETSS and ICT classes.

ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide who score at least Level 2 on standardized tests, have good attendance and have grades of at least 85 in academic subjects. More than 4,000 apply. Incoming students must commit to a four-week summer program in July. "Attendance is the number one factor" for admissions, said the principal. (Clara Hemphill, October 2011; Lydie Raschka, March 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 415

Average Daily Attendance 97%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
10%

Hispanic

  
67%

White

  
7%

Free Lunch

  
76%

Special ed

  
11%

English Language Learners

  
3%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 2.40 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

20 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

53% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

41% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

88% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

1% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

99% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

97% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

80% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

98% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

0% 10% 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?

37%

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

22%

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

93%

Are students ready for college?

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

72% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

473
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

89% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

491
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

67% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

100% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

85% 54% 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?

95% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Manhattan Village Academy

Screened

Rigorous core curriculum based on four years of Math, Science, English, and History. Students are expected to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma by taking nine Regents. They must also complete and present five major research portfolios in order to graduate from Manhattan Village Academy.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

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

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, English Literature and Composition, Psychology, United States History

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art, Book, Chess, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Creative Writing and Journalism, Delta Club, Instrumental Music, Manhattan Village Academy (MVA) Spirit Week, Mole Day, Music Composition, Pi Day, Science Fair, Student Council, Tour Guide

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

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