Washington Irving High School

40 IRVING PLACE
MANHATTAN NY 10003 Map
Phone: (212) 674-5000
Website: Click here
Admissions: Educational option/screened
Principal: Sarah Hernandez
Neighborhood: Gramercy Park
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Yvette Singleton

What's special:

A handful of students receive International Baccalaureate degrees

The downside:

School closing for poor performance in 2015

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

For years, Washington Irving High School has suffered from poor academic performance. Now, the Department of Education is betting that small schools, each with a special theme, will be more successful than the large comprehensive high school has been.

Small schools have opened in the building: Gramercy Arts, opened in 2008, gives students an opportunity to study visual and graphic arts, fashion, dance, drama, musical theater, vocals and jazz band; the High School for Language and Diplomacy, opened September 2009, offers Chinese, French or Arabic and to give students a chance to travel abroad; the International High School at Union Square, opened in 2010, is aimed at preparing new immigrants for graduation and college. Other new schools include The Academy for Software Engineering, Union Square Academy for Health Sciences and Success Academy Union Square. The new schools have better attendance and seem more orderly than the large school they are replacing.

The Department of Education is phasing out the old Washington Irving High School by shrinking its enrollment each year. Under the plan, no new students are admitted, although current students will be allowed to stay until they graduate in 2015. New students may enroll in the small themed schools instead.

It may take time for the tone and culture of the building to change. All students must pass through metal detectors in the dimly lit lobby in the 100-year-old building. Lateness is an issue for many students, and some stroll in at all hours of the day. Despite improved perceptions about the building’s safety (76 percent of Washington Irving students reported in 2011 that they feel safe compared to 54 percent in 2007), a police car parks semi-permanently outside the front of the building.

Though administrators blame Washington Irving’s poor performance in recent years on the influx of students from other closing schools, the school has been struggling for decades. For more than 10 years, the graduation rate has been below city average. In 2010-11, it was below 50 percent (compared to 67 percent citywide) and only 5.7 percent of students who began at Washington Irving graduated four years later ready for college, according to the school’s Progress Report. Attendance has remained well below citywide average for more than a decade, well before the school began receiving large numbers of students from other schools.

A former student writes: "The problems that existed in the 1950's remain the same. There was little incentive to attend classes at that time; it led to truancy then and I see that truancy continues to be a big problem now as well. In addition, I don't remember getting very much guidance or encouragement to pursue any particular courses or talents while attending school there. No one seemed to care."

Washington Irving has one area of strength: its tiny International Baccalaureate program, which awards a few students each year with an advanced degree recognized by European universities. (Aryn Bloodworth, January 2012)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Washington Irving Educational Campus

Number of Students 308

Average Daily Attendance 72%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
38%

Hispanic

  
54%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
74%

Special ed

  
23%

English Language Learners

  
18%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.19 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

25 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

62% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

81% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

65% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

63% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

44% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

53% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

41% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

1% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

56% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

22% 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?

0%

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

44%

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

6%

Are students ready for college?

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

14% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

395
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

37% 62% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

409
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?

73% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

16% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

30% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

58% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

79% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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