Stuyvesant High School

An Insideschools pick
345 CHAMBERS STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10282 Map
Phone: (212) 312-4800
Website: Click here
Admissions: exam
Principal: Eric Contreras
Neighborhood: Battery Park City
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Andrew Wong
Science & Math
Wheelchair Accessible
Screened

Buses: BM1, BxM18, M20, M22, M5, M9, QM7, X1, X10, X10B, X11, X15, X17, X17A, X28, X4, X7, X8

What's special:

Abundant variety of classes and extracurricular opportunities

The downside:

High-pressure environment

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

UPDATE JULY 2016: Eric Contreras was named the new principal of Stuyvesant High School. Contreras was a teacher at high schools in the Bronx and Queens as well as the former principal of the Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences. Contreras was most recently in charge of the Department of Education's initiative to revise its social studies curriculum, and his daughter graduated from Stuyvesant in 2016. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Contreras stated that he wants to establish partnerships with middle schools that send fewer students to Stuyvesant. He also wants to focus on the emotional needs of students. "It's a feverishly intellectual, ambitious environment and kids are excited to explore the possibilities...it's equally important that we provide the right supports when they find it overwhelming," he told the Wall Street Journal. The former principal of Stuyvesant, Jie Zhang, announced her departure from the school in June 2016 to become superintendent of the New York Military Academy upstate.

DECEMBER 2014 REVIEW: The most sought-after of the city's selective schools, Stuyvesant High School has an amazingly talented student body and an array of course offerings that rival those of a small college. It has a sparkling, 10-story building with views of the New York harbor and features such amenities as a regulation-size swimming pool. Stuyvesant has long been known as a math-science school, but its English and social studies departments are among the school's strongest.

More than 28,000 students vie for 935 seats in the freshman class. Roughly one-quarter of Stuyvesant's top graduates go to Ivy League or other highly selective colleges such as MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology). Students may conduct research with senior scientists, take part in national math competitions or study music at a high level. Immigrants and children of immigrants make up a large proportion of the student body.

The excitement of being enrolled at Stuyvesant comes from being in the company of very bright, engaged students. The school has long been known for its talented students rather than a uniformly strong teaching staff, and kids say the quality of teaching ranges from memorably great to mediocre or worse. The stronger teachers tend to be assigned to the more advanced classes, one mother said. The course selection is vast, including organic chemistry, neurobiology, multivariate and differential calculus, New York City history, video-editing and creative nonfiction. The school gives more Advanced Placement exams than any other school in the city.

Stuyvesant has a reputation as an ultra-competitive pressure cooker. Principal Jie Zhang, a former Stuy parent and specialized high schools network leader who took over after a 2012 cheating scandal, hopes that her increased focus on social-emotional well-being will take some pressure off. Part of the effort to shift the school culture towards a more positive, relaxed atmosphere includes freshmen transition meetings taught by guidance counselors, new guidance offices that are more central and inviting, and more flexibility around the computer science and drafting requirements for all students.

Still, Stuyvesant is a hard place for a “B” student. Most elective and AP courses require a minimum GPA to qualify, though each student has an opportunity to take at least one AP in his or her best subject. Students who fall behind on the three to five hours of homework each night admit that “it’s hard to catch up,” especially when juggling the typically heavy load of extracurriculars. There are tutoring opportunities available and teachers who are generous with their time outside of class, but it can be hard for struggling students to get the attention they need. The school works best for kids who are self-starters, self-confident and not afraid to seek out help from adults and other students.

Some classes are taught as seminars, with desks arranged in a circle and plenty of class discussion. But most are traditional, with desks in rows and the teacher at the front doing most of the talking. Science labs are shared by multiple teachers of the same subject, so teachers have no flexibility to divert from the scripted lab notebooks that students fill out like worksheets. This allows for little scientific inquiry by the students, except the 50 or so who qualify to conduct new research with professionals or college faculty as part of the Intel competition each year. English and social studies offer much greater flexibility for teachers and students to pursue their own interests while still covering core themes and skills.

There are five bands, a jazz combo, a symphony orchestra, many theatrical productions and a strong debate team. There are dozens of sports offered, including rollerblading, cricket, coed wrestling and kickboxing. After-school clubs serve students’ interests ranging from Chinese chess to film appreciation.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: In recent years, the school has become more sensitive to students with special needs. At the time of our visit, there was one student who was visually impaired and a number with ADHD. “Now we realize that kids who are very, very strong academically may have learning differences and it is our job to support them,” said longtime parent coordinator and now guidance counselor Harvey Blumm. The administration has assigned a guidance counselor to focus on special education, and a psychologist and a social worker are available for counseling.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: The school has 12 full-time guidance counselors and three full-time college counselors. Top students are accepted by the Ivy League as well as by highly competitive universities such as the University of Chicago and small liberal arts colleges such as Swarthmore, Haverford, Kenyon and Macalester.  

ADMISSIONS: Students are selected according to their score on the SHSAT (specialized high school admissions test). The school offers open houses for prospective students and their parents in the fall. Check the Stuyvesant website for the dates or for a virtual tour. (Nicole Mader, December 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 3327

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
73%

Black

  
1%

Hispanic

  
3%

White

  
19%

Free Lunch

  
43%

Special ed

  
1%

English Language Learners

  
0%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 4.09 2.38 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

26 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

66% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

72% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

96% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

95% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

8% 36% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

99% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

100% 77% 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?

84%

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

3%

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

100%

Are students ready for college?

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

99% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

697
423 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

99% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

754
431 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?

84% 76% 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?

NA 57% 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?

94% 97% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

55% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Stuyvesant

Test

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their guidance counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT. Guidance counselors will provide each student with a Test Ticket indicating the date, location and time of the SHSAT. The ticket must be presented at the test site. Students should inform their guidance counselor if they are unable to test on the day assigned.

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Comparative Government and Politics, Computer Science A, Economics, English, Environmental Science, French Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture, Latin, Music Theory, Physics, Psychology, Spanish, Statistics, United States Government and Politics, United States History, World History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Student Union, Math Team, Robotics, Speech and Debate, Chess, Model UN, JSA, Science Olympiad, Annual Concerts, Dramas, Musicals, Theater Productions, Dances, ARISTA Honors Society, Big Sibs; as well as over 200 student-run clubs and publications

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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