High School of Arts and Technology

Phone: (212) 501-1198
Website: Click here
Admissions: Ed opt
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: Anne Geiger
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: ROY BALGOBIN

What's special:

Kids run their own mock businesses.

The downside:

Very high suspension rate.

The InsideStats



Our review

The vision: A nurturing place for kids who haven’t been successful in middle school.

The reality: In addition to a regular academic program, students learn skills like Photoshop in classes in art and technology. Seniors take a class in “virtual enterprise,” in which they create and run their own make-believe business. The school is housed in the Martin Luther King Educational Complex and students make take part in campus-wide sports teams.

Most students enter 9th grade with poor academic skills. Teachers use various techniques to engage them: In one class, the teacher read aloud from Living up the Street, Gary Soto’s autobiographical story about growing up as a Mexican-American in California.

In another, the teacher showed the movie "Dr. Zhivago" as an introduction to the Russian Revolution. Despite these efforts, attendance is poor and kids seem disengaged. We saw some heads on desks in class.

Discipline is an issue. There were more than 250 suspensions in the 2010-11 school year. Teachers say expectations are low and the administration is ineffective, according to the Learning Environment Survey.

Annie Geiger, who has been principal since the school was founded in 2002, says she has a challenging population of students, including about 100 who receive special education services. She has welcomed The Door, a social services agency, to set up a drop-out prevention program in the school. A teacher and a social worker staff a special office to try to get at the root of children’s academic and social problems, providing them everything from tutoring to counseling.

Special education: About 30 students are assigned to self-contained special education classrooms and another 70 receive special education student support services (SETSS).

College admissions: About half of graduates go on to college, most to 2-year CUNY colleges, Geiger says.

Admissions: Educational option, a formula designed to ensure a mix of students of different abilities. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012)

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