Legacy School for Integrated Studies

34 WEST 14 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10011 Map
Phone: (212) 645-1980
Website: Click here
Wheelchair accessible
unzoned
Principal: Arleen Liquori
Neighborhood: Chelsea/ Greenwich Village
District: 2
Grade range: 09 thru 12

What's special:

Well-loved principal trying to turn school around.

The downside:

The DOE plans to close school because of low attendance and graduation rate.

The InsideStats

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Our review

The vision: Second chance for kids who are way behind in their studies.

The reality: Legacy High School for Integrated Studies has long had a poor record of academic performance and a poor attendance rate. The DOE has announced plans to phase out the school by not accepting new 9th graders in fall 2012 while permitting current students to stay until graduation.

However, students, parents and teachers have rallied behind the school, saying it has improved dramatically under the leadership of Joan Mosley, who was named principal in the summer of 2010. Mosley worked closely with the local police precinct to improve the school’s safety and discipline, and most students say they feel safe at the school.

Housed in on the 4th and 5th floors of an office building on West 14th Street, Legacy welcomes students other schools shun. Some start 9th grade reading at a 2nd grade level; the strongest students read at a 7th grade level, teachers told us. About one-third of the 360 students are either learning to speak English or have learning disabilities. Some missed more than 100 out of 180 school days in their 8th grade year. Half are overage for their grade. Many arrive mid-year; in 2010, a dozen students enrolled after being released from juvenile detention facilities. Another dozen came from homeless shelters. Three brothers, ages 21, 19 and 16, are living on their own after the death of their foster mother.

The school has a social worker to help students deal with emotional problems and a drop-out prevention program that uses drama as therapy. A sailing program sponsored by the Hudson River Community Sailing uses trips on the river to teach math and science. On our visit, we saw a class in which a teacher showed kids how to fill out financial aid forms for college; another where kids discussed the abolitionist movement; a third in which kids learned basic math skills like adding fractions. Student artwork was on display. (Clara Hemphill, December 2011)

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