East Side Community School

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
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420 East 12th Street
Manhattan NY 10009
East Village (District 1)
Trains: 6 to Astor Place ; L to 1st Ave
Buses: M101, M102, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M23, M3, M8, M9


Mark Federman
Parent Coordinator
Laetitia Minier

What’s Special

Longtime, dedicated principal; small classes; strong college advisory

The Downside

Old building with small gym

Our Review

East Side Community is a vibrant and nurturing school with strong leadership, small classes and supportive programs including a well-funded college office.

Its a neighborhood school where most students live in-district, enter in 6th grade and stay through 12th. Its a progressive school thats exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam and requires students to complete lots of projects and presentations. East Side has long-served a predominantly poor student body and does a good job of helping struggling learners stay engaged and on track for college. More high performing students are now choosing the school for its inclusive culture and alternative bent.

The school benefits from the steady leadership of Principal Mark Federman. Federman has worked at East Side for nearly two decades, first as a teacher, and since 2001, as its principal. He is committed to serving a range of students and creating an inclusive environment. I think it is crucial for families and students considering our school to know how committed we are to making our LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning] students feel safe and at home.

East Side is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), a national network founded by Theodore Sizer who believed that small schools that concentrate on teaching a few subjects well are more effective than large schools that teach a wide array of subjects. Instead of taking Regents exams, students demonstrate mastery of coursework through oral and written presentations. At the end of each semester students participate in roundtable discussions where they reflect on what they learned and present work for in-depth discussion with a teacher and a few classmates.

East Side students take the same range of courses as those offered at most city schools, but teachers delve more deeply into fewer topics and encourage students to be flexible thinkers and connect their work to real life situations. An 8th grade math assignment had students calculating the costs of selling t-shirts for a hypothetical fundraiser. In addition to crunching the numbers in different scenarios, students had to present their work in multiple formats such as equations and graphs.

We saw lots of engaging work. Eighth graders were studying the play Twelve Angry Men. Groups of 10th graders were filming public service announcements on preserving clean water. In a high school law class students were arguing whether stop-and-frisk tactics violate the Fourth Amendment. In trigonometry/intermediate algebra students were learning about corporate responsibility and how math concepts are applied in business. The school partners with Facing History for the 10th grade history curriculum that emphasizes the importance of being upstanders (participants) rather than mere bystanders of societal events.

Students showcase their artwork in East Sides own gallery. Middle school students take classes in chess and may join the chess team. Students can learn Spanish and French in traditional classes or study other languages online through Rosetta Stone.

Classes are small, with 16-20 students in middle school and 20-24 in high school. In grades 6-10, students start each day with a double period of English, with the first 30 minutes dedicated to independent reading. Daily advisories help teachers keep tabs on students social and academic concerns. Teachers offer extra help during free periods, before and after school and some high school students help out in middle school classes.

There are no honors classes, instead, high school students can take Advanced Placement and College Now classes. Middle school students can contract for honors, where they take on challenging assignments in addition to their regular coursework. Students receive an honors designation on their transcript for each class that they complete the additional work.

The school occupies four floors of a massive, red brick building in the East Village and shares the facilities with Girls Preparatory Charter School. The building is maintained nicely, but is old with a traditional, outdoor yard and a small gym.

After school: The Beacon Program, a city-run youth service program, and the school, offer activities such as dance, rock band, robotics, chess, skateboarding, journalism, Wall Street Wizards, Model U.N., and gay-straight alliance. Students help maintain a community garden next door. Middle school students can take select high school courses after school. East Side fields both middle and high school sports teams.

Special education: There are both self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes.

College admissions: The school partners with the Young Womens Leadership Networks College Bound Initiative (CBI), which places full-time college counselors in high-needs schools. East Sides college advisory program sponsors trips to colleges, college awareness programs beginning in 6th grade and offers individual support for students and parents with college and financial aid applications. Graduates attend a range of schools from CUNY and SUNY colleges to private universities.

Admissions: For middle school, priority goes to District 1 students. The school requires an interview and considers each applicant's grades, test scores, attendance and lateness record. For high school, priority to continuing 8th graders. Applicants are screened for solid grades (minimum of 80 in core academic subjects), test scores and good attendance. (Laura Zingmond, May 2012)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with Girls Prep Lower East Side Charter Middle School
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
East Side Community School
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
43% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

East Side Community
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Rigorous curriculum in all academic areas; students are challenged to apply what they have learned in creative ways to complete engaging projects. Outstanding art, photography, dance, choir, and music production classes.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus, AP English


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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