Manhattan Village Academy

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Strong college-prep curriculum and imaginative teaching

The Downside

Not all students can keep up with the workload

Our Review

Manhattan Village Academy offers a demanding college-prep curriculum, imaginative projects and plenty of writing practice. It's an unusual blend of teaching philosophies: Like a traditional school, the kids wear uniforms, call teachers "Mr." and "Ms.," and study hard for Regents exams. Like a progressive school, they have plenty of hands-on work. They may explore themes such as "globalization" and "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" or work in a group on a physics experiment measuring and graphing the speed at which they walk.

Principal Hector Geager says he wants to make sure students get the breadth that traditional schools offer and the depth that progressive schools offer. His students take nine Regents examsfour more than the state requires. In addition, they must complete five "portfolios," which may consist of hefty term papers, projects and oral presentations. Twelfth-graders are expected to write term papers of 10 to 15 pages on topics like global trade agreements. Everyone takes four years of science, including physics. Ninth- and 11th-graders take two hours of math a day, so by the end of four years everyone has had the equivalent of six years of high school math.

The workload is heavy, and not all students can manage it. Geager says eight to 10 students typically transfer to less demanding high schools after 9th grade. (The school accepts a similar number of incoming 10th-graders) But for those who can do the work, the rewards are great. The principal says graduates have been admitted to top private collegesincluding Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Cornell.

The tone of the school is serious but not oppressive. There are no bells, and class changes are orderly. Students wear uniformsgray pleated skirts or trousers and blue sweaters. Eleventh- and 12th-graders may leave the building for lunch, although many choose to eat in the pleasant cafeteria.

Kids say they typically do three hours of homework a night, but teachers are available to help during the day and after school. "They give you one-on-one attention," one girl said. "It's hard, but it's worth it."

On our recent (2015) visit we saw a small group that had failed the Regent's Chemistry exam working with a teacher during school hours for extra help. Teachers have incorporated SAT prep into all grades. The school also offers eight Advanced Placement classes.

It's a small school, with only 100 students in each grade, and the principal knows every student by name. A "no excuses" leader, he waits at the top of the stairs in the morning to confront tardy students. Manhattan Village seems to have a knack for taking kids who were only average or even below-average students in middle school and helping them succeed in high school. "If the kids have good attendance, we can work around the academics," Geager said. Most students come from Inwood, Washington Heights, the Upper West Side and the Bronx. (Although Manhattan Village Academy is physically located in District 2, it does not give preference to District 2 students.)

Gaeger is open to ideas new teachers bring but has little patience with those unwilling to change practice if needed. A young teacher said, "It's very structured, but that makes it better." Teachers have pioneered new ideas here, such as Delta Math, an online tool created by teacher Zach Korzyk.

The school has a full-time college counselor. Eighty-five percent of graduates enrolled in college within six months of graduation, according to the school's 2014 School Quality Guide.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers SETSS and ICT classes.

ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide who score at least Level 2 on standardized tests, have good attendance and have grades of at least 85 in academic subjects. More than 4,000 apply. Incoming students must commit to a four-week summer program in July. "Attendance is the number one factor" for admissions, said the principal. (Clara Hemphill, October 2011; Lydie Raschka, March 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
432
Asian
7.2%
Black
11.3%
Hispanic
59.7%
White
7.9%
Other
13.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
75%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
1%
Male
36%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
97%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
98%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
3%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
11%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
94%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
76%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
16.8
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
77%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
90%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
77%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
69%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
95%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Music
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Music (part-time) and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
55%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
60%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
52%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
93%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
1%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
93%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
100%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
97%
63% 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?
0%
0% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
100%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
81%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
93%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
94%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
100%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Manhattan Village Academy
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Rigorous core curriculum based on four years of Math, Science, English and History.

Academics

Language Courses

Latin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Economics, AP English, AP European History, AP Psychology, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball

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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