The Maxine Greene High School for Imaginative Inquiry
Manhattan NY 10023
Art is integrated into history and English classes.
Attendance is poor.
The vision: Students learn about history and literature by looking at works of art, watching plays or listening to music.
The reality: Arts, Imagination and Inquiry, housed in the Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Complex has regular academic programnot a program designed to produce artists.
Rather than teaching art as a separate subject, classroom teachers integrate art projects into history and English classes. For example, students made cutouts from black and white construction paper to illustrate themes in the Abolitionist movement. A global history teacher took students to see the Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students might listen to blue grass music as part of a lesson on U.S. history or see a play by Shakespeare at Lincoln Center. The school has a music teacher but no regular art teacher on staff.
The school was founded in collaboration with the not-for-profit Lincoln Center Institute just across the street, and teaching artists from that organization visit the school in the fall to help teachers plan their lessons, said Principal Steve Noonan, who founded the school in 2005. Students get tickets to see plays and attend concerts.
Most students enter 9th grade with weak academic skills and the school offers small classes to help them catch up. The school has struggled with poor attendance and high suspension rates, but both are improving, Noonan said. One teacher discovered he could get kids to come on time to class if he provided breakfast in the classroom. The suspension rate decreased after the school instituted what Noonan calls restorative justice. A student who is rude might be asked to write a letter of apology, for example.
Students must pass through metal detectors to enter the building, and they have their lunch, starting at 10:30 a.m. in a noisy, windowless cafeteria. Sports teams are made up of students from all five mini-schools, and the soccer team is particularly strong.
Special education: The school has a strong commitment to special education. It offers "collaborative team teaching" as well as self-contained classes.
College admissions: CUNY and SUNY colleges are popular choices. Several students have won POSSE scholarships.
Admissions: The school is unscreened and open to students from all five boroughs. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve English Language Learners?
How does this school serve students with disabilities?
Programs and Admissions
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP US Government and Politics, AP US History
Boys PSAL teams
Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Wrestling
Coed PSAL teams