New Heights Academy Charter School

Grades 5-12

Location

1818 Amsterdam Avenue
Manhattan NY 10031
Harlem (District 6)
Trains: 1 to 145th St; C to 155th St; A, B, D to 145th St
Buses: M3, M4, M5, M100, M101, Bx6, Bx19

Contact

Phone
212-283-5400
Principal
Fred Givens Iii/Denise Linares

What’s Special

Citys largest charter school offers Japanese

The Downside

Some students balk at strict discipline

Our Review

The largest charter school in the city, New Heights Academy Charter School provides students in grades 5-12 with a strict, structured environment, small classes and the chance to learn Japanese.

Like many charter schools, New Heights follows a traditional style of teaching, with desks in rows or a U-shaped formation, students in uniforms, and a no-nonsense attitude towards goofing-off. On the day of our visit during the schools first year, a child was reprimanded for wearing turquoise socks and another had to sit in the back of the class because, she said, "I was laughing."

Teachers lectured at the front of the class as students took notes, and timers beeped to instruct students when to stop working on their assigned task. Students were focused and organized.

While parents may appreciate the strict atmosphere, nearly one-third of students who responded to the Learning Environment Survey said discipline was unfair. Nearly half of the teachers said the principal is an ineffective manager and the school lacks order and discipline. On the positive side, the school has a high graduation rate, good attendance and students go on college trips.

Housed on several floors of a renovated former office building, the school has six new science labs and newly equipped classrooms. [Photo by Civic Builders, a non-profit organization that builds and renovates charter schools.]

Class sizes are capped at 24 students, and struggling students receive additional tutoring from teachers. The school officers Japanese, Italian and American Sign Language, operations manager Libby Madrid said in a telephone interview. High school students may leave the building for lunch. Middle school students have recess in a nearby park.

Special education: The school has several learning specialists and has expanded special education services in recent years, Madrid said.

Admission: Lottery. (Vanessa Witenko, September 2007, updated by Clara Hemphill with telephone interview, September 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
753
Asian
0.0%
Black
4.3%
Hispanic
95.1%
White
0.4%
Other
0.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
86%
Students with disabilities
13%
English language learners
11%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?
13%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
26%
45% 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?
59%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
96%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
90%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
92%
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?
17%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
30%
38% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
60%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
53%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
61%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
0%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
7%
87% 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?
96%
83% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
31%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
56%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
78%
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 English language learners graduate in 4 years?
100%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for self-contained students
2.04
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.23
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.21
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.33
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
66%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
98%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
98%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
100%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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