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University Neighborhood Middle School

Grades: 6-8
220 Henry Street
Manhattan NY 10002
Phone: 212-267-5701

Our Insights

What’s Special

Relationship with NYU; small classes

The Downside

Academically struggling

A small school on the same block as the historic Henry Street Settlement house, University Neighborhood Middle School, along with nearby University Neighborhood High School, was founded as part of New York University’s now abandoned plans for an education park on the Lower East Side. Although University Neighborhood Middle Schools benefits from its partnerships with both NYU and the Henry Street Settlement, it has consistently faced academic struggles.

In 2019, the state identified University Neighborhood as being in the bottom 10 percent of schools in New York, requiring the school to prepare an improvement plan. Math scores in particular are substantially below the city average. The school does not offer any classes for high school credit. An evaluation by the Department of Education, called the Quality Review, said class participation was low and teachers frequently failed to adjust tasks to individual students, particularly those with disabilities or learning English.

The school, though, does offer students interesting academic opportunities. Class sizes are small, and English and social students are combined in a humanities curriculum that focuses on social action. The Project Arts curriculum includes various arts forms, linking them to other disciplines, including math. So, for example, students might study the cultural and historical importance of music in society and then develop podcasts highlighting a political or social message.  University Neighborhood’s relationship with NYU means some students get to spend time on the university campus, and NYU social work interns work with high-risk students.

Teachers responding to a DOE survey generally expressed approval of the school and said they would recommend it to fellow teachers as well as to families seeking a middle school. The suspension rate is high but overall students see discipline as fair and the school as safe.

University Neighborhood shares its building, known as the Corlears Complex, with Orchard Collegiate Academy, a small high school, and Manhattan Charter School II, a k-5 school. The schools all use a full-size cafeteria and gym, plus music rooms, modern science labs and a paved outdoor recreation area.

Special education: University Neighborhood has an unusually high percentage of students with disabilities. All general education students and most special education students are in team teaching classes with a mix of general and special education students, with some students with disabilities in self-contained classes. The school is slated to begin offering NEST, a program where students on the autism spectrum are in small teach-teaching classes with general education students.

Admission: Fifth graders may apply to either Next Generation Extended Learning @ NYU, which includes a longer school year, or the University Neighborhood Middle School. Both programs are open to all District 1 students. Although the programs are screened, there generally are more seats than applicants. (Gail Robinson, from web reports, April 2019)

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
79%
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
60%
58% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79%
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
77%
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
13.9

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
21%
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
37%
51% Citywide Average

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
44%
39% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
160
Asian
3%
Black
26%
Hispanic
60%
White
7%
Other
4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
86%
Students with disabilities
47%
English language learners
3%

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
85%
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
54%
38% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?
No

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
0%
15% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

Lower East Side (District 1)
Trains: J Line, M Line, Z Line to Delancey St-Essex St; F Line to East Broadway; B Line, D Line to Grand St
Buses: B39, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M21, M22, M9, X14, X37, X38

Contact

Principal
Laura Peynado Castro
Parent Coordinator
Kanny Alvarez

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Orchard Collegiate Academy and Manhattan Charter School II
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No

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