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East Side Community School

Grades: 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
420 East 12th Street
Manhattan NY
Phone: 212-460-8467

Our Insights

What’s Special

Longtime, dedicated principal; engaging instruction, strong college advisory

The Downside

Old building with small gym

East Side Community is a vibrant and nurturing school with strong leadership, engaging instruction and supportive programs including a well-funded college office. Students are drawn to the school, which boasts very high graduation, college readiness and attendance rates, for its inclusive culture and alternative bent.

It’s a neighborhood school where most students live in-district, enter in 6th grade and stay through 12th. It’s a progressive school that’s exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam and requires students to complete lots of projects and presentations. East Side Community does a good job of helping struggling learners stay engaged and on track for college while also challenging high performing students.

The school benefits from the steady leadership of Mark Federman, who has been the principal since 2001. Federman has made it a high priority to create an inclusive environment for all and is very committed to making LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning] students feel safe and at home.

East Side Communitiy is a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a group of schools exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam. Eleventh- and 12th-graders must complete PBATs (performance based assessment tasks) on topics of their choosing, which involve extensive research and reading as well as writing and presenting papers in English, math, history, science. For instance, in history students write a lengthy research paper, which they present and defend before a panel of teachers; in science they design and conduct an original experiment and then present their findings before a panel as well.

In all grades students participate in roundtable discussions at the end of each semester, where they reflect on what they learned and present their work for in-depth discussion.

East Side Community 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. For an example, 8th-graders complete a math project where they calculate the costs of selling t-shirts for a hypothetical fundraiser. In addition to crunching the numbers in different scenarios, students must present their work in multiple formats such as equations and graphs.

Tenth grade history classes use a curriculum designed by Facing History, an organization committed to examining history through a social justice lens. Lessons emphasize ethical decision-making and the importance of being upstanders (participants) rather than mere bystanders of societal events. In classes students tackle weighty questions such as “What makes someone an outcast in society and how society allows this.” 

Each day in grades 6-10 students read books of their choosing for the first 30 minutes of their double period of English. They’re expected to reach approximately 40 books each year; 11th- and 12th-graders tackle lengthier and more challenging books and typically read 25 books each year.

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.

Students learn Spanish in traditional classes or study other languages online through Rosetta Stone. 

Elective classes may vary by year but typically include options such as visual & digital art, photography, music, chess, coding, theater, skateboarding, sports marketing, dance, yoga, and journalism. Middle school students take classes in chess and may join the chess team.

High school students can take Advanced Placement classes at the school as well as courses at Hunter College Those studying calculus also complete an advanced math portfolio (in addition to their required PBAT in math). Middle school students can contract for honors, where they take on challenging assignments in addition to their regular coursework and receive an honors designation on their transcript for each class in which they complete the additional work.

The Young Women’s Leadership Network's College Bound Inititative funds a full-time college counselor and a robust college advisory program. The college office sponsors trips to colleges, host visits from college representatives, runs college awareness programs beginning in 6th grade and offers individual support to students and parents with completing college and financial aid applications. Graduates attend a range of schools from CUNY and SUNY colleges to private universities.

The school occupies four floors of a massive, old building in the East Village and shares the facilities with Girls Preparatory Charter School. There is an outdoor yard and a small gym.

The Beacon Program, a city-run youth service program, and East Side Community host a nice range activities such as dance, debate, jewelry making, graphic novel writing, photography, several musical bands, crew/rowing, cycling, yoga, school newspaper, Model U.N., and gay-straight alliance. East Side Community fields both middle and high school sports teams. Students also help maintain a community garden located next door.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are both self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. Math and English-focused learning specialists also work with students with special needs, English language learners and other students needing extra support.

ADMISSIONS: For middle school, priority goes to District 1 students. The school considers each applicant's attendance and lateness record as well as demonstration of interest by attending an open house/school tour, other school visit or written contact. Sixty-two percent of the seats are reserved for students in low-income households. The high school is open to students citywide with priority to continuing 8th-graders. Applicants are screened for solid grades, extracurricular activities and good attendance. The school does not use test scores for admission. (Laura Zingmond, via web reports, September 2018; updated 2020)



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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
47% Citywide Average

From 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
East Side Community School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
87% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
64% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
55% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
77% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
20% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
74% Citywide Average

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

East Side Community
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

Our rigorous college preparatory curriculum requires students in each class to read, write, think, analyze, share, explore, solve, create, collaborate, present, discuss, debate, question, defend, negotiate, compromise, and most importantly, reflect upon themselves as learners. The goal of the school is to create a community of highly skilled students, lifetime learners, critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens who, upon graduation, will be prepared to succeed in college and beyond.


Language Courses

French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Biology


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location


East Village (District 1)
Trains: 6 Line to Astor Place; L Line to 1st Ave
Buses: M1, M101, M102, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M23-SBS, M3, M8, M9


Mark Federman
Parent Coordinator
Laetitia Minier

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with Girls Prep Lower East Side Charter Middle School
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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