East Side Community School

Grades: 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

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)



School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
611 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
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.


From the 2021 High School Directory

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


420 East 12th Street
Manhattan NY 10009

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


Principal: Mark Federman

Parent Coordinator: Laetitia Minier


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Girls Prep Lower East Side Charter Middle School

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No


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