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Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Supportive environment where students learn career skills such as masonry, carpentry and building preservation

The Downside

Student attendance needs to improve

Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School is a great fit for students who like hands-on learning and want to keep college options open. A career and technical educational (CTE) school, Mather opened in 2013 with the goal of preparing students for careers in fields like historic preservation, landscape management, archaeology, masonry and carpentry. The school was named after Stephen Tyng Mather, the first director of the National Parks Service (NPS), which also has a partnership with Mather.Principal Larry Gabbard was an English teacher and assistant principal at the Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx and an assistant principal at Pace High School in downtown Manhattan before he founded Mather. Gabbard has a background in business, which influences his approach to leadership and team-building. Teachers consistently report high levels of trust in Gabbard, according to the NYC School Survey.

NPS provides a full-time staff member to assist teachers in developing the CTE curriculum. Other NPS employees also work in the school, for example teaching a six-week unit in professional decorative plastering.

Students take classes in historic preservation, landscape management, interior design and architectural drawing. Outside of the classroom, students go on work-based learning trips and visit national parks.

The academic curriculum is developed by teachers at the school and incorporates content relevant to the trades. In math, students start by taking algebra and geometry. Those who are college-bound may continue with algebra 2 and pre-calculus, while those on a career path may take math for the trades and do internships. Similarly, in science, students take living environment and earth science and then may choose to take chemistry for the trades where they learn about things like mixing mortar and paint color.

Teachers in all subjects emphasize writing using the highly structured Hochman Method, which means they use the same language and practices to reinforce writing, whether it’s a math teacher discussing how students should explain their approach to solving a problem or a history teacher critiquing essays.

The staff is strict on attendance and lateness to combat high absenteeism. Students who miss school attend compulsory classes on Saturdays. The school calls parents to alert them if their child was absent or late, and in extreme cases, where a student has been excessively late or absent, the school will make “wake up” calls.

There are plenty of opportunities for students to get academic or social and emotional support through peer tutoring and after-school tutoring. Students attend "Packvisory" (small-group advisory sessions) four days a week for 40 minutes. "Packs" are groups of 10 students from the same grade that stay together for all four years. The school has two social workers and a guidance counselor.

The school uses a “restorative justice” approach to discipline that minimizes suspensions and promotes positive behavior through conversation, reflection and corrective action. A core group of students are trained as peer mediators.

Mather has a computer and large CTE labs for carpentry and masonry. Housed in the Graphic Arts Educational Campus building with four other schools, Mather students have access to shared science labs, a new library, weight room, refurbished gym and a large cafeteria. Students can play in the schoolyard during lunchtime. Clubs include art, virtual building, music, performing arts and anime. Students can join campus sports teams.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Many students have IEPs (individualized education programs), and the graduation rate for students with disabilities is higher than the citywide average. The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. (Isabel Corpus, June 2018)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners 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
624 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
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 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


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


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
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

Building Arts/Carpentry & Landscape Management in Historic Preservation

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

This is a hands-on/minds-on nine-credit CTE sequence in Historic Preservation: Intro to Historic Preservation (9); Landscape Mgmt. I & II, (10); Building Arts-Decorative Finishing and Carpentry (11); Adv. Building Arts-Carpentry/Masonry (12). Students must participate in apx. Fourteen work-based learning trips, complete an internship and a final CTE performance assessment. Students will work with wood, bricks, stone, and plants, often OUTSIDE in ALL types of weather, and they WILL occasionally get dirty!


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States History, AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP World History: Modern, AP English Language and Composition, AP U.S. Government and Politics

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


439 West 49th Street
Manhattan NY 10019

Trains: 1 Line, C Line, E Line to 50th St; 2 Line, 3 Line, 7 Line, A Line, S Line to Times Square-42nd St; B Line, D Line to 7th Ave; N Line, R Line, W Line to 49th St

Buses: BxM2, M10, M104, M11, M12, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57, M7, X1, X12, X14, X17J, X21, X22, X22A, X30, X31, X42, X7, X9


Principal: Christopher Mayer

Parent Coordinator: Michelle Simpson


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Graphics Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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