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Stephen T. Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School

Grades: 9-12
439 West 49th Street
Manhattan NY
Phone: 212-399-3520

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.

ADMISSIONS: Educational option, meaning students with a range of academic abilities are accepted. There is priority for Manhattan residents, but students come from all five boroughs. (Isabel Corpus, June 2018)


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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?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% 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?
2% 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 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% 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?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% 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

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!


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


Hell's Kitchen (District 2)
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


Larry Gabbard
Parent Coordinator
Chad Hudson

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Graphics Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?

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