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Manhattan Early College School for Advertising

Grades: 9-12
411 Pearl Street
Manhattan NY 10038
Phone: 212-225-0880

Our Insights

What’s Special

Students may earn two free years of college credit

The Downside

Too soon to say; Imposing building with few windows

Students at Manhattan Early College School for Advertising may earn two years of free college credit in addition to a high school diploma. Some graduate with an associate's degree in four years; others may stay up to six years. Founded in 2014, the school has attracted a team of experienced teachers who are enthusiastic about the school. it has quickly established a safe tone, an above average attendance rate and lots of support for students.

The small size makes it possible for teachers to get to know families. MECA hosts annual dinners for families on each grade to review academic expectations for both high school and college courses, according to the CEP (comprehensive educational plan). Teacher-advisors meet three times a week with small groups of children, and reach out to parents of their advisees at least once a month, and more if the child is struggling.

The school has found ways to help struggling students. Ninth graders who are behind in reading are placed in a literacy course with just 6-8 other kids. Every day, students have "learning lab," where they get support from tutors in small groups. The school’s partner, BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) pays students and graduates of the college to be teaching assistants in classrooms. The whole school community has a daily 10-minute meeting, in addition to advisories, to check in with students and provide support.

Students take no more than four courses each semester. This allows them to focus on fewer subject areas and teachers to focus on fewer pupils. Classes are 75 minutes long but teachers mix up the session with activities, art and technology not just lectures according to the CEP.

Principal Matthew Tossman is an English teacher with a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Most teachers say he is an effective manager on school surveys but it is too soon to say how the students are performing academically.

Because the high school operates on a college schedule, there are three weeks in January and two weeks in June when students don't have regular classes. Instead, teachers design week-long intensive classes for children to choose from. In the school's first year, these included curating an exhibit with the Museum of Art and Design, visiting ad agencies to work on marketing strategies for the school, starting the school magazine, and making podcasts to accompany walking tours of lower Manhattan.

The school has visual art and theater but there is no music according to the Arts in School Report.

Manhattan Early College is located in the Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers building, which also houses the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management and The Maker Academy. Sports are campus wide. The imposing building has few windows and is located in an out-of-the-way spot adjacent to NYPD headquarters.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Nearly one-quarter of MECA students have IEPs (individualized education programs) and require special needs. Seniors who have fallen behind are scheduled for an additional three blocks of small group instruction, among other supports.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to Manhattan. MECA students come from all five boroughs. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, September 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

Manhattan Early College School for Advertising
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

Students engage in a rigorous, project-based curriculum that blends art, technology, and creative problem solving. Students have the option to graduate from MECA after four years with a CTE-endorsed high school diploma and up to 36 college credits or to stay for six years and graduate with a high school diploma, an Associate Degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and two years of paid work experience.


Language Courses

Italian, Spanish


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


Chinatown (District 2)
Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line, A Line, C Line, J Line, Z Line to Fulton St; N Line, Q Line to Canal St; R Line, W Line to City Hall
Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BxM18, M103, M15, M15-SBS, M22, M55, M9, QM11, QM25, QM7, QM8, X1, X10, X10B, X11, X12, X14, X15, X17, X17A, X19, X2, X27, X28, X3, X4, X42, X5, X8


Sarah Kaplan
Parent Coordinator
Jacob Jones

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Murry Bergtraum Educational Campus with three other schools
Metal detectors?

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