NYC iSchool

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

Our Insights

What’s Special

Innovative curriculum with a wide variety of courses

The Downside

Though the school makes good use of space, it's housed in a cramped, rundown building

NYC iSchool is a vibrant, challenging environment for self-guided and inquisitive learners. Creative scheduling and a dizzying array of course offerings allow students to pursue a variety of interests.

The iSchool stands out from other small schools in the amount of choice and flexibility it offers students. Every nine weeks, students register for classes online with a wide range of options. Students who are passionate about science, for example, can enroll in the required living environment course and The Physics of Superheroes at the same time.

Every student at iSchool also takes a hands-on course called a module each quarter. A recent example is a pop-up restaurant where students drafted a business plan and managed all the details for running a one-night restaurant that doubled as a school fundraiser.  In the children’s bookmaking module, students visit an elementary school to interview 1st-graders about their preferences for books and then spend nine weeks writing, illustrating and making them before returning to the elementary school to present the children with their custom-made books.

Principal Isora Bailey, formerly a principal of Greenwich Village Middle School (renamed the Lower Manhattan Community Middle School) and director of school improvement for a network of city schools, sees the required Regents exams as hurdles for her students to jump quickly since the related curriculum does not allow teachers to dive deeply into engaging topics and projects. During parts of the year, students in Regents courses meet only once per week with their teachers and spend several hours per week working through the online curriculum. Teachers for the online courses collect notes, give tests and provide extra help for those who need it.  

The structure frees up time for students to take more interesting classes. For instance, in most high schools students spend two years studying Global History before taking the Regents exam. At NYC iSchool, it’s a one-year course that combines class time with an online curriculum, allowing students more time to take advanced classes such as China: Mao to Now and Women and Ancient History.

Languages are also taught online, allowing students to choose from Spanish (with teacher support twice a week) or Mandarin, French, German and Latin (entirely independent and online).

Advanced students have plenty of options at iSchool, including Advanced Placement courses and College Now courses at John Jay College. All seniors must complete a final research project over the course of three quarters; it culminates in a multimedia presentation such as a documentary, exhibit or informative lecture to families and peers.

Most courses are open to all grades, so teachers offer a wide range of supports and grade students on a combination of skills mastery and work habits that vary depending on the student’s year. Many told us they appreciate how quickly freshmen acclimate to a high level of rigor and behavior when seniors are their teammates.

Advisory groups that meet three times per week help students make scheduling decisions and reflect on their academic progress. Each semester, students lead a conference with his or her advisor and parents about growth, struggles and goals.

A fulltime college counselor meets with each family to discuss college options by the end of 11th grade. Graduates attend a range of CUNY and SUNY schools as well as private and out-of-state institutions such as Syracuse, Cornell, Trinity, Goucher and University of Michigan.

The school makes good use of its space on the top two floors of an old, rather rundown building, which it shares with the Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School. Administrative offices open onto a common area, which also serves as a theater venue, cafeteria and meeting space for students and staff. Another large room is used as a quiet commons for students. There’s also a rooftop garden that students tend to during and after school. Although the building does not have a gym, it does have a weight room and students can earn physical education credits there or through participation on campus-wide sports teams.  

Students are allowed off campus for lunch, but the neighborhood has few affordable food options.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes in several core 9th- and 10th-grade courses. SETSS, occupational therapy and speech therapy are offered mostly through small group courses known as labs that serve both students with special needs and others recommended for extra support by their teachers.

ADMISSIONS: Admissions is based on a review of students' grades, test scores and records of attendance and puntuality as well as an online activity, which applicants must complete in order to be considered. The school is open to students citywide and typically enrolls students from all five boroughs. (Nicole Mader, March 2015; updated via interview, Laura Zingmond, April 2018)

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 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
644 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, 2019-20 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



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



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 2019-20 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 2011-12 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

NYC iSchool

Admissions Method: Screened


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus BC, AP Calculus AB, AP United States History, AP English Language and Composition, AP Environmental Science

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Softball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


131 Avenue Of the Americas
Manhattan NY 10013

Trains: 1 Line, 6 Line, N Line, Q Line, J Line, Z Line to Canal St; B Line, D Line, F Line, M Line to Broadway-Lafayette St; C Line, E Line to Spring St; R Line, W Line to Prince St

Buses: BxM18, M1, M20, M21, M55, X1, X10, X10B, X12, X17, X27, X28, X7, X9


Principal: Isora Bailey

Parent Coordinator: Johnny Lau


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Chelsea CTE HS

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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