Stellar college-prep curriculum
Not all students can keep up with the workload
Manhattan Village Academy offers a demanding college-prep curriculum, imaginative projects and plenty of writing practice. It's an unusual blend of teaching philosophies: Like a traditional school, the kids wear uniforms, call teachers "Mr." and "Ms.," and study hard for Regents exams. Like at a progressive school, they do plenty of hands-on work. They may work in a group on a physics experiment measuring and graphing the speed at which they walk, or make a comic strip depicting events of the French Revolution.
The school strives to make sure students get the breadth that traditional schools offer and the depth of progressive schools. Students take nine Regents exams—four more than the state requires. In addition, they must complete five "portfolios," which may consist of hefty term papers, projects and oral presentations. Twelfth-graders are expected to write 10- to 15-page term papers on topics like global trade agreements. Everyone takes four years of science, including physics. Ninth- and 11th-graders take two hours of math a day, so by the end of four years everyone has had the equivalent of six years of high school math.
The workload is heavy, and not all students can manage it. In past years five or six students typically transfer to less demanding high schools after 9th grade. (The school accepts a similar number of incoming 10th-graders.) But for those who can do the work, the rewards are great. Graduates have been admitted to top private colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Cornell.
The tone of the school is serious but not oppressive. There are no bells, and class changes are orderly. Students wear uniforms. Eleventh- and 12th-graders may leave the building for lunch, although many choose to eat in the pleasant cafeteria.
Students say they typically do three hours of homework a night, but teachers are available to help during the day and after school. “I am grateful to this school for giving me the opportunity to go to a good college,” said a senior, wearing her new Penn State sweatshirt.
Students who fail Regents exams will work with a teacher during lunchtime or after school. Teachers have incorporated SAT prep into all grades. The school offers 18 Advanced Placement classes. Teachers are expected to give extra time, including on weekends. Former principal Hector Geager said he lost about five teachers a year, either due to poor performance or because teachers are looking for more work-life balance. Christina White, a longtime assistant principal at NYC Lab High School, became principal of MVA in 2019.
It is a small school, with only 100 students in each grade. Manhattan Village seems to have a knack for taking kids who were only average or even below-average students in middle school and helping them succeed in high school. Students are held to strict attendance guidelines.
Most students come from Inwood, Washington Heights, the Upper West Side, Harlem and the Bronx. (Although Manhattan Village Academy is physically located in District 2, it does not give preference to District 2 students.)
The school has a full-time college counselor. About 90 percent of graduates enroll in college within six months of graduation.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: In addition to team-teaching classes, students with special needs often stay later for extra help.
ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide who score at least Level 2 on standardized tests and have good attendance and grades. Incoming students must commit to a four-week summer program in July. Attendance is a very important factor in admissions. (Lydie Raschka, April 2018; update Aug. 2020)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Manhattan Village Academy
Rigorous core curriculum based on the equivalent of five years of Math, four-five years of Science, five-six years of English, and five-six years of History. The curriculum consists of two strands: Regents-based and Portfolio/Performance-Based Assessments. All students are expected to choose and enroll in our extensive menu of 17 AP courses.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Psychology, AP Statistics, AP Music Theory, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP World History: Modern, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History, AP Human Geography, AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Macroeconomics, AP Calculus AB, AP Biology
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Soccer
Girls PSAL teams
Contact & Location
43 West 22nd Street
Manhattan NY 10010
Trains: to 23rd St; , , to 14th St; , , , to 14th St-Union Square; to 23rd St; , to 23rd St; , to 23rd St
Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BxM10, BxM11, BxM18, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M1, M101, M102, M103, M14A, M14D, M2, M20, M23-SBS, M3, M4, M5, M55, M7, Q32, QM21, X1, X10, X10B, X12, X14, X17, X2, X27, X28, X37, X38, X42, X5, X63, X64, X68, X7, X9
This school is in its own building.
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Manhattan, NY 10010
Manhattan, NY 10010