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Our Insights

What’s Special

School trains dental assistants and pharmacy technicians

The Downside

Special focus on health sciences may not appeal to all

Union Square Academy for Health Sciences is a small school that offers students the chance to study to be a dental assistant or a pharmacy technician. Students participate in internships at hospitals, dental clinics, and pharmacies such as Walgreens. The school has a good track record preparing students for success in college; most graduate on time and are ready for college-level work.

Academics & Instruction: In class, students tackle projects in small groups. Teachers focus on writing and reading in all subject areas. Students who need extra help get tutoring with teachers after school or during lunch periods.

Students have the opportunity to earn pharmacy and dental certifications by graduation. They start with classes that introduce them to pharmacy and dental careers, including oral anatomy, tooth nomenclature, career and financial management, pharmacy and dental law, plus dentures and tooth morphology. They learn fundamentals of phlebotomy, C. P. R., infection control, and taking blood pressure among other health care foundations.

All students must complete an internship their senior year.

Students may earn college credit by taking Advanced Placement courses in school or select classes at nearby Baruch College.

Culture & Environment: Students overwhelmingly say they feel safe in school, according to school surveys. Older students are trained to mentor younger students, and 11th- and 12th-graders meet with adult mentors weekly to prepare for life after high school. Families are invited to attend family nights, workshops and shows.

Special Education & English as a New Language: The school has team-teaching classes that mix students with disabilities into classes with their general education peers. Students learning English practice reading and writing skills on computer programs and in teacher-led small groups. ENL teachers also visit academic classes like math and science to help students with their vocabulary, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Building & Facilities: The school is one of five small schools in the Washington Irving Educational Campus, a large building near Union Square Park in Manhattan. It has dental and pharmacy laboratories where students create dentures with 3D machines, and learn to mix, assemble, and package prescriptions. The school shares sports teams with other schools in the building.

College & Career: The school participates with the College Bound Initiative, which funds a full-time college counselor and a robust college advisory program.  Partners like CVS pharmacy have hired students as permanent employees.  (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, August 2023)


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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


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 achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide and 2022-23 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 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?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
From the 2022-23 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
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 191
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2022-23 NYC School Survey, 2022-23 School Quality Guide, 2021-22 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2023 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


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 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?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2022-23 School Quality Guide
Visit Understanding FAFSA for help with the FAFSA and financial aid.
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Pharmacy Technician (A33A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Students who are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician can acquire certification as approved by state. You will complete four years of courses, which include a Career and Financial Management course, and an internship in the pharmacy area. You will need to pass Pharmacy Technician Examination by senior year.

Dental Laboratory Technician (A33B)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Students who wish to enter the dental field can acquire certification by completing the Dental Laboratory Technician program in high school, complete four years of courses which include Career and Financial Management, with 150 hours of internship time in the dental field. You will also need to pass the NOCTI Dental Laboratory Technician examination to get certification.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP Computer Science A, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Biology (College Course [Credited]), Calculus (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science), Other (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited])

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Handball, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


40 Irving Place
Manhattan NY 10003

Trains: 4 Line, 5 Line, 6 Line, L Line, N Line, Q Line, R Line to 14th St-Union Square

Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BxM10, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M1, M101, M102, M103, M14A-SBS, M14D-SBS, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M23-SBS, M3, M34-SBS, M34A-SBS, M55, M8, M9, QM21, SIM10, SIM11, SIM1C, SIM3, SIM31, SIM33, SIM33C, SIM3C, SIM4C, SIM6, SIM7, SIM9, X27, X28, X37, X38, X63, X64, X68


Principal: Bernardo Ascona

Parent Coordinator: Tiffany Pitts


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Washington Irving Educational Campus with five other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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