Innovative classes; experienced staff
Attendance is a work in progress; building has no gym or auditorium
Opened in 2012, Harvest Collegiate is an innovative school for students who want class discussions, lots of reading and writing, hands-on projects and class trips around the city. Housed on the upper floors of a building with a party supply store on the ground floor, the school is spacious, bright and inviting.
The school serves a wide range of academic abilities: Some students enter below grade level and others master demanding Advanced Placement or college classes. To help all students achieve, many classes have two teachers, and staff members give extra help outside of class. The students we spoke to said they receive an unusual level of personal attention from teachers, whom they call by first names. “The principal cares about the students,” one student told us. “She knows everything about me.”
Instead of taking Regents exams for most subjects, students complete “capstone projects,” oral and written presentations to a panel of teachers on topics they choose themselves. One student researched the history of discrimination against Chinese immigrants; another argued that Richard Nixon was a better president than his reputation suggests; a third used mathematical equations to investigate how fast a virus might spread.
The school is part of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a group of schools exempt from all Regents exams except English. Students receive a regular Regents diploma when they graduate.
The college-style course catalogue has thought-provoking titles: "Heroes and Villains" (history), "Beyond Voting: Democracy and Organizing" (social studies) and "Criminals" (English), to name a few. Every student is encouraged to pursue a special interest or talent after school. "We want students to love what they're doing," said principal Kate Burch.
Burch designed the school as her master's thesis at Teachers College, Columbia University. A Manhattan native, she graduated from Harvard College with high honors in history and literature, and taught at an alternative school, Humanities Prep, upon which Harvest is modeled. She believes in bringing together an economically, ethnically and academically diverse group of students. “Harmonious diversity is something that really stands out about our school, and we take pride in,” she wrote in an email.
Students read books of their own choosing for up to half an hour during school hours. Teachers have found that students' writing abilities accelerated the most when they were required to write 16 essays during 9th grade.
Every week, teens spend half a day exploring the city beyond school walls, and there is a two-week "intensive" in January when students pursue activities like winter camping, computer animation or drama. After-school activities include Model United Nations, robotics, sailing, and a philosophy club called thinkTANK. While visual art is only offered after school, the school has a thriving music program. Every student learns a musical instrument (guitar, percussion or piano for two years in the lower grades, with an option to continue in various bands in the upper grades).
Attendance is a work-in-progress; a new school system sends parents three text messages throughout the day alerting them of their child’s attendance status. There is no gym or auditorium. Student may participate in PSAL teams on the Washington Irving campus, a few blocks away.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students with special needs attend integrated classes where a team of special education and general teachers lead the class. The school also houses a District 75 school, which is separate from Harvest Collegiate.
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: The school graduated its first class in 2016. Since then, most attend four-year CUNY and SUNY colleges (City College, Purchase and New Paltz are popular), with a significant number opting for two-year colleges, and roughly one-quarter attending private universities (i.e. Swarthmore, NYU, Brandeis). Several students have been awarded POSSE scholarships. The school has sent one student each (as of this profile) to Bard, Smith, Columbia University, Cornell and as far away as the University of Paris and University of Hawaii, Burch said in an email.
ADMISSIONS: Open to families in all boroughs with priority to low-income students and Manhattan residents. There are many more applicants than seats. (Isabel Corpus, June 2018; updated, principal email, October 2019)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Harvest Collegiate High School
Harvest Collegiate High School D75 Inclusion Program
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
American Sign Language, Spanish
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Macroeconomics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Literature and Composition
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Handball, Soccer, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Softball, Volleyball
Contact & Location
34 West 14th Street
Manhattan NY 10011
Trains: , , , , , to 14th St; , , , , , , to 14th St-Union Square; , , , , to West 4th St
Buses: M1, M101, M102, M103, M12, M14A, M14D, M2, M20, M23-SBS, M3, M55, M7, M8, X1, X10, X10B, X12, X14, X17, X27, X28, X37, X38, X42, X63, X64, X68, X7, X9
This school is in its own building.
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Manhattan, NY 10011
Manhattan, NY 10011