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Our Insights

What’s Special

Focus on design

The Downside

Poor attendance

New Design High School offers students a chance to explore fashion, furniture, construction and digital media through design. Founded in 2003, it is one of five small high schools housed in the Seward Park Educational Campus. 

Each year, students focus on a different theme and type of media. In 9th grade, they study identity through visual arts; in 10th grade, they explore community through fashion or construction; in 11th, three-dimensional perspectives drives the furniture design curriculum; and in 12th grade, students consider their future in digital media or in advanced fashion design. 

New Design does a good job helping children who enter high school performing below grade level graduate on time. The CEP (comprehensive educational plan) boasts the school is “on the verge of being an elite school in New York City serving under-served students,” and has one of the best on-time graduation rates of the many “Ed Opt” admissions schools.

The school has an ambitious plan to get more teens ready for college, according to the CEP. Basic reading and writing skills are a focus in lessons but so are research and debate. Tenth grade global history students wrote essays about the post-World War II partitions of Germany, Palestine and India citing examples from at least four sources, according to the Quality Review. Eleventh graders designed their own lessons to teach the concepts of circles in math. The teacher provided laptops, reference notes, model problems and vocabulary words, and assisted a child learning English by writing notes on his paper, according to the report.

Students meet weekly with adult mentors to discuss strategies for how to study and manage their time. They practice the “dump-and-clump” strategy, for instance, a way to study difficult information by grouping lists of words together, according to the Quality Review. Students lead their own parent-teacher conferences and are encouraged to help and tutor each other. 

Attendance and safety are improving. At the same time, children are suspended in greater numbers than at most city schools. The Quality Review says teachers receive workshops on dealing with trauma and conflict. Some children miss a month or more of school. In addition to a social worker and an attendance coordinator, five social work interns provide case management for students struggling with long-term absences. A new text messaging service helps staff stay in touch with families. 

Special Education: A parent told the visitor who conducted the Quality Review that her child has received a lot of support and because of that he is now an honors student. Most children with special needs graduate on time, at a rate far above the citywide average. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data, November 2018)

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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?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 599


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?
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
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 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


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20


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 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 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
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

New Design High School (M53A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

The CDOS Commencement Credential is a certificate that is meant to show your readiness for entry-level jobs. It is possible to complete high school with a CDOS Commencement Credential only.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP English Literature and Composition

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


350 Grand Street
Manhattan NY 10002

Trains: B Line, D Line to Grand St; F Line, J Line, M Line, Z Line to Delancey St

Buses: B39, M1, M103, M14A-SBS, M14D-SBS, M15, M15-SBS, M21, M22, M9


Principal: Scott Conti

Parent Coordinator: Michael Casiano


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Seward Park Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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