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Our Insights

What’s Special

Field trips and lessons on climate justice

The Downside

Fewer course options due to size

Established in 1998 as Life Sciences Secondary School, The High School for Climate Justice offers lessons and field trips on climate justice alongside regular classes. Despite past challenges like declining enrollment, the elimination of middle school grades and low attendance, the school seeks to improve with new partnerships and opportunities tied to its climate theme. 

Academics & Instruction: All 9th-graders take an introductory seminar on climate justice and 11th-graders are required to take Advanced Placement Environmental Science. Teachers in various grades create lessons that touch on climate. For example, a unit addressing voting rights demonstrates how policies affect the environment. At the same time, in math, students learn about voting trends and, in English, they read from "Our Time is Now," a book about voter suppression in the United States. 

The school has a hydroponics lab where students grow herbs and lettuce without soil. Teens take field trips to Coney Island Creek to learn about sea level rise and erosion solutions. They visit Randall's Island, Governor’s Island and Westmoreland Sanctuary. Students may also join the "green team" club. 

High-achieving students may take advanced classes plus college courses with Hunter College. If you need help, there's tutoring. Some students get internships at places like the American Museum of Natural History and hospitals on the east side of Manhattan. 

Culture & Environment: Students stay with a grade-level counselor from 9th to 11th grade. Seniors get guidance on college and careers from a college counselor. 

Enrollment is declining and a small school will offer fewer course choices. Some teens feel teachers don't notice their learning challenges, the school noted in its Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). To improve, staff is providing more personal attention through weekly small group sessions and better communication with parents. Students stay with the same advisor all four years. 

Students join Restorative Justice circles for healthy relationships, and may join clubs like Gender & Sexuality Alliance and Muslim Student Association. Families are invited to fun events, like ice skating, and students join activities such as band, fine arts, PSAL Sport teams and choir. Asphalt Green, a local sports complex, offers swimming classes and lifeguard certification. 

Special Education & English as a New Language (ENL): Instructional Support Services (ISS) teachers are assigned students with IEPs when students enroll and follow them through to graduation. 

Building & Facilities: Climate Justice is housed in a small, early 20th century red brick building located a block from East River esplanade, which the school uses for outdoor gym classes and activities. Hallways are cramped and classrooms are small. There is a renovated auditorium and dance room. The hydroponics lab has a partial prep kitchen. A fitness room has core and cardio equipment. The art room has a ceramics kiln. 

College & Career: All students build a college & career portfolio. They take college trips and attend an annual Alumni Day event. There is a dedicated career and college counselor on staff. (Lydie Raschka, via web reports and interview October, 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 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




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

HS for Climate Justice (M40A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Focus on Life Sciences with science electives, internships, mentoring, and research opportunities.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, Physics (Advanced Science)

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


320 East 96 Street
Manhattan NY 10128

Trains: 6 Line to 96th St; Q

Buses: BxM1, BxM10, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, M101, M102, M103, M106, M15, M15-SBS, M31, M86-SBS, M96, M98


Principal: Kimberly Swanson

Parent Coordinator: Cecilia Gual


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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