A Message from InsideSchools: The data below is the most up-to-date data available from City and State systems. We are working hard to update the narratives for all schools. We welcome your insights in the Comments section. Questions? Ask us!

Our Insights

What’s Special

Visual and performing arts

The Downside

Poor attendance, low test scores

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a tiny combined middle and high school that offers programs in dance, theater, instrumental music, vocal music and visual arts (drawing and ceramics).

The school has long faced challenges and although there are signs of improvement, it still has a ways to go. Test scores in middle school are low and the high school graduation rate is below the citywide average. Attendance is poor; roughly one-third of the students miss a month or more of school. 

The arts are surprisingly varied for such a small school, however, and students take arts classes every day of the week. The choir has a web page with videos and photos. Singers participate in annual performances at established art venues such as Carnegie Hall and the National Choral festival. Wadleigh student art has been displayed at the Schomburg Public Library. Several students have won the MOMA award for art and photography,  according to the CEP (comprehensive educational plan).

Wadleigh (rhymes with “oddly”) is one of three public schools sharing a handsome landmark building that opened in 1903 as Wadleigh High School for Girls, New York’s first all-girl public high school. (Famous alumni include Jean Stapleton, Lillian Hellman and Isabel Sanford.) The all-girl school closed in 1954 and reopened in 1956 as a co-ed junior high. 

Wadleigh graduates often go on to SUNY and CUNY schools, but not many graduates are ready for college-level work without taking remedial courses. (Lydie Raschka, DOE and web reports, November 2018) 

Get more from InsideSchools

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
81% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
52% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
42% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
60% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
91% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
86% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
45% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
7% Citywide Average
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

Theater Arts (M26A)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

The Theater Arts program introduces students to the art of acting. Drama students will be exposed to a variety of techniques and tools in theater arts that will enhance their current level of proficiency. Students will study acting, directing, stage design and play-writing. In addition, students will participate in musical theater performances throughout the school year.

Dance (M26D)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

This program offers students the opportunity to study dance technique, composition, theory, history, and anatomy and physiology. The dance program exposes students to the fields of modern, ballet, tap, Afro-Caribbean, and jazz; as well as Pilates and Zena Rommett Floor Bar. Dance students participate in school performances throughout the school year and partner with several of our renowned partnerships.

Visual Arts (M26J)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

This program offers students an introduction to the fundamental concepts of art. Students will explore elements of art and design through a variety of 2D and 3D media: drawing, painting, collage-making, watercolor, and computer graphics. Students will also have the opportunity to take electives in photography, ceramics, and AP Studio Art. Student art work is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, Harlem State Office Building, Cooper Hewitt Museum, and Colgate Palmolive Headquarters.

Vocal Music (M26R)

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

This program exposes students to music theory, history, and voice techniques. Students perform in a variety of genres: classical, jazz, Broadway, gospel, and popular music. The Wadleigh Chamber Choir has performed at: Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater, Barclay Center, Riverside Church, National Chorale Festival, Manhattan Borough Arts Festival, Songs of Solomon Gospel Choir, NYC All-City Chorus, NYC Summer Arts Institute, Metropolitan Opera, National Chorale, and Lincoln Center Jazz.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Studio Art - 2D, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Calculus (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science)

Boys PSAL teams


Girls PSAL teams


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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


215 West 114 Street
Manhattan NY 10026

Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line to 110th St-Central Park North; B Line, C Line to 116th St

Buses: M1, M10, M102, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M7


Principal: Lisa Denerstein

Parent Coordinator: Luis Gratereaux


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This schools shares the Wadleigh Secondary Building with two other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

Was this information helpful?

Get more from InsideSchools

You may also like …

Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School

215 West 114 Street
Manhattan, NY 10026

The Opportunity Charter School

240 West 113th Street, 4th Floor
Manhattan, NY 10026


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at contact@insideschools.org.
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.