Account Arrow Right Favorite Star Bookmark

Discover your best high school options

Get started

Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts

Grades: 6-12
215 West 114th Street
Manhattan NY 10026
Phone: 212-749-5800
Marquee homepage

Our Insights

What’s Special

School nurtures arts-minded students

The Downside

Low test scores

August 2015 update: At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Wadleigh discontinued the school's drama program. The school principal Tyee Chin left at this time to become principal of Flushing High School. He was replaced by Daisy Fontanez, who previously worked for the Children's First Network 108. 

December 2012 review: As its name implies, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a combination middle and high school where students may study dance, drama, music, painting, photography and ceramics. Wadleigh also offers culinary training in its commercial-quality kitchen, as well as all core academic courses required for a high school diploma.

Principal Tyee Chin took over in February 2012 from Herma Hall, an interim principal who was the latest in a string of Wadleigh administrators to come and go. Jamaica-born Chin quickly earned praise from teachers, but he faces a number of challenges if Wadleigh is to achieve the academic success most principals strive for. Student test scores are far lower than they ought to be, and its tiny middle school has long been threatened with closure. (Chin would like to enlarge the middle school, but Department of Education officials “want to see progress first,” he said.)

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. In its latest incarnation, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing and Visual Arts takes up the first and second floors, Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School is on the third and fourth floors, and Success Academy Harlem West (a middle school that opened in 2012) occupies the fifth floor. The three share the cafeteria, auditorium, gym and library.

Student enthusiasm is most visible in the arts, music and dance classes. We observed a drawing class where students working in small teams diligently sketched out cartoon characters for a competitive assignment in which the principal would select a winner. Distracted girls in a vocal music class snapped to attention when their teacher began leading them in warm-up scales. Dancers rehearsing in the mirrored studio worked up a sweat as they practiced choreographed moves for an upcoming performance.

In the kitchen, students learning from professional cooks baked challah bread and other autumn favorites. (Cooking classes are an elective, but Chin said he hopes to improve the curriculum so future graduates can earn a culinary CTE endorsement on their diplomas.)

Academic enthusiasm is less obvious elsewhere. Haphazardly arranged desks gave classrooms a sloppy look, and late-arriving students suffered no visible punishment. The school dress code (black and/or white clothing) is so liberally interpreted that the rules aren’t apparent. Administrators roamed the halls so they could dish out on-the-spot discipline (usually a stern lecture) to disruptive kids, yet loud voices regularly boomed down the historic hallways. Students and staff often moved at a speed that seemed to suggest a lack of urgency—perhaps a reaction to the overactive furnace that kept rooms at near-sauna temperatures. Test scores and graduation rates are low.

Wadleigh has produced a few notable performers: Graduate Joshua Johnson was a featured dancer on “Dancing With the Stars” and has appeared several times on “Ellen”.

College: Wadleigh graduates often go on to SUNY and CUNY universities, although some are regularly accepted to colleges such as Ithaca, Skidmore, Wake Forest and Penn State, according to guidance counselor Julia Garcia.

Special education: Wadleigh offers self-contained classes as well as integrated co-teaching (ICT) classrooms in which students with special needs are mixed with students from the general population. ICT classes feature two teachers, one of whom is certified to teach special education.

Admissions: Eighth-graders often audition, although a number of students are accepted without auditioning. Grades and attendance are weighed, although Chin said, “I rarely accept a child that has good grades but bad attendance.” (Skip Card, December 2012)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
57%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
91%
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
43%
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
55%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81%
83% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86%
73% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
2.0

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
18%
35% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
30%
46% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Living Environment

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
75%
85% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
27%
51% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
9%
50% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
55%
74% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
16% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
278
Asian
1%
Black
54%
Hispanic
39%
White
3%
Other
3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
81%
Students with disabilities
26%
English language learners
3%

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
36%
20% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
Yes

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
50%
73% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

Theater Arts
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (53-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.7-4.5), Math (1.5-4.5)
  • 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
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
  • 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
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (60-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.5-4.5), Math (1.4-4.5)
  • 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.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
  • Audition
Program Description:

This program introduces students to the fundamentals of instrumental playing. The program is also designed to extend the boundaries of the musically talented student. Students learn techniques in Jazz Band, Modern Band, and Concert Band. Strong emphasis is placed in the following areas: Music Theory, Composition, and Music History. Students participate in school performances throughout the school year and partner with several of our renowned partnerships.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (60-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.8-4.5), Math (1.4-4.5)
  • 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.

Wadleigh Honors Academy for New Students
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Requirements:
  • Group Interview (on-site)
  • Portfolio
Program Description:

Students in this program will be offered a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum. The program will prepare students to pass the five required NYS Regents and have the opportunity to earn an Advanced Regents diploma. Students will be offered AP and honors courses, to prepare them for entry into selective four-year colleges. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the performing and visual arts and participate in internships.

Wadleigh Honors Academy for Current Students
Admissions Method: For Continuing 8th Graders
Program Description:

Guaranteed offer to continuing 8th grade students

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP Spanish, AP U.S. History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

Contact & Location

Location

Harlem (District 3)
Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, B Line, C Line to 116th St
Buses: M1, M10, M102, M11, M116, M2, M3, M4, M7

Contact

Principal
Kyleema Norman

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This schools shares the Wadleigh Secondary Building with two other schools
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
Yes

You may also like …

The Opportunity Charter School

240 West 113th Street
Manhattan, NY 10026

Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School

215 West 114th Street
Manhattan, NY 10026

Comments

  • 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 [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.