Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts

Grades: 6-12

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.

Admissions: Although students are supposed to audition, there has been room for all applicants in recent years. (Lydie Raschka, DOE and web reports, November 2018) 


School Stats


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 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
631 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 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
8 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 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

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20


From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 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?
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 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 2021 High School Directory

Theater Arts

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.


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

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.

Instrumental Music

Admissions Method: 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

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 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP English Literature and Composition, AP World History: Modern

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 114th 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: Kyleema Norman

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

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