Manhattan / Hunter Science High School
Strong academics with a new approach to college prep.
Drab building with metal detectors.
Manhattan/Hunter has strong leadership, interesting classes and an innovative approach to preparing students for college. Students are prepared not only for college-level academics, but also for the freedom and responsibility of college life.
Students spend their first three years in classes on the top floor the Martin Luther King (MLK) educational complex. Seniors spend their entire fourth year of high school on the Hunter College campus on the Upper East Side, taking a mix of high school and college-level courses. When the students graduate from high school, they may attend Hunter College full-time--for free.
While lots of New York City high schools offer students the chance to take college courses, what makes Manhattan/Hunter different is the level of support the students receive. Their high school English and social studies teachers travel with them to the college and offer regular classes there. While the students take college courses in math and science, the high school English and social studies teachers offer hand-holding and advice for all the subjects. The hope is that this mix of high school and college courses will serve as a transition year and increase the chances that students are successful once they begin college full-time.
The physical surroundings arent great. The Martin Luther King building has metal detectors at the entrance. The cafeteria is gloomy, and the classrooms have no windows. But Manhattan/Hunter kids often eat their lunch in a sunny corridor on their floor of the building which they call the penthouse. Class size is about 25, considerably smaller than typical New York City high schools. The classes we saw were engaging, with plenty of class discussion and challenging academics. Students wear white-collared shirts and black trousers or skirts. While other schools in the building have problems with discipline, students at Manhattan/Hunter say they feel safe.
The school offers studio art, but there is little in the way of dance or music. Only three years of Spanish are offered. The schools in the building share facilities such as the gym and field building-wide sports teams. (The boys soccer team, often a citywide champion, is particularly strong.)
Special education: There are very limited special education services, although the school has a few students with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. The day of our visit, a blind student took notes on a braille-computer as a fellow student described a chemistry experiment.
College Admissions:The school has a good record of college admissions to schools such as Dickinson, Brandeis, Trinity, and Middlebury. A number of students have won POSSE scholarships. Many choose Hunter College because they have accumulated credits there and may attend for free.
Admissions: There are regular tours in the fall. Students must have standardized test scores of Level 2, 3 and 4 and grades of 80 in their core academic subjects. Students are asked to submit a writing sample. The school has far more applicants than seats. (Clara Hemphill, January 2012)
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Programs and Admissions
Early College program that accelerates students to complete college credits upon graduation.
Boys PSAL teams
Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Wrestling
Coed PSAL teams
Manhattan NY 10023