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M.S. 224 Manhattan East School for Arts & Academics

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
410 East 100th Street
Manhattan NY 10029
Phone: 212-860-6047

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong arts and academics attract bright children from across the city

The Downside

Out of the way location

Manhattan East is a tiny middle school on the southeastern edge of East Harlem. It occupies the entire fifth floor of a 1920s era building (with no elevator). Many students travel an hour to get there from Harlem, Brooklyn or the Bronx, yet with three bands, visual arts, dance and three Regent's courses, this warm and unique school is worth the trip.

The staff is so sincere and friendly you soon forget how out of breath you are from the climb. The tone is light and filled with banter and often the sound of music. Office staff and teachers check in on children frequently, and take action if a child looks grumpy or sad, by pulling them aside to chat. "Teachers know you really well," said a student.

There are no uniforms. "We are an arts school," said principal Luis Genao, a long-time educator and graduate of Wesleyan University, who grew up in the South Bronx. "Kids express themselves here."

The school was founded as part of the progressive, small schools movement in the 1980s, along with Central Park East and River East. Its location on the border of low-income East Harlem and the wealthy Upper East Side, is intentionaldesigned to draw children from different neighborhoods. It is "a desegregated school by design," Genao said.

Teachers have flexibility in how they teach. Eighth grade English teacher William Meehan weaves social theories into lessons, having his students examine Marxism, utopia and dystopia through their readings of "Lord of the Flies," "The Hunger Games" and "The Giver." Children listen to the soundtrack from the musicalHamiltonin American history.

Children take up to six arts and sports classes per week. Sixth and 7th-graders study a wind, brass or percussion instrument. Starting in 7th grade, they may join the school's concert, rock or jazz bands. On the day of our visit, students brought up new and refurbished instruments donated by National Public Radio. They may dance or participate in drama.

All students take algebra, earth science and U.S. History Regents courses, but not all take the Regents exams. Parents rave about the academic rigor, but some students complain the lessons are too fast-paced.

One 8th grader said teachers move "on to the next topic, but if you missed things it is hard to catch up." She added that friends and teachers are always willing to help.

By the beginning of 8th grade, visual arts students develop portfolios for admission to competitive arts high schools such as Frank Sinatra and LaGuardia. Electives include basketball, and tennis on Randall's Island in the East River, accessible by a footbridge.

The school shares a building with the Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation and Success Academy Harlem 3. It is a ten-minute walk from the 96th Street station on the Q line, and ten minutes from the 6 train on Lexington Avenue. A parent said an evening meeting can be a three-hour time commitment, if you factor in travel.

Manhattan East staggers entrance times with the other two schools in the building and there is little contact between them. Students said getting to school on time is a challenge. "The stairs are a hustle!" said one. The upside is the fun bonding time with friends on the subway or bus rides home, said the mother of an 8th grader.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students with special needs are placed in general education classes as well as in self-contained classes. Children are integrated with the others for gym, art and some music classes.

ADMISSIONS: Applications are accepted from students citywide, with priority given to district 4 students and residents. (Lydie Raschka, January 2017; admissions update 2022)

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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
59% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
82% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

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?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
89% 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 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
34% 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?
15% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


East Harlem (District 4)
Trains: 6 Line to 96th St; 6 Line to 103rd St
Buses: BxM1, M101, M102, M103, M106, M15, M15-SBS, M31, M86-SBS, M96, M98


Luis Genao
Parent Coordinator
Angie Ortiz

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with the Renaissance Charter HS and Success Academy Harlem 3 Charter
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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