Small, lively classes and well-rounded curriculum
Park East High School is a small gem with lively classes and a demanding curriculum. A collaboration with several nearby high schools ensures that students get a well-round high school experience that includes extra-curriculars such as sports, arts and student clubs. Students get lots of attention and virtually all graduate on time including students with disabilities; the majority are well-prepared for college.
In July 2021 Dr. Suzy Ort became the school's interim acting principal, replacing longtime principal Kevin McCarthy who retired at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Prior to taking the helm, Dr. Ort worked at Park East for 19 years, as an instructional coach and more recently as an assistant principal.
Teachers at Park East have mastered the art of helping students catch up and excel in high school. Writing is taught in a separate class that students take in addition to English. All students take four years of math and science. The strongest students may take Advanced Placement classes, but nearly all take tackle subjects such as algebra 2, chemistry and statistics. Ninth-graders take the equivalent of three semesters worth of algebra, by taking it for two periods during one of their semesters freshman year.
Many teachers offer “open honors.” Rather than track some students into separate honors classes, all students learn together and those up to the challenge may opt in for honors, where they take on additional, more advanced work.
Students say the curriculum reflects different ethnicities, races, and cultures in a positive way and that lessons are relevant to their own lived experiences, according to the annual NYC School Survey. Ninth-graders read about the experiences of marginalized groups through selections such The Bluest Eye, Rainbow Boys, and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Tenth-graders pick a book to read, which they discuss through blog posts with students at neighboring schools, and then present projects based on their readings at a fair where students from the different schools meet for the first time. Examples of texts students have chosen include Evicted, which explores the trauma of unstable housing, and Just Mercy, the memoir of Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer who founded the Equal Justice Initiative.
Park East offers computer programming in variety of settings, including traditional computer science courses (high school level and Advanced Placement) as well as digital art classes, which incorporate elements of coding and robotics.
The school is housed in a cramped building that was once a music school designed with a lot of small rehearsal studios. Despite its limitations, the school’s physical plant has a huge advantage: Most rooms are too small to hold the 34 students that many public high school classes have. Instead, class size is often less than 20, and students get far more attention than is typical in New York City schools.
Juniors take a trip to Washington DC. Students raise money to fund trips abroad. Recent destinations include England France, Spain, Portugal and Peru. The guidance/college office provides students and families with a lot of support through the college admissions process. All students participate in small-group advisories.
Park East offers a lot of extracurricular activities because it shares resources with several other small high schools in the neighborhood. Students may take some classes and afternoon clubs and particpate in joint sports teams with the partner high schools (Central Park East, Young Women's Leadership, Frederick Douglass Academy II and Heritage), collectively known as East Harlem Pride. There's also an East Harlem Pride college fair attended by college reps from all over the country. Park East fields a football team with Eleanor Roosevelt High School.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Small group instruction provides students with IEPs and those who may just need extra help with personal attention and assistance with the transition into high school. After school tutoring and Saturday Academy help is also available. In 9th and 10th grade, all students with IEPs have an extra resource period programmed in their schedules where they may receive small group attention. The school offers ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, which are led by two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education. Park East’s graduation rate for students with disabilities is significantly higher than the citywide average.
ADMISSIONS: Open to students citywide. Admissions decisions are based on a review of students' academic records. (Laura Zingmond, October 2019; updated with new principal, October 2021)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
MusicNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Park East High School
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP United States History, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP English Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Flag Football, Golf, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball
Contact & Location
230 East 105th Street
Manhattan NY 10029
Trains: to 103rd St; to 96th St
Buses: BxM1, BxM11, BxM2, BxM3, BxM4, M1, M101, M102, M103, M106, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M3, M4, M96, M98
This school is in its own building.