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Our Insights

What’s Special

School plans to offer certificate in digital media

The Downside

School closed because of poor performance

MARCH 2018 UPDATE: The Panel for Educational Policy voted to close the Academy for Social Action at the end of June 2018 because of poor performance. A final decision by is pending.

SEPTEMBER 2015 REVIEW: Opened in 2007, the Academy for Social Action is designed to offer a demanding college-prep curriculum but has struggled to maintain an orderly atmosphere where children can learn.

Students complain of fights and bullying; nearly one-third say they dont feel safe in class and more than half say they dont feel safe on the property outside the school, according to the Learning Environment Survey. In one incident that made the newspapers, a girl sprayed mace into a classroom, sending nine students to the hospital. Ninety percent of teachers responding to the survey said they mistrust the principal and think she is an ineffective manager.

On the positive side, the school won a grant to buy Smartboards and computers as part of the principals plan to start a Career and Technical Education program that would offer a certificate in digital media. Staff make themselves available to help students. Students are motivated to attend school even when they are experiencing a personal problem because they know they can talk to a teacher or staff person if they need to during the school day, according to a Department of Education report called a quality review.

The school was founded in partnership with the College Board, the not-for-profit group that administrators the SAT, PSAT, and Advanced Placement program. Students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement courses and take part in community activities and internships.

Begun as a secondary school with grades 6-12, the middle school was phased out with the last 8th graders graduating in 2015.

Admissions: limited unscreened. (Clara Hemphill, news reports and DOE statistics, September 2015)

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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Academy for Social Action: A College Board School

Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Boys PSAL teams


Girls PSAL teams


Coed PSAL teams


Contact & Location


509 West 129th Street
Manhattan NY 10027

Trains: 1 Line, A Line, B Line, C Line, D Line to 125th St

Buses: Bx15, Bx33, M10, M100, M101, M104, M11, M3, M4, M5, M60-SBS


Principal: Kairis Cox


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with three other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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