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Hamilton Grange Middle School

Grades: 6-8
500 West 138th Street
Manhattan NY 10031
Phone: 212-775-9600

Our Insights

What’s Special

Emphasis on writing and debate; strong teachers

The Downside

Heavy reliance on iPads with sporadic WiFi

Opened in 2014 on the third floor of PS 192, The Hamilton Grange School has quickly become popular among Upper Manhattan families looking for progressive options. The heart of the curriculum is reading, writing and discussion; many students are still learning English in this largely Dominican neighborhood.

We found a thoughtful balance of structure and innovation in a young school still forging its identity. Children wear uniforms and the tone is studious and respectful. Teens sat quietly in loose rows at tables facing the teacher. Principal Benjamin Lev said teachers shy away from "group work for the sake of group work," but that students move in and out of groups for specific activities.

Hard work, not talent, is prized and mistakes are seen as a chance to learn. Students are encouraged to retake exams and rewrite essays. The principal is attuned to kids who struggle and doesn't easily resort to suspensions. Teens have a voice; they create goals and lead their own parent conferences twice a year.

The principal's office is filled with a stimulating array of books, but like a newly furnished home, the classrooms were sparse aside from blue and yellow "core values" posters and quotes. One room had flags from children's home countries, including Mexico and the Dominican Republic. All children study Spanish, art and music.

Lev taught math and science at MS 324 and was assistant principal at PS 192. Instead of scripted lessons, teachers tap into different viewpoints by having children research an issue and take a side in a debate, such as, "Should Britain return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt?" Sixth graders study Greek and Roman mythology and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art to better grasp mythological references when they read the popular Percy Jackson novels by Rick Riordan.

Most in-school reading is done on iPad's using the LightSail program for 45 minutes three days a week. Unfortunately, iPads are dependent on the building's sporadic WiFi, but thee are "real" books too. Reading skills span a wide range, from couple of children who read at a 1st grade level to those who read at a 10th grade level, said the reading specialist who works with about 60 students.

Despite the language focus, some girls volunteered they like math best. There are two 8th grade Regents classes, algebra and living environment. In a math class, students practiced problems compiled from CMP3 (Connected Mathematics Project 3), Engage NY and Go Math programs.

Hamilton Grange is a draw for ambitious teachers. Lead teachers get slightly more pay and a lighter teaching load so they have time to mentor peers. Lev hired three teachers from Amistad, a nearby dual-language school, and a math lead teacher from the high-performing Anderson School on the Upper West Side.

The staff has training in a technique to help children learn how to manage emotions that can lead to destructive actions. Lev recalls middle school as a confusing time when he was often angry but never knew whyonly that his actions resulted in suspensions from sports or school. "Punishing them is not a good teacher," he said.

College undergrads visit and discuss the college experience through a particular lens, such as what it's like to be a new immigrant, on a sports scholarship or in an engineering class. Teacher's and Writer's Collaborative helps students get started on a college admissions essay.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Lev is a former special education teacher who believes in flexible scheduling for students with special needs. There are team-teaching classes and students who need more assistance may work with a special education teacher outside of the classroom in a smaller setting.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to District 6. Students who attend an open house receive priority. There has been a wait list in recent years. (Lydie Raschka, January 2017)

Read more

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?
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

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


Harlem (District 6)
Trains: B Line, C Line to 135th St; A Line, D Line to 145th St; 1 Line to 137th St - City College
Buses: Bx15, Bx19, Bx33, M10, M100, M101, M104, M11, M3, M4, M5


Benjamin Lev
Parent Coordinator
Melquis Remy

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with PS 192
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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