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Community Health Academy of the Heights

Grades: 6-12
504 West 158th Street
Manhattan NY 10032
Phone: 212-342-6600

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong community partnerships, whole-child supports, enrichment and family engagement

The Downside

High chronic absenteeism, below average math scores

The Community Health Academy of the Heights (CHAH) offers classes about personal and public health, and older students pursue internships in health careers. Local nonprofit Community League of the Heights (CLOTH), launched the school in 2006, in partnership with New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center. The school's new six-story building in south Washington Heights has wide and well-lit hallways and stairwells, with expansive views of Columbia Presbyterian hospital from several windows.

CHAH prides itself on its reflective and open-minded community. "If you've ever been excluded, beat up, marginalized, this is the place where you can be welcome," says Principal Mark House, a former social studies teacher and assistant principal at West Bronx Academy of the Future. He feels that "school should be fun," but first, he believes, students need to feel safe and grounded. CHAH hosts a School Based Health Center through Community Healthcare Network, where a psychiatrist, social worker, and nurse practitioner are housed. Each student gets a mental health diagnostic exam each year, in addition to vision screenings and access to other health resources.

House is proud of his "amazing teachers," who work together to improve instruction and develop their practice, even over the summer. Almost all of them said they trust the principal’s leadership and would recommend this school to other families and teachers on the most recent NYC School Survey

CHAH has struggled to improve its attendance, with a higher-than-average share of students absent at least a month of the school year. Test scores for grades 6-8 are well below the city average, but have increased steadily in recent years. Most students enter 6th grade below grade level in reading or math, and many students are current or former English language learners. The percentage of 8th graders earning high school credit is far higher than the district or city averages, according to the School Quality Report. High school students may take several Advanced Placement courses, and many graduates go on to two or four-year colleges like CUNY, SUNY, Syracuse, St. Johns, and Trinity College in Connecticut. 

CHAH has full-time music, art and dance teachers, as well as a dance studio and fully equipped visual arts and music rooms, according to the Arts in Schools Report. The cafeteria and gym are clean and bright, but small. Other after-school activities include homework help and the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance alliance, which covers gender and LGBTQ issues. Both CHAH and CLOTH go out of their way to engage parents, bringing them in the building for adult education classes, free evening activities such as Zumba classes, a food pantry, and affordable housing access.

ADMISSIONS: For middle school, priority goes to students from Washington Heights elementary schools and other District 6 residents. Nearly all middle school students stay for high school, but others may apply to the Ed. Opt. program for 9th grade, which takes a range of low-, middle- and high-performing students. (Nicole Mader, March 2015; web update, May 2019)


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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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
47% Citywide Average

From 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Community Health Academy of the Heights, American Dream Charter School, and Life Sciences Secondary School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I,Earth Science

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
51% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
87% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
64% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
55% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
77% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
20% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
74% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
72% Citywide Average

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
10% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
5% Citywide Average

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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Community Health Academy of the Heights
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP English Language and Composition, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP Environmental Science


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Softball, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools
NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


Washington Heights (District 6)
Trains: 1 Line to 157th St; C Line to 155th St
Buses: Bx6, Bx6-SBS, Bx7, M10, M100, M101, M2, M3, M4, M5


David Falciani
Parent Coordinator
Connie Santana

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.


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