Community Health Academy of the Heights

Grades: 6-12

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)

 

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
84%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
58%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
82%
Average daily attendance
 
87%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
26%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey

Students

660
Number of students
631 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
91%
Students with disabilities
 
24%
Multilingual learners
 
16%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
1%
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
 
98%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
91%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
37%
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
100%
0.3
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
165
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
90%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

 
30%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
15%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
45%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
5%

Music

 
38%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
69%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
62%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
67%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
47%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
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.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Spanish

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

Golf

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

504 West 158th Street
Manhattan NY 10032

Trains: 1 Line to 157th St; C Line to 155th St

Buses: Bx6, Bx6-SBS, Bx7, M10, M100, M101, M2, M3, M4, M5


Contact

Principal: David Falciani

Parent Coordinator: Connie Santana

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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