High School for Media and Communications

Grades: 9-12
549 Audubon Avenue
Manhattan NY 10040
Phone: 212-927-1841

Our Insights

What’s Special

Fun clubs and sports, including swimming

The Downside

Academics have a long way to go

High School for Media and Communications, a small school housed in the majestic George Washington Educational Complex, serves many Spanish speakers who have just arrived in the country, as well as many homeless students. Most are far behind in their studies.

“We’re a low-performing school, in the process of being transformed,” Principal Juan Villar, who took the helm in 2015, told DNAinfo.

Villar has brought in electronic white boards, televisions and projectors. New consultants are helping to restructure the school and the curriculum, he said. Amp Up NYC reopened the music room with new guitars and pianos. There are classes in video and graphic design.

The school invites visitors to inspire kids, such as Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros, who is known for her coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street, about a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago.

Kids take field trips to restaurants or places like the American Museum of Natural History to practice speaking English.

Academics have a long way to go. Instruction is uneven, and some lessons start late, according to the school’s Quality Review. The graduation rate is low and student performance is poor, even when compared to schools with similar demographics.

On the positive side, the building offers attractive extras: a cycling club, a rowing club, two swimming pools, two theaters, and a huge track and field shared by the four schools in the building.

It has a college center that runs workshops for parents, hosts one-on-one meetings and trains older students to help younger kids apply to college, according to an article in DNAinfo.

Students from the building have been accepted at Fordham, City College, Hunter, Lehman and Skidmore.

Other schools in the George Washington Educational Campus include: The College Academy, the High School for Law and Public Service and the High School for Health Careers and Science

ADMISSIONS: Based on the educational option formula, which is designed to ensure a mix of low-achieving, average, and high-achieving students. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2018)


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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 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 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% 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

Film and Television Production
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

This program utilizes our state-of-the-art recording studio and exposes students to course work in Visual Storytelling, Advanced Broadcast Production, and Introduction to Post Production. Students create public service announcements, mini-documentaries, commercials and short films. Students are required to create a short silent film with Film at Lincoln Center and complete a certification program at Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

Publication and Design Academy
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

This program exposes students to a variety of writing experiences through courses in journalism, creative writing and screenwriting. Students choose the genre of their interest and will have their pieces published in the school newspaper, Rise, Babel in the Heights, yearbook, and the school magazine of fiction and non-fiction. Students have opportunities to collaborate with and/or intern at publishing companies, including Simon & Schuster.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP United States History, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Biology, AP Psychology


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Soccer, Swimming, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball

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 191st St; A Line to 190th St
Buses: Bx18, Bx40, Bx42, Bx7, BxM1, M100, M101, M3, M4, M98


Juan Villar
Parent Coordinator
Dersa Gonzalez

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the George Washington Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?

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