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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. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2018)


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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 599


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 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


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
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

Film and Television Production (M30A)

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 (M30B)

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.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Biology, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP United States History, Comp Sci/Math Tech (College Course [Credited]), Physics (Advanced Science), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


549 Audubon Avenue
Manhattan NY 10040

Trains: 1 Line to 191st St; A Line to 190th St

Buses: Bx18, Bx40, Bx42, Bx7, BxM1, M100, M101, M3, M4, M98


Principal: Sofia Russo

Parent Coordinator: Dersa Gonzalez


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the George Washington Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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