New Directions Secondary School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

A fresh start for middle and high school students at risk of dropping out

The Downside

Inexperienced teachers

New Directions offers middle and high school students who are over-age or off-track a second chance. They may catch up on schoolwork in small classes and through online courses. Daily after school classes gives teens a chance to complete assignments and practice skills. 

While the city has a number of “transfer” schools for older high school students, New Directions is the only transfer school designed for both middle and high school students.  

New Directions faces challenges; many students are learning to speak English and almost one-third has special needs. Most students miss a month or more of school. Wediko Children’s Services and school counselors run daily small group advisory groups to help students improve their relationships with adults and with their peers in school, according to a post on 

New Directions has some nice features centered around music and art. A partnership with Community Word Project (CWP) provides teens with a chance to weave together reading, writing and art, for example. Following a visit from rapper and poet Osyris Antham, students in grades 8-11 recorded their original songs over selected hip-hop beats in a music studio, according to a CWP News & Events blog post

Principal James Waslawski designed New Directions during his time as a Cahn Fellow at Columbia University, a continuing education program for public school principals. When he founded the school in 2013, it was one of the first schools of its kind in the city, according to an article in Chalkbeat

As principal at PS/MS 279, Waslawski worked with immigrant children and many children with special needs. There, he grouped children by their proficiency level in English in their reading and writing classes, and placed struggling children into very small groups.

A downside: Teachers have less experience at New Directions, compared to the citywide average, according to the School Quality Guide.

New Directions is one of six small schools housed in the Taft Educational Campus. Students must pass through a metal detector at the entrance. 

Admissions: Priority to students and residents of Districts 7, 9  and 10, and then to residents of the Bronx. Open to students who are one or more year(s) over age for their assigned grade level and have a combined score of less than 630 on the 4th grade ELA and Mathematics test.  (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2019)


School Stats


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 achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey


Number of students
644 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
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 2019-20 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
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
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


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science



Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20


Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by 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

New Directions Secondary School

Admissions Method: Transfer

Program Description:

New Directions has a rolling admissions policy and operates as a transfer high school.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


240 East 172nd Street
Bronx NY 10457

Trains: 4 Line to Mt Eden Ave; B Line, D Line to 170th St

Buses: Bx1, Bx11, Bx15, Bx18, Bx2, Bx32, Bx35, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, BxM4


Principal: James Waslawski

Parent Coordinator: Inasia Pelle


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Taft Educational Campus with five other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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