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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 Wediko.org. 

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.  (Lydie Raschka, web reports, October 2019)


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School Stats

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


Transfer school graduation rate
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


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?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
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

College Readiness

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

New Directions Secondary School (X13A)

Admissions Method: Transfer

Program Description:

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


From the 2024 High School Directory

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Spanish Language and Culture

Boys PSAL teams

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

Girls PSAL teams

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

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


240 East 172 Street
Bronx NY 10457

Trains: 4 Line to Mt Eden Av; 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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