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New Directions Secondary School

Grades: 9-12
240 East 172nd Street
Bronx NY 10457
Phone: 718-410-4343

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)


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 2018-19 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
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 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 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
33% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
36% Citywide Average

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
55% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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.


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


Claremont Village (District 9)
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


James Waslawski
Parent Coordinator
Inasia Pelle

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Taft Educational Campus with five other schools
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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