High School of American Studies at Lehman College

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

The intimacy of a small school and the resources of a large college

The Downside

Heavy workload for students, though they get lots of support

The High School of American Studies at Lehman College (HSAS), one of three specialized high schools operating on City University of New York campuses, offers the best of both worlds: the intimacy of a small school with the resources of a large college. Students have to manage a heavy load of challenging work, but they do so in a friendly and noncompetitive environment where everyone knows everyone else. All HSAS students enjoy access to Lehman College’s facilities during and after the school day, and starting in the 11th grade, they can take free college courses for credit.

“I think of our school as a junior liberal arts college,” says longtime principal Alessandro Weiss. HSAS students study and do research in Lehman College’s library, eat in its cafeteria, and take physical education classes in the vast college gymnasium, the Olympic-size swimming pool, or the racquetball courts. A majority of students take at least one course at Lehman before graduation; many choose to take more from the varied options open to them, such as Latin, jazz history, history of the Civil War, computer science, statistics, theater and dance.

Each class meets four days a week and runs 55 minutes, longer than the typical 43-minute high school period. This allows time for teachers to delve more deeply into lessons and engage students in rich discussions. A four-day-a-week class cycle also means that for each of their classes, students get a one-night-a-week break from having homework due the following day.

In history classes, teachers spend a lot of time on individual topics rather than moving through the curriculum at breakneck speed. For example, as part of the required three-year sequence in American history, teachers may spend four weeks on the New Deal or devote an entire semester to colonial America. In global history, a class study on early 19th-century Europe will include devoting several days to a mock trial of Napoleon Bonaparte. All students take the respective Advanced Placement (AP) exams at the end of the course sequences in American and global history.

Students in the upper grades can take history electives that focus on key historical eras, such as Europe between the world wars or United States history from the 1960s to date. In addition to reading challenging texts in history, students do engaging research. In the Conspiracy Theories class, students examine and research famous conspiracy theories on topics such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the alleged death of Paul McCartney of the Beatles, as well as more current examples.

Instruction in all subjects is rigorous, and teachers and staff make sure that English, math and science do not get short shrift. In English, students read challenging works throughout all four years, starting with Beowulf and The Odyssey in the 9th grade. AP English classes are offered in 11th and 12th grade. In math, students can take classes through AP calculus (AB) at the school; very advanced students can take BC calculus at Lehman.

In science, the school offers a number of electives that combine serious treatment of science with history and policy. Class offerings include AP Environmental Science, biosphere, ecosystems and psychobiology, where students learn about brain chemistry and study the science and politics behind medical trends, such as a unit on lobotomies.

The homework load is substantial but manageable. “It’s about three hours a night without texting,” says Weiss. Incoming freshmen get lots of support to help them adjust to the rigors of high school. They are taught how to take structured notes in history classes to ensure that they keep track of everything learned in class and through assignments. Ninth-graders also take a research class co-taught by a HSAS teacher and a Lehman College librarian, as well as a class dedicated to grammar.

All juniors and seniors taking their first course at Lehman are scheduled for a recitation class, which is a study period supervised by an HSAS teacher who keeps tabs on each student’s completion of assignments and overall college course performance. All teachers provide extra help after school.

In addition to PSAL sports teams, students can participate in a broad range of extracurricular activities, including band, dance, drama, documentary film, chess, debate, Model UN, environmental club and Common Sense, the school newspaper.

The administration actively recruits students from Bronx middle schools that have been underrepresented at the city's most selective high schools.

College advisory is very strong at the school. College counselors research and visit schools to identify programs that are a good fit for their students; they meet individually with every student starting in junior year, and teachers volunteer to critique students' college essays. One hundred percent of students are accepted to college. Many attend SUNY and CUNY colleges, and each year graduates attend Ivy League and other highly competitive private colleges such as Duke, Haverford, Northwestern, Tufts, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Wesleyan and Williams College.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students receive supports such as testing accommodations, but there are no ICT or self-contained classes.

ADMISSIONS: Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). (Laura Zingmond, October 2014; updated via interview, April 2018)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
Average daily attendance
 
97%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
4%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey

Students

382
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
28%
Students with disabilities
 
2%
Multilingual learners
 
0%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
 
95%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
97%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
13%
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
90%
13.9
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
170
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
96%
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

Calculus

 
18%

Computer Science

 
4%

Physics

 
25%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
14%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
100%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
32%

Music

 
31%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
100%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
74%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
31%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
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

High School of American Studies at Lehman College

Admissions Method: Test

Program Description:

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their school counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Japanese, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP United States History, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP World History: Modern, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Tennis

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Softball, Tennis

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

2925 Goulden Avenue
Bronx NY 10468

Trains: 4 Line to Bedford Park Blvd-Lehman College; B Line, D Line to Bedford Park Blvd

Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx2, Bx22, Bx26, Bx28, Bx3, Bx32, Bx34, Bx38, BxM3, BxM4


Contact

Principal: Alessandro Weiss

Parent Coordinator: Anna Pau Trebo Fiore

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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