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New York City Charter School of the Arts

Grades: 6-8
26 Broadway, 12th Floor
Manhattan NY 10004
Phone: 646-793-6320

Our Insights

What’s Special

Arts are integrated into academics

The Downside

Founders' vision is still work in progress

The arts and academics go hand in hand at New York City Charter School of the Arts. For example, students composed a musical piece based on Seraphina's Promise, a novel they read about a poor Haitian girl who wants to be a doctor. They wrote poems about climate change, told from the point of view of an animal affected by it in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

"I like how arts and normal mandatory academic subjects come together," said one of the sixth graders who gave us our tour. "When we talk about art in school, it's not just visual art, it could be singing or cooking." Every student gets piano lessons three times a week.

The school day runs from 8 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. and includes a daily "ensemble," a time in which students may further their piano skills, work on an arts project or rehearse for the annual musical. They may also write for the school newspaper, play sports or do creative writing.

Principal Jamie Davidson is a reading specialist who taught at Uncommon Schools in Brooklyn before getting a master's degree from Harvard School of Education. Piano teacher Geoffrey Kiorpes was artistic director at Bronx Prep. Kate Quarfordt, director of arts integration, ran the musical theater program at that school. The trio founded the school after meeting at Bronx Prep and sharing their vision of a school where arts and academics could be integrated.

The days begin with an "opening circle," where the children do breathing exercises and set goals for the day. Sixth graders remain in homerooms and teachers move from class to classeasing the tradition to middle school. "There isn't such an abrupt change," said Quarfordt.

In small group advisories called "semi-circle", teachers pay a lot attention to typical adolescent worries. "You can really relate to the teachers. It's not awkward. You can talk and have a normal conversation on issues that come up in your life," one of our 6th grade tour guides said.

The school draws from all five boroughs and it gets all kinds of learners as well. Some students come in reading at a 1st or 2nd grade level; others are able to read Stephen King novels. Finding a way to reach all students is a challenge, teachers acknowledge. "The spectrum is too wide, that is the biggest struggle," said math teacher Nina Granberry.

Effective July 2018, the school moves to its permanent location at 26 Broadway in the Wall Street area of Manhattan.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: About 18 percent of students receive special education services, including special education teacher support services (SETSS) and team-teaching classes.

ADMISSIONS: Lottery, with District 2 priority. The first year children came from all five boroughs. The school plans to set aside seats for disadvantaged students in coming years. There are bi-weekly tours for prospective students and applicants may spend a morning at the school. The first year, about 30 percent of students came from downtown Manhattan.(Pamela Wheaton, March 2017; updated March 2018 with new location)

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 the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
89% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
27% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
88% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
44% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
34% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2021-22 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2021 -22 Assessment Database

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
15% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
6% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Financial District (District 2)
Trains: 1 Line, R Line, W Line to Rector St; 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line to Wall St; A Line, C Line to Fulton St; E Line to World Trade Center; J Line, Z Line to Broad St
Buses: M9, M15, M15-SBS, M20, M22, M55


Elisa Murphy/Randall Iserman

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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