Get more from InsideSchools

A Message from InsideSchools: The data below is the most up-to-date data available from City and State systems. We are working hard to update the narratives for all schools. We welcome your insights in the Comments section. Questions? Ask us!

Democracy Prep Charter Middle School

Grades: 6-8
2230 5th Avenue
Manhattan NY 10037
Phone: 212-281-8247

Our Insights

What’s Special

Korean music and dance, lots of trips

The Downside

Strict discipline and high suspension rates

Democracy Prep Charter is a structured and challenging school with strong leadership, good test scores and orderly classrooms, according to school surveys. The schoolcombines strict discipline and a long academic day with trips, civic engagement and exposure to Korean music and dance. (High school students take four years of Korean language.)

The school day runs from 7:45 am and 4:00 pm, but many students don't leave until later due to tutoring, extra-curricular activities, a proctored study-hall and detention. Extracurricular activities may include sports, choir, dance, student government, storytelling, and Korean mask dance.

Like the other schools in the Democracy Prep network, the school has clear rules and high expectations. Students move from class to class in straight, silent lines. Countdown clocks keep middle school students on task, and for the most part, desks are arranged in pairs facing the front of the classroom.

High school classrooms are set up to facilitate greater class discussion, and the tone of classes is less structured than in the middle school. In one class we visited, students discussed the historical and political context of the music of artists like James Brown and B.B. King. In a chemistry class, students seemed to be covering advanced material with a focus on performing well on the Regents exam.

Students earn and lose fake dollars based on their behavior and academic performance and can use their dollars to participate in a variety of activities and trips.

While the structured environment is a defining feature of the Democracy Prep schools, the strict rules do not appeal to everybody. More than one-third of students say discipline is unfair, according to school surveys. The 2014-15 suspension rate (the most recently available data) was 27 percent, far above the statewide average of 3 percent. Any student can thrive at Democracy Prep, but you have to be able to work in a structured environment, External Affairs Associate, Amara Sillah said on our 2012 visit.

The focus on citizenship and democracy is reflected in a variety of activities. During election campaigns, students participate in a Get out the vote campaign to help Harlem residents identify where they should vote. In 2012, some students attended a campaign event for Barack Obama in Columbus, Ohio; others went to South Korea to study that countrys presidential election.

The middle school shares a building withPS 197and the high school shares a building withPS 92at 222 W. 134th Street.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: School founder, Seth Andrews, who had a learning disability as a child, said the school was designed to accommodate children with special needs.

ADMISSIONS: By lottery. Priority to District 5. Democracy Prep accepts new students at every grade level, depending on the number of spaces available. About two-thirds of the middle school students continue on to the high school. (Pauline Zaldonis, November 2012; updated, school data, 2017)

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 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
59% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
82% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

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 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
89% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
87% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
34% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
78% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
75% Citywide Average

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Harlem (District 5)
Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line to 135th St
Buses: M1, M7, M102, Bx33


Nakita Green

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with PS 197
Metal detectors?

Was this information helpful?

Get more from InsideSchools


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.