Inwood Academy for Leadership Charter High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Safe school that provides social as well as academic support

The Downside

Working to offer more for high-achievers

Opened in 2010 as a tiny middle school, Inwood Academy for Leadership has grown into a middle and high school located in two buildings walking distance from each other. The school starts at the unusual entry point of 5th grade and most students stay though high school. 

Founding principal Christina Reyes now serves as executive director. She was a middle school teacher at a nearby parochial school, Manhattan Christian Academy. As an after-school tutor for local kids she noticed a lag in skills and was inspired to offer a different kind of public school choice. She looks for an experienced and racially diverse staff familiar with her student population and cultivates leadership: both middle school principal Valerie Hoekstra and high school principal Mary Hackett rose through the ranks of Inwood Academy. 

School surveys shows the school is safe and orderly. Hoekstra said small advisory groups of only 10 students per group have helped. The groups meet  with an adult three days a week during the last period of the day “in every corner of the building,” and older students run a session every other week, sometimes leading games, like one called “What’s in a name?” in which students explain the origins of their names to get to know each other better. 

Most students enter the middle school with low skills. Students may get extra help after school, during lunch and on Saturdays. To raise expectations, the middle school now requires all 8th graders to take Regents algebra, because, Hoekstra said, those who did “were much more able to take advanced programs in high school” and go on to a four-year college, which is the goal, she added. The high school has a class for students interested in applying to specialized high schools, which Hoekstra runs and has about 30 students.

The middle school’s once-high suspension rate is beginning to improve. In 2016 the rate was 30 out-of-school suspensions compared to 23 in 2018. The in-school suspension rate dropped from 20 to 5. 

“Kids who are out of school fall behind,” Hoekstra pointed out. Staff members seek to understand the reasons behind the disruption. Teens may want attention, be struggling at home or school and want to escape with poor behavior, she said. “We’re pretty mindful of that.” 

The high school boasted an excellent four-year graduation rate for its first graduating class and is continuing to improve its Advanced Placement course offerings and Regents work to strengthen the numbers of graduates ready for college-level work. 

The middle school is at 433 West 204th Street. The brand new high school campus opens fall 2019 at 3896 10th Avenue. 

The middle and high schools combined offer nearly 20 sports teams. The school has added a debate team and produces plays and musicals at both locations. 

Admissions: By lottery. Preference is given to children residing in District 6. The school takes roughly 20 new students in 9th grade out of 130. Few are admitted in 6th grade though many apply, the parent coordinator said. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, January 2019)



School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
644 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 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?
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
7 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
From the 2020-21 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

Contact & Location


3896 10 Avenue
Manhattan NY 10034

Trains: 1 Line to 207th St; A Line to Inwood-207th St

Buses: M100, Bx7, Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx20


Principal: Christina Reyes/Mary Hackett


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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