Girls Prep Lower East Side Charter Middle School

Grades: 5-8
420 East 12th Street
Manhattan NY 10009
Phone: 646-413-9308

Our Insights

What’s Special

All girls school with attractive opportunities beyond school

The Downside

Different entry points can be a bit challenging for teachers

Girls Prep Middle School seeks to empower girls with a keen focus on math and science, a strong college-bound culture, and unusual opportunities over the summer and long after graduation.

Each summer, 10 students are chosen to take science and fiction writing classes at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. All-female Stephens College in Columbia, MO, offers 10 girls a chance to join a summer leadership academy; it also awards an alumna a free, four-year scholarship. In a "reverse admissions," Southern Vermont College asks the Girls Prep staff to choose an alumna they think is a good fit for admission to the college on a scholarship. In 2017, a Girls Prep alumna was accepted to Yale University.

It's a formal, serious place, without a lot of idle chit chat. Girls study science up to five times a week. They are encouraged to seek help from teachers and express themselves through theater, dance and art.

On our visit, we saw girls working diligently in quiet rooms. Fifth graders researched famous female scientists, such as computer scientist Grace Hopper, in preparation for writing letters to President Donald Trump to persuade him to support programs that benefit women of science. Sixth graders used laptops to research Ancient Mesopotamia. Regents-level math and science courses are offered in 8th grade. The girls participate in science programs outside of school and visit the Museum of Mathematics.

Lacy Reed was a literacy coach and teacher at the school before becoming principal in 2016. [see photo] Reed and her staff lengthened math and language classes to 90 minutes, so teachers could embed more time for practice. They also moved the school's start time one hour later, which helps address tardiness, attendance and alertness. Teachers have office hours, like in college, for girls who need extra help.

Eighth graders cast a wide net for high school including parochial, private and public schools. Past graduates have gone to Philips Exeter Academy, Bard, Midwood, Sacred Heart Academy, East Side Community (which sets aside some seats) and others listed on their website.

The middle school, about a mile from the Girls Prep elementary school, is housed in a building shared with East Side Community, a 6-12 school. The two schools share a playground and a cafeteria. A drawback to the arrangement: because Girls Prep is arrayed on four floors, it doesn't have as cohesive a feel as it might.

One challenge is staggered entry points: most enter in 5th grade from the lower school, but some are brand new to Girls Prep, and a few more new students enter in 6th grade. It takes work for teachers to "help new girls acclimate," Lacy said. The longer math and English periods have helped, she said.

There is a free after-school program until 6 pm.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Some classes are co-taught and mix children with disabilities into classes with general education students.

ADMISSIONS: Lottery. Priority goes to residents of District 1, Girls Prep elementary students, NYCHA residents and Public Prep staff. Tours open to the community the first Friday of every month. (Lydie Raschka, December 2016)

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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 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats

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

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

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

Contact & Location


East Village (District 1)
Trains: 6 Line to Astor Place; L Line to 1st Ave
Buses: M101, M102, M103, M14A, M14D, M15, M15-SBS, M2, M23, M3, M8, M9


Jessica Strong

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with East Side Community School
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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