CURRICULUM AND MISSION:
(formerly named High School for History and Communication)
Established as a new public high school in the Lower East Side in 2004 with the support of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, New Visions for Public Schools, and the Coalition for Essential Schools, Essex Street Academy (ESA) prepares all its students for success in college by treating them as individuals with specific strengths and needs, and appealing to their intellectual curiosity. The school offers a college-preparatory liberal arts curriculum, with rigorous, writing-intensive coursework in all disciplines. Small class size (maximum of 20 students), supportive advising, comprehensive after-school programs and committed teachers make our personalized approach to education possible. In their senior year students have the opportunity to participate in an internship.
POPULATION: The school consists of 343 students who come from all boroughs of New York City. 70% of the population qualifies for free and reduced lunch. In the class of 2008: 42% were first generation immigrants, and 77% were first generation college-bound students.
In June 2008, the school has its first graduating class. Significant support is given to students in the area of college guidance. 93% of the class applied and were accepted to college. In the class of 2008, 67 percent applied to 4-year colleges and 23% applied to 2-year colleges. All the students who applied were accepted to public and private colleges, both in New York and outside the state.
COLLEGES: Those colleges to which ESA students were accepted include: SUNY Albany, Stony Brook, Buffalo State, Oswego, New Paltz, Plattsburgh, University of Buffalo, CUNY Hunter, City College, Brooklyn College, Lehman College, York College, City Tech, Bates College, Bard College, Bennington College, Concordia College, Cazenovia College, Fairfield University, Emerson College, Emmanuel College, Franklin Pierce University, Hofstra University, Hampshire College, Hobart William Smith, Ithaca College, Lesley College, Marymount Manhattan College, Mount Holyoke College, Polytechnic University, NYU, Siena College, Simmons College, Smith College, Syracuse University, Wheaton College, Utica College, University of Maryland at Eastern Shore, Clark Atlanta University, Paine University, George Mason University, Dowling College, Sullivan Community College, Clinton Community College, Fashion Institute of Technology, and CUNY Hostos Community College, to name a few. Our students were able to receive financial aid packages that met their financial need.
GRADES AND ASSESSMENT: As a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, the school received a Regents Exam Waiver from the New York State Board of Regents in Fall 2008 (students are required to take only the ELA Regents). In lieu of the exams, ESA requires a series of performance-based assessment tasks (PBATs), which attest to the school's emphasis on rigor and college preparation in its curriculum. In compliance with the terms of the Regents waiver, all students must take and pass the ELA Regents
For PBATs, students must complete an inquiry-based project, usually requiring original research, and a panel presentation of that project. In addition, students receive credits and grades out of a score of 100 for all their major core classes: Foreign Language, English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Arts and physical education are Pass/Fail. Students are expected to go beyond New York City graduation requires and take all subject area classes into their senior year. Select students are recommended to take classes at City University of New York (CUNY) and New York University (NYU).
Please note, the school does not rank its students.
The grade distribution of the current class of 2009 (69 students) is as follows:
Mean Grade: 80
Highest 15%: 94-89
Middle 35%: 88.6-80
Lowest 10%: 71-56
The racial breakdown of the student body is:
College Advisors: Meghan Gray (ext. 229) and Ingrid Wong (ext. 227)
School CEEB code: #333693
350 Grand Street
New York, New York 10002