Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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Location

260 Pleasant Avenue
Manhattan NY 10029
East Harlem (District 4)

Contact

Phone
212-876-4639
Principal
Jose Jimenez
Parent Coordinator
Zaida Santiago

What’s Special

Its cool to be smart, college-level math and science courses

The Downside

No outdoor fields, far from subway

Our Review

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics offers an impressive selection of college-level courses thats on a par with the specialized schools. It attracts motivated students from low-income families, including many Latino and Asian immigrants who learned English as a second language. Some students turn down seats at specialized high schools because they feel they will fit in better and get more support. Top graduates attend highly selective colleges like Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The school does a good job with students who are strong in math and science but who might need extra help in English. Principal David Jimenez says there is a big push to improve writing and literacy skills. All 9th-graders attend small group literacy classes in addition to their regular English class. All students attend weekly advisories that help teachers keep tabs on social and academic concerns. Foreign languages taught include French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Latin is offered as an elective.

Manhattan Center is large enough to offer big school benefits such as expansive facilities and lots of extra-curricular activities. Students told us they get lots of support from their teachers and that high achievers set the bar for all kids without creating a cut-throat environment. Its super cool to get good grades here, but we are competitive with the rest of the world, not each other, said a 12th grader.

A tiny, elite group of students take part in the Advanced Science Research (ASR) program that grooms students for participation in science competitions. Participants work one-on-one with research scientists from colleges and hospitals such as NYU, Columbia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Mount Sinai. They collaborate with students from Singapore and Hong Kong on research such as a Columbia University-led study on Thailands rain forest. Students apply in the 9th grade and must commit to a heavy work-load that includes after-school and summer research on top of a daily ASR class that meets at 7:30 a.m. Roughly 10 students are admitted each year.

Students may choose from electives such as astronomy, environmental science, robotics and computer programming (C++ and Java). Advanced Placement (AP) classes are offered in biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science and statistics. Manhattan Center is one of the few city high schools that offers two years of AP calculus (AB and BC), and two years of AP physics (B and C). There are fewer humanities electives offered, but typical options include creative writing, journalism and psychology as well as AP English, US History, World History and Spanish.

This orderly school has a pretty traditional feel. Hallways are not very decorated and in lots of classes student sit in rows facing the teacher at the head of the room, though we observed group work in some. Teachers are starting to assign more projects, according to Jimenez.

Overall, students give high marks to the school in the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey (LES). However, there has been some friction between the administration and staff in recent years as Jimenez has sought to remove teachers that he considered inadequate. The Learning Environment Survey suggests the faculty is divided, with half supporting the principal and half saying they mistrust him.

Manhattan Center shares space with the Isaac Newton Middle School inside a stately, 1930s-era building that once housed Benjamin Franklin High School. Both schools have access to an onsite health center and share use of the cafeteria, gymnasium, library and auditorium. There are no outdoor fields. The school is next to the East River, a long walk from the nearest subway.

Students may leave the building for lunch and school safety officials patrol East 116th Street during arrival and dismissal times, when students walk to and from the Lexington Avenue subway station.

There are many PSAL sports teams and a large selection of clubs and activities such as astronomy, Gay/Straight Alliance, glee club, math team, Model UN, Muslim Students Association, and tae kwon-do. Students can also work in the schools roof-top green house. The Mount Sinai Scholars Program provides internship and summer research opportunities at the medical center.

College: There is a full time college counselor. Every year the school sends graduates to CUNY and SUNY schools as well as private colleges including highly competitive schools such as the Ivy Leagues and MIT.

Special education:The school has ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes and a few self-contained for English and history instruction. For Regents math and science, there are tech classes: small group instruction for special needs students. They provide immediate reinforcement of math and science lessons. For instance, special needs students in a 2ndperiod geometry class will spend 3rdperiod in geometry tech.

Admissions: The school attracts students from across the city. Priority goes to Isaac Newton 8th graders and then students from District 4. Typically around 80 percent of incoming students come from outside District 4, according to Jiminez. Strong candidates have solid grades, a good record of attendance and punctuality, and earned at least a "3" or on their 7th-grade English Language Arts (ELA) and math state exams. (Laura Zingmond, October, 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
1604
Asian
19.0%
Black
20.0%
Hispanic
54.1%
White
4.5%
Other
2.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
85%
Students with disabilities
11%
English language learners
5%
Male
51%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with the Isaac Newton Middle School for Math & Science
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
114%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
18%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
93%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
9%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
90%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
73%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
9.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
90%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
90%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
88%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
72%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
91%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 1 licensed arts teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
83%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
55%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
77%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
96%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
53%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
0%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
80%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
85%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
86%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
91%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
56%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
89%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
90%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
88%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
82%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Science & Mathematics Research
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

All students take a 4-year sequence in mathematics and science while attending Manhattan Center.

Bilingual Spanish Science & Mathematics
Admissions Method: Screened: Language & Academics
Program Description

This program is taught in Bilingual Spanish: all students take a 4-year sequence in mathematics and science while attending Manhattan Center.

Academics

Language Courses

Chinese (Mandarin), French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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