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PR- 040-05
February 1, 2005


New Schools to Build Upon Student Success at Recently Created Small Secondary Schools

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the opening of 52 small secondary schools this September.  The new schools announced today will bring the number of new small secondary schools and charter schools created as part of the Children First New Schools Initiative to 157.  The new small schools offer personalized learning environments and academic rigor so that all students can meet high standards and graduation requirements, and bring critical partners and resources from throughout the City to enrich educational opportunities. This September, over 6,750 students will be enrolled in the schools announced today.  The announcement was made at Mercy College in the Bronx, whose campus will house two of the small high schools in September - Bronx High School for the Visual Arts and New World High School.

"Our first generation of new schools is proving that small schools can help improve student commitment and achievement," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "This next generation will see that more students will benefit from more personalized attention and the challenge of rigorous academic work. As I said in State of the City, we are committed to creating new small schools and high-quality educational options so students can get the education they deserve."

"Our new small schools are producing real results," said Chancellor Klein.  "Students are being challenged by high standards, engaged by strong principals and teachers who know them, and inspired by intermediaries and community partners who show them a world of new opportunity.  Our small schools are working, and they will be working for thousands of more students in September."

All of the new schools opening this fall share three core elements: academic rigor, a focus on the individual needs and interests of students, and partnerships with leading education and community-based organizations.  The diverse portfolio of organizations ranges from the International School, dedicated to educating recent immigrants who are English Language Learners, to the Urban Assembly School of Music and Art, whose collaboration with partners such as thePublic Art Fund and the Brooklyn Academy of Music will enhance the arts-infused curriculum.  At the Queens School of Inquiry, an Early College High School developed in partnership with the City University of New York, students will take classes for college credit.

The new schools include 27 high schools with grades 9-12, 11 schools covering grades 6-12, and 14 middle schools covering grades 6-8.  Most of these schools will begin with an average enrollment of 100 students in either the 6th or 9th grades or both. The schools will expand each year.  At their largest, none of the high schools or middle schools will have more than 500 students, and the schools with grades 6 - 12 will have no more than 600 students.

The new schools announced today are intended to build upon the early successes of the new small schools created over the last two years.  93% of 9th graders in existing new small schools have been promoted, compared with the citywide 9th grade promotion rate of 68%.  Attendance at existing new small schools averages 91%, compared to the citywide average of 83%.  New small schools are an important tool in closing the City's achievement gap among students.  Of the 9th graders who entered new small schools this past September, 92% are African American or Hispanic, compared to a citywide average of 72%.  In addition, 67% of 9th graders entering new small schools this fall had scored below grade level on math and English exams, compared to 60% of 9th grade students citywide.    

The new small schools will significantly increase the number of high quality educational options for New York City students. This September, over 6,750 students will be enrolled in the schools announced today, and more than 22,000 students will be enrolled when these new schools are fully phased in. DOE has strategically placed the new small schools throughout the City.  13 new small secondary schools opening in September will be housed in newly constructed or leased buildings and 25 in recently converted space in currently underutilized school buildings.  In addition, 7 of the new small schools announced today will be located in existing high school campuses already hosting multiple schools and where there is space for an additional school.  Finally, 7 existing programs will become new schools and stay in their current locations. 

The new schools were created with the support of private commitments and developed through partnerships between the DOE and leading non-profit education and community organizations.  These organizations include New Visions for Public Schools, the Asia Society, College Board, Institute for Student Achievement, The City University of New York, Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound, the International Partnership Schools, Replications, Inc., Young Women's Leadership Foundation, and the Urban Assembly. Community partners range from the Lincoln Center Institute to the Brooklyn Cyclones.  Many are being supported through the nearly $58 million commitment by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last year, as well as by the Carnegie Corporation and the Open Society Institute.  DOE reviewed an initial pool of 134 new school concept papers and 85 full proposals, before narrowing the number to 52.

As in the current school year, the DOE will provide $6 million to the large high schools hosting multiple small schools in a campus this September.  These funds will be used for new educational programs and student supports in the large "host" schools, as well as for campus collaboration efforts.

DOE will hold New School Information Fairs for eighth grade students and families considering admission to the new small high schools opening in September. Citywide fairs will be held on Saturday, February 5th, Sunday, February 6th and Thursday, February 10th.  Borough-specific fairs will be held on Saturday, February 12th and Sunday, February 13th.  Times and locations are available by calling 311 or by visiting  The deadline for students to submit New High School Choice Forms to their school guidance counselors is March 1st.


Edward Skyler/ Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Jerry Russo   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

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