The days of summer vacation, enjoying your time at the beach, the barbecues and the late nights slowly fade as thoughts of school fill your head. As summer ends, it’s time to wake up from the dream and head back to the reality of school once more. For parents and students entering the ninth grade, a big priority is admittance into a good high school.

As part of its education reform plan, the Bloomberg administration was planning to close 24 high schools throughout New York City, but the reform was denied by an arbitrator. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said in a statement that they “will not give up on the students at these 24 schools.”

Admissions have already taken place for the enrollment of students in the fall, but parents can still think about transferring their kids later in the school year or begin to check admissions requirements, deadlines and capacities for next year.

The AmNews wants to help you do your research, and putting in the extra effort in search of schools with good records will not hurt. Looking through a high school’s progress reports, graduation rates and quality reviews from the New York City Department of Education will most often help you to predict future stats. Importantly, specifically finding a school above the standard state graduation average of 74 percent that has a good focus on discipline and good personal values will also assure your child a bright future in his or her journey to college.


In Manhattan, the Art and Design High School has a capacity of 1,344 students. The DOE gave it a general progress report rating of B from 2009-2011. This school is one that has continued to excel in graduation rates throughout the years. The Art and Design High School passed 72.6 percent of its students on to college from 2009-2010. In the following year, the school improved to 79.8 percent.

In the Bronx, Belmont Preparatory High School holds a total of 407 students at full capacity. The school received an A rating from 2009-2011, and had a graduation rate of 69.1 percent from 2009-2010, which it raised to 72.6 percent from 2010-2011.

Brooklyn’s Academy for Environment Leadership’s full capacity is 362 students. As a very small school with more focus on the students, the school received an A on their general progress report, which they maintained from 2009-2011. This school has maintained its graduation level at about 72 percent from 2009-2011.

The Academy of American Studies in Queens has 704 students at full capacity. This school received an A on their progress report in 2009-2010, and a B in 2010-2011. However, the school’s graduation rate stood at 86.5 percent from 2009-2010 then improved to a 89 percent in 2010-2011, which is outstanding.


The Democracy Prep Charter School in Manhattan can hold 650 students at full capacity. Its ELA percent of students is above average at 57.8 percent from 2007-2008 and 90.1 percent from 2008-2009. The school percentile of students with average or above average proficiency in math was 79.3 percent from 2007-2008 and 90.4 percent from 2008-2009. The big turnaround in the school’s general progress report came with a change of name and attitude in the atmosphere. The goal is to attain 100 percent focus from each student all of the time through a strict model. Harlem Prep has lengthened the school day and school year and tries to make sure that the students understand the model and its benefits.

The Bronx’s All Hallows High School, which is a Roman Catholic (Christian Brothers) high school, has a capacity of 633 students. All Hallows High School was recognized for its academic record by the Catholic High School Honor Roll. This school prides itself on maintaining a 99 to 100 percent graduation rate each year. As one of this school’s goals, the leaders of the school work hard to repeat these results.

In Brooklyn, the Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School has 1,092 students. The students here had an average or above average ELA record of 71.3 percent from 2007-2008 and 78 percent from 2008-2009. This school has an average or above average rating in math of 92.9 percent from 2007-2008 and 95.1 percent from 2008-2009.

The Renaissance Charter School in Queens has 537 students at full capacity. Its average or above average percentile of students in ELA was 81.4 percent in 2007-2008 and 90.7 percent from 2008-2009. In math, the students’ average or above average percentile was not available from 2007-2008, but stood at 96 percent from 2008-2009.