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How to Choose the Best Type of High School for Your Teen

best high schoolPhoto by Dilan Bandara on Unsplash 

How to Choose the Best Type of High School for Your Teen

High school will surely look different this year with blended learning, but we’re confident NYC schools will find a way to make high school as valuable as it was in the past. Your not-so-little little ones are on their way to becoming adults, which means that those last four years in high school are so important! You want your kiddos to be prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. Yet NYC has a lot of options for high school, so it can be overwhelming to decide which type of school is right for your teen. That’s why we’ve rounded up NYC high schools, including public, private, charter, and more. If you’re looking for a high school that best suits the needs of your family, check out our guide!

Public Schools

Getting a diploma, attending college, and pursuing a career are top priorities for NYC public high schools! We love NYC public schools, as they really care about prepping our kids for the future with extracurricular activities, internships, and volunteer experiences. Your kids will have lots more flexibility in their schedule so that they can figure out what they really enjoy learning. We also support NYC public school’s commitment to diversity & inclusion, which they not only actively reflect in the classroom, but use in their teaching to assure that students can embrace their identities. There are plenty of resources for multilingual and special education learners, so no child is left behind in NYC public high schools! As your teen takes on more responsibility in high school, they’ll also learn how to better manage their time, balance their interests and graduation requirements, plan for college and career, and more.

Private Schools

At NYC private schools, your high schooler will have an abundance of opportunities, activities and clubs, meaningful projects, and more to choose to get involved in. With expansive indoor and outdoor facilities, technology resources, student publications, athletic teams, and summer opportunities, your teen will have what they need to succeed. With NYC private high schools, we love the emphasis on individuality and responsibility. Your kids are treated like adults, in that teachers trust and respect them, they’ll have plenty of ways to pursue their independent interests, and they’ll get to exercise leadership through various outlets, in and out of the classroom. Because of smaller class sizes, kids get to really get to know the people in their classes and form meaningful connections with their teachers, all while getting the help and support they need.

Boarding Schools

If you really want your high schooler to have a more independent experience, consider NYC boarding schools! At boarding high schools, students may come from all over the world, so your kids will be immersed into a diverse environment where they’ll learn and grow. Your high schooler will also have access to incredible facilities complete with libraries, studios, tech and science labs, and more. They’ll get to take on University coursework and leadership opportunities that will prepare them for college, in addition to having beyond excellent resources for college counseling. Our favorite thing about NYC boarding schools for high schoolers is that they’ll get to experience dorm life before college, where they’ll get to form meaningful connections with their peers that go beyond classroom interactions. There are a few boarding schools in NYC, but you can even expand your search to boarding schools in New York state, NJ, or even further to have more options!

Charter Schools

With now 260 charter schools in NYC, we’ve grown to know and appreciate these free public schools open to all NYC kids, but independent of the Department of Education (DEO). So what’s the benefit of a charter school? These schools have more freedom and accountability (if charter schools don’t meet certain goals, then they can be closed), so they can try out new approaches to learning and easily adapt to the needs of their students and the broader school community. Many charter schools have longer days and years because they are not confined to a certain school calendar set by the DEO, and your family can choose the charter school that best suits your needs. Charter schools also support kids with special needs and students who are learning English. With clear performance goals, charter schools are incredibly motivated to set your kids up for success as they head into college and careers through honing in on written and verbal communication skills, improving time management and study habits, encouraging extracurricular activities, and preparing students for excellent academic performance.

Catholic Schools

At an NYC Catholic high school, your teen will learn to better understand themselves and their relationship to God and others. All high school programs are rooted in Catholic religious beliefs and values, fostering a safe and nurturing environment. NYC Catholic schools are known for their stellar record with high graduation rates, college acceptances, and successful careers. There are many different schools to choose from, including co-ed and single sex. The three main types of Catholic high schools are independent, parish, and private, each with a unique atmosphere. If your eighth grader is considering applying to a Catholic high school, be sure to look into the required Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) exam.   

Jewish Schools

Combining education with traditional Jewish values, Jewish high schools in NYC offer a stellar experience for your kids as they transition into young adults. In high school, your child will continue to study Torah and develop their relationship to God, practice meaningful observance, recognize their shared history with Jewish people, deepen their knowledge and respect for the State of Israel, learn Hebrew language and literature, and actively engage through self-reflection and social and political activism. We really love the emphasis on learning experiences that happen both inside and outside of the classroom at NYC Jewish schools through clubs and extracurriculars, religious observances, and trips in and beyond NYC. There are many Jewish high schools to choose from in NYC, both co-ed and single-sex, so find out which one is best for your family.

Directory

Archbishop Molloy High School

83-53 Manton St., Briarwood, NY

718-441-2100

A Catholic Marist college preparatory school that nurtures intellectual curiosity, creativity, personal growth and faith. Students are eager to meet the school’s tradition of high standards in academics, athletics and service to others. They are challenged to excel by a top-tier faculty, dedicated coaching staff and competitive curriculum. Students feel like they are part of a family, and with many after school activities and programs, there is something for every student. The school continually benchmarks its current academic offerings and use of technology with other higher learning institutions to keep evolving as a dynamic place of learning in a rapidly changing world. Non scholae, sed vitae (Not for school, but for life).

BASIS Independent Manhattan Upper

556 W. 22nd Street, New York, NY

347- 305-4960

BASIS Independent Manhattan, a PreK–12 private school, is opening a second location in Chelsea in fall 2021!  The beautiful new Upper School campus will be home to the school’s advanced Middle & High School program (grades 6–12), while their flagship Upper West Side campus will continue to serve PreK–5 students. From the spacious outdoor terrace to the bright, thoughtfully-designed classrooms, the BASIS Independent Manhattan Upper campus is the ideal setting for student learning and growth.

Brillantmont International

Avenue Charles Secrétan 16

005 Lausanne  Switzerland

+41 21 310 04 00

brillantmont.ch

summer.brillantmont.ch

admissions@brillantmont.ch

Give your child a life-changing experience in an inspirational setting at Brillantmont International School in French speaking Switzerland. Small classes, close teacher support, amazing opportunities in and out of the classroom in our independent, family owned and run boarding school, founded 1882. Grades 8-12 with British and US curricula with SAT. Full year or semester, 13th Grade Gap year and Summer Course (10-17). A home from home with an international education in the heart of Europe. Join our Brillantmont family today!

Cardinal Spellman High School

One Cardinal Spellman Place, Bronx, NY

718-881-8000 ext. 206

Cardinal Spellman High School, a co-educational college preparatory school, was founded by the archdiocese in 1959. Cardinal Spellman offers: College Credit, Advanced Placement, Regents, Honors and Elective Courses. A 13-acre campus located in the Tremont section of the Bronx, equipped with two all-weather athletic fields and track, a fitness room, and a weight room. Spellman prides itself on small school friendliness with big school opportunities. They have a 100% graduation rate, and 100% acceptance rate — with many graduates being awarded college scholarships. Learn more by visiting their website and taking their virtual tour.

Cathedral High School

Midtown East

350 E. 56th St., New York, NY

212-688-1545

Cathedral High School, a Catholic College Preparatory school of the Archdiocese of New York located in the heart of Manhattan, welcomes young women of all faiths and cultures. It is a community of students, teachers, staff, parents and alumnae committed to achieving excellence in education. They continually challenge their students to become productive members of society who will conduct themselves with religious and moral integrity in the pursuit of social justice.

Dominican Academy

Catholic College Preparatory School for Girls

44 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10065

212-744-0195

Direct all inquiries to: Madeleine B. Metzler, ‘07, Director of Admissions, 212-744-0195, ext. 131 or admissions@dominicanacademy.org. Located in a mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, D.A. unites academic excellence with a family-like atmosphere. Sponsored by the Dominican Sisters, we are the only all-honors high school for girls in NYS. D.A. challenges and empowers students to be leaders on a local and global scale. Students come from all boroughs of NYC, CT, Long Island, NJ, and Westchester. Students benefit from a robust academic program with 15+ A.P.s and 20+ electives, our 30+ clubs and 8 Varsity Athletic teams, and our Service Learning Program.

Dwight School

18 West 89th Street

Main Campus: 212-724-3630

An internationally renowned independent school (nursery-grade 12) committed to educating the next generation of global leaders. Dwight is dedicated to “igniting the spark of genius” in every child. Each Dwight School shares the same commitment to igniting the spark of genius in every child. Regardless where in the world students attend Dwight, they are inspired to find their passions and receive the same high-quality IB education.

Dwight provides benefits and countless opportunities. Travel and exchange programs, cross-campus curricular and creative collaborations, online learning programs, international athletic competitions, and global leadership conferences all foster the development of global citizens.

Fontbonne Hall Academy 

Bay Ridge

9901 Shore Road, Brooklyn, NY

718-748 2244

A college preparatory Catholic secondary school for young women sponsored by the Sisters of Saint Joseph, offers a superior educational program to form and empower women of confidence and compassion. They provide a learning environment that not only stresses academic excellence, but also spiritual growth, which is embodied in their mission statement of “unity and reconciliation through all-inclusive love”. Fontbonne has a longtradition of sisterhood that has provided a welcoming environment that invites social inclusiveness and moral support while instilling leadership skills, spiritual strength and self-confidence. 

Garden School

33-16 79th Street

Jackson Heights, NY 11372

718- 335-6363

info@gardenschool.org

Founded in 1923 to meet the need for a high-quality, individualized and independent school in Queens. Their low tuition, compared with that for other independent schools in the metropolitan area makes it a realistic option to a broad spectrum of families. The student body reflects the rich and diverse Queens community. Thousands of families have put their trust in Garden School and nearly 100 years of success with students prove that their trust has paid off.

Green Meadow Waldorf School

307 Hungry Hollow Rd. Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977

845-356-2514

Wondering what school will look like this Fall? Green Meadow Waldorf School plans to reopen on September 9, 2020. We are also creating hybrid learning plans for any students unable to return to campus, and have distance learning plans ready. A Green Meadow education has always included lots of outdoor time in all grades; we are leveraging that strength to expand our outdoor classroom spaces. Class sizes throughout the school will be kept small for safety and our popular, all-outdoor Forest Preschool is open. Join us for a virtual Information Session or a private in-person tour to learn more. Busing available from Westchester & NYC! 

Holy Cross High School

26-20 Francis Lewis Blvd., Flushing, NY

718-886-7250, ext. 524

admissions@holycrosshs.org

Holy Cross High School, a Catholic college preparatory school in Queens, educates the hearts and minds of young men and women following the educational and spiritual vision of Blessed Father Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Congregation of  Holy Cross also sponsors six colleges and universities in the United States including St. Edward’s University, the University of Portland, Stonehill College, King’s College, Holy Cross College, and the University of Notre Dame. Graduates have a competitive edge in regards to scholarships and programs when applying to these colleges, as these schools are aware of the quality education students receive at Holy Cross.

The IDEAL School of Manhattan

270 West 89th St., New York, NY 10024

212-769-1699

Admissions @theidealschool.org

The IDEAL School of Manhattan is a uniquely student-driven, inclusive program. In small, seminar-style classes, our dedicated and knowledgeable faculty cultivate the voice, skills, and confidence of each student. A flexible program supports students seeking an individualized environment and personalized options while emphasizing the nurturing relationships, arts integration, and community that are the hallmarks of an independent school. Immediate placement for 2020-21 is available for in-person and remote learning.

The Kew Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike

Forest Hills, NY 11375

718-268-4667

Established in 1918, The Kew-Forest School is the oldest independent co-ed, college preparatory school in Queens. Their mission states: “We are The Kew-Forest School.  Our community nurtures lifelong learners from around the world.  Our educators inspire young people to think boldly and find their voices.  Our students support each other and explore thoughtfully as they shape the future.”  The School offers on-site, hybrid, and remote learning for students in Preschool through Grade 12.  Their next Open House is Saturday, October 24.  For more information, please contact Soraya Diaz Tamayo, Director of Admission & Tuition Assistance, at admission@kewforest.org.

Lower East Side Prep High School

145 Stanton Street New York, NY 10002

212-505-6366

ranaya@schools.nyc.gov

Lower  East Side Preparatory HighSchool boasts a safe, supportive, and Technology-rich environment that motivates all students to succeed.  With a renowned  ESL/Transitional  Bilingual Program in Spanish and Chinese  and  a variety of Enrichment, AP, Regents, Prep and extended day  courses, LESP sends more than 80% of their graduates to college. The Transfer School provides structure and support to those who are over-aged and under-accredited and helps students get a new start, whether from around the world or around the block.

Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School

71-06 31st Ave., East Elmhurst, NY

718-898-3800, ext. 11

An outstanding co–educational college preparatory high schools in Queens.  Guided by the traditions of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, students are offered a comprehensive academic program that exceeds the New York State curriculum requirements. Opportunities are provided for college credit courses, AP classes and a challenging Honors Program. The co-curricular program of clubs and activities offers students social, cultural and creative experiences. Celebrating over 50 years of Catholic education in Queens, the school is permanently chartered by the State of New York and fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.  [TACHS CODE:#017]

Montfort Academy

125 E. Birch St., Mount Vernon

914-699-7090

The Montfort Academy is a small, private, co-educational Catholic high school that offers a timeless, foundational, inspirational, and transformational classical education.  A Montfort education transcends time–classical but forward and forms faith and character as well as the mind.  Montfort is a magical setting, a fortress where students and faculty members consider themselves a family and grow together in soul, mind, and body.  As a family, they care deeply about one another and their futures– they seek earthly success, but they also seek Heaven.  Montfort has to be experienced—in person or virtually—to understand just how special and excellent it is. Deliberately small, with a 6:1 student faculty ratio, they have never had less than a 100% college admissions rate.  As the #1 diverse school in Westchester County, Montfort is surprisingly affordable, too.

Oakwood Friends School

22 Spackenkill Road

Poughkeepsie, NY

845.462.4200

In September, Oakwood Friends School launched the Fall semester with in-person programming, academic and extracurricular, with highly-advanced safety protocols to keep students learning and growing — academically and socially! On a 60-acre campus with luxurious space to spread out for safety, students experience a challenging curriculum, with social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion central to community. Grades 5-12, boarding & day programs available. Easily reachable from NYC and Westchester via Metro North to Poughkeepsie. Visit website for full details re: VIRTUAL Open Houses and Campus Tour.

Preston High School

2780 Schurz Ave., Bronx, NY 

718-863-9134

Established in 1947 by the Sisters of the Divine Compassion as an independent college-preparatory Catholic school. They have a longstanding tradition of academic excellence and commitment to empowering young women to become compassionate leaders for change.  They offer a broad and challenging curriculum, the support of a diverse, faith-centered community and a commitment to Christian service. The co-curricular program includes honor societies, service clubs, choirs and special interest groups. Those interested in growing artistically have many options including the school musical produced by the Preston Players. The Athletic Department sponsors varsity and junior varsity teams including soccer, basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and softball (2017 division champions). Their goal is to help students become women of dignity, honor, respect and compassion.

Ross School

18 Goodfriend Drive East Hampton, NY

631- 907-5000

admissions@ross.org

Ross School is a co-educational boarding (Grades 6–12, PG) and day school (Nursery-Grade 12, Post Graduate) located on a beautiful campus in East Hampton, about two hours east of New York City. Integrated curriculum with engaging courses in science, math, arts, humanities, and wellness, with opportunities for independent study, competitive athletics, extracurricular activities, and travel. Ross School has a successful college placement program, with 100% of applicants receiving acceptances at competitive colleges and universities.

Saint Barnabas High School

425 E. 240th Street, Bronx NY

718-325-8800×20

Saint Barnabas High School (SBHS) is an all-girls college preparatory school in the northeast Bronx, offering academics for every learner from AP/Honors, College Credits, Regents, and Support Services with a variety of extracurricular clubs and sports. SBHS develops confident, capable, respectful young women from diverse backgrounds. SBHS adapts to the needs of its student body whether through traditional learning or continuous bell-to-bell hybrid, in-school and online, learning. Take a Virtual Tour by visiting www.stbarnabashigh.com. In-person school tours are available on Wednesdays. Schedule your tour by calling Gina Nieves, Director of Admissions at 718-325-8800 x20 or email gnieves@stbarnabashigh.com. TACHS# 214.

St. Catharine Academy

2250 Williamsbridge Rd, Bronx

718-882-2882

St. Catharine Academy has been preparing young women in the Mercy tradition for college success, leadership, and engagement in the world community since 1889. We offer a rigorous academic curriculum, including Advancement Placement Courses, Regents Courses, and Academic Honors. We offer a 1:1 iPad Program included in tuition, which allows our students to access their textbooks and take notes on their iPad provided by SCA. We are proud that our graduates have earned over $111 million in college academic scholarships and grants over the last six years. We welcome young women of all faiths and backgrounds.

Saint Demetrios High School

30-03 30th Dr., Astoria, NY

718-728-1754

As education faces challenges due to COVID19, Saint Demetrios School is pleased to inform parents that in addition to 5 day in school sessions there is also remote online synchronous learning available to students. Accredited by the NY State Department of Education (Board of Regents) and the Ministry of Education of Greece, the high school provides a college preparatory education while also promoting Christian values of service and charity to the community. A class size of approximately 15 students allows for individualized and personalized attention by the faculty. Tuition is affordable and qualifying students may receive merit and athletic scholarships. Graduates are accepted to some of the finest colleges/universities including: NYU, Fordham, Macaulay Honors (CUNY), SUNY, Cornell, Columbia and Yale. The School was recently ranked one of the top private schools in NYC by Niche.com.

St Raymond’s High School for Boys

2151 Saint Raymond Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462

718-824-5050×106

admissions@straymondhighschool.org

St. Raymond High School for Boys is a Catholic high school, founded in 1960, offering a college preparatory curriculum which is uniquely designed to meet the needs of all students, encouraging critical thinking, creativity and the ability to relate to the world. St. Raymond offers programs to students of varying academic ability levels, including honors, advanced placement and college credit. In addition to outstanding academics, St. Raymond has always been known for its championship athletic teams, extensive intramural sports program and diverse extra-curricular activities.Tuition $7,800 and $570 fees. Virtual Open House: Sunday, October 18 – https://bit.ly/3krDT3h

St. Raymond Academy for Girls

1725 Castle Hill Avenue, Bronx NY 10462

718-824-4220

St. Raymond Academy, a Catholic high school for young women in an urban setting, inspires students to reach their God-given potential in a safe, supportive and diverse environment.  Through a state approved curriculum and extracurricular activities, they encourage their students to seek value and truth. By empowering them with an education that promotes a commitment to excellence, self-discipline and strong Christian values, they challenge their students to become successful and accountable in a dynamic society. To learn more about the school, they invite you to attend their upcoming open house or take a virtual tour on their website. TACHS code: 220

Stuart Hall School

235 West Frederick Street, Staunton, Virginia 24401

540-213-7774

A co-ed boarding school for students in Grades 8-12,. Through our mastery learning program, students master the skills needed for a life of creativity, curiosity, and engaged contribution to the world. Our project-based learning approach develops students who are independent, motivated, resilient, and self-directed, and our holistic focus promotes physical, social, and emotional well-being. Outside the classroom, students can explore the safe town of Staunton and enjoy the rich arts, history and outdoors.

University Prep Public Schools

UP High School:

600 St. Ann’s Ave., 4th Floor

UP Middle School:

470 Jackson Ave., 3rd Floor

718-292-6543

hsadmissions@UPpublicschools.org

Opening its doors over 10 years ago, University Prep Charter High School (UPCHS) is among the highest performing High Schools in the Bronx. UPCHS is a free, public, 9-12, college-preparatory school serving 440 students in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. They boast an average 99% four-year graduation rate, 100% college acceptance rate, and a 98% parent approval rating. UPCHS is a proud recipient of the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award and is consistently ranked among the top performing high schools in New York State. University Prep has expanded their locus of impact to grades 5-8 with the opening of University Prep Middle School last fall. At UPCMS they are extending their highly successful model and providing a path for younger students to reach even more impressive heights by 12th grade.

Williamsburg Charter High School

198 Varet St., Brooklyn, NY

347-217-6995

admissions@thewcs.org

The Williamsburg Charter High School unites youth, families, staff, teachers and the community at large in providing young people with the tools necessary to make sense of the world. Young people accomplish this through participation in a liberal arts education that includes language, literature, writing, science, history, mathematics, the visual and performing arts, technology and explorations in disciplines designed to teach justice, independent thinking, respect and compassion for themselves and others as well as the skills of critical thinking, communication and research.

The Windsor School

37-02 Main Street

Flushing, NY 11354

718-359-8300

IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION FIVE DAYS A WEEK IN GRADES 7-12. Average class size of 10 students per class provides proper social distancing. Immediate enrollment with generous scholarship and financial assistance offers available. At a time when students and families need full time in-person instruction, Windsor School is here for you!