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Down time: The hallway at tight-knit School of the Future. (Photo by Kristine Larsen)

School of the Future
127 East 22nd Street
New York, NY 10010
Admissions policy: Educational option
Grade levels: 6-12
Graduation rate: 90% (estimate)
Enrollment: 600
Class size: 22
Ethnicity: 25% W, 25% B, 35% H, 15%A
Average SATs: Not available
Free lunch: 38%

The School of the Future has a first-rate writing program and a stellar record of sending just about every graduate to college. Classes have fewer than 25 kids; history and English, which are combined to form one two-hour humanities class, have only 22 students per class.

District 2 oversees the School of the Future. The staff repeats the progressive mantra that it's more important to learn "habits of mind" than to learn a particular set of facts. SotF, in a pleasant, remodeled former vocational school for girls, has many student teachers from Teachers College, NYU, and the New School, so there's usually more than one adult in a class.

Writing is part of every class, and every piece of writing goes through three or four drafts. Kids might write an essay on Sophocles, a movie review, or a plea to improve the conditions in the school bathrooms.

One look at a ninth-grade math class confirmed that the arise curriculum is in effect: kids sprawled on the floor in the hallway and leaning over desks, coloring large sheets of paper marked off in squares. They were making scale drawings of paintings by Pablo Picasso and Georgia O'Keeffe in a lesson intended to show how artists use mathematics in their work.

How hard is it to get in? Children of all academic abilities are accepted, and kids from District 2 have preference. Space is extremely limited in the upper grades; children from outside the district are advised to apply for sixth grade.

Downsides: Kids say that a school this small becomes socially claustrophobic, particularly after six years. And parents and kids agree that the sports program is weak -- the classic small-school woe -- and that the music program is nonexistent.

Guidance and college counseling: One mother raved about the college-admissions counselor, who writes "extensive" letters of recommendation, takes kids personally to visit college campuses, and tirelessly calls colleges on behalf of students.

Web Extras

School site

Description from the Board of Education

1999-2000 School Report from Board of Education (pdf format)

  • Baruch College Campus High School
  • Beacon School
  • New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies
  • The New York City Museum School
  • School of the Future
  • Young Women's Leadership School

  • brooklyn
  • Edward R. Murrow High School
  • The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences
  • Midwood High School
  • High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology

  • Benjamin Cardozo High School
  • Townsend Harris High School

    From the October 22, 2001 issue of New York Magazine.
    Copyright © 2019 , New York Metro, Llc. All rights reserved.
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