Children's Aid Opens Newest NYC Community School with DoE in Washington Heights

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High school addresses needs of students who are older and behind academically

Ellen Lubell, The Children's Aid Society, (o) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864
Emily Crossan, The Children’s Aid Society, (o) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742

NEW YORK, September 10, 2009 – On the first day of school, 80 students entered the ninth grade at the newest Children’s Aid Society community school – the High School for Excellence and Innovation, located on Broadway at 173rd Street in Washington Heights, New York City.

These students are not typical ninth graders; they are all 16 years of age or older and are at least two to three years behind academically (for various reasons). It’s the first high school of its kind in New York City; it is a partnership between The Children’s Aid Society and the Department of Education’s Office of Multiple Pathways to Graduation.

According to Richard Negrón, Children’s Aid’s Director of Community Schools, this school partnership is atypical for the nonprofit. “Children’s Aid has been involved in virtually every aspect of opening the school and we will have a big role in the school day.” (Typically, Children’s Aid’s programming operates around the school day and its core academic curriculum, while its health and social services operate throughout the school day and after school.)

At the new high school, Children’s Aid staff will be co-leading student advisories with school personnel and will implement a case management strategy at the school in which each Children’s Aid staff member will work with 20 students and their families to develop individual roadmaps to success, according to Negrón. Children’s Aid also has an on-site MSW at the school who will counsel students individually and in groups.

In addition, Children’s Aid staff will provide enrichment and leadership training for the students and work on team-building with them; Children’s Aid will also implement an after-school program. For health services, the Children’s Aid school-based health centers at the Mirabal Sisters Campus and at the Salomé Ureña Middle Academies Campus, both nearby in Washington Heights, will be used.

The school is The Children’s Aid Society’s newest community school; each one is a partnership with the Department of Education. The Children’s Aid Society’s community schools are located in Washington Heights, Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx. The community schools offer comprehensive health, dental, mental health and social services to students, in addition to extensive after-school, enrichment, evening, weekend, holiday and summer programming, and classes for adults. For more information about community schools, please call 212-949-4938 or visit

The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the poor children of New York City. Our mission is to provide comprehensive support for children in need, from birth to young adulthood, and for their families, to fill the gaps between what children have and what they need to thrive. Our services address every aspect of a child’s life, from infancy through adolescence, and include education, health, counseling, adoption and foster care, career readiness, arts and recreation, prevention and emergency assistance. Today, Children’s Aid serves 150,000 children and families each year, at more than 45 sites throughout New York City, without regard to race, religion, nationality or socio-economic status. For more information, please visit or call 212-949-4938.