Children's Aid Society and NYC Dept of Education Partner in Opening Innovative, New NYC Community School in Washington Heights

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

Ellen Lubell, (w) 212-949-4938, (c) 917-854-6864,
Emily Crossan, (w) 917-286-1548, (c) 201-344-5742,

On the first day of school, 87 students entered the ninth grade at an innovative new community high school in Washington Heights – the High School for Excellence and Innovation (HSEI). The school is located on Broadway at 173rd Street and serves students from the local community.

The school serves a unique student population – entering ninth graders who are 16 years of age or older and are at least two years behind academically. It’s the first high school of its kind in New York City. The innovative school model is designed to help students develop the academic and socioemotional skills needed to be successful in high school and after graduation, through the integration of rigorous instruction and youth development, with a deep focus on literacy and the use of technology. The school represents a partnership between The Children’s Aid Society and the New York City 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 represents a deeper level of engagement for the nonprofit that with its other community schools. Typically, Children’s Aid’s programming operates around the school day and the core academic curriculum, while its health and social services operate throughout the school day and after school. With HSEI, says Negrón, “Children’s Aid has been involved in virtually every aspect of opening the school” and predicts they will play a substantial role in the school day. Children’s Aid and DOE staff co-lead student advisories. Children’s Aid staff implement a case management strategy at the school in which each staff member works 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 counsels 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.

“New York City is doing some of the most innovative work in the country to help over-age students who are behind academically get back on the path towards earning a high school diploma,” Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein said. “We’ve worked closely with The Children’s Aid Society to ensure that this innovative school will meet the unique needs of students who enter high school far below grade level.”

For further information, please contact Ellen Lubell, The Children’s Aid Society, 212-949-4938 or, or Emily Crossan, 917-286-1548, or or visit

The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the 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 needy children and families 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.