Editor’s Note: This is part of a series by School-Stories.org staff that explores New York City — home to the most segregated school district in America. For more, click here.
District 1 Lower East Side
This district covers the increasingly trendy East Village, Lower East Side and Chinatown. The numbers for specific ethnic groups seemed to either dominate a specific school or be in the single digits. That was particularly true for white and Latino populations, which might be explained by geographic clustering in this area of Manhattan.
While there were expected gaps among high schools that target high-achieving students, particularly Bard High School Early College and Nest +m High School, it was more surprising to see those gaps in among neighborhood elementary schools. For example, The Neighborhood School is 47.7 percent white, while three blocks down, P.S. 142 Amalia Castro is only 1.6 percent white.
English Language Learner populations vary throughout the district. Schools that have a high percent of white students serve smaller populations of ELL students, while other schools have as many as a third of students in the ELL program.
Up north in the East Village, progressive elementary and middle schools like the Earth School, Children’s Workshop School and University Neighborhood Middle School attract more white families. However, those schools are relatively small.
Free lunch status is also very clustered. Some school populations are nearly completely free or reduced priced lunch, while some schools don’t even qualify for Title 1 federal poverty funds.
Though traditionally an immigrant neighborhood, the area has grown more affluent, as seen through its low government assistance numbers. That makes the clustering of school populations who qualify for free or reduced lunch all the more striking.
District 2 Greenwich Village and Upper East Side
This district covers some of the most affluent neighborhoods in Manhattan, from sections of Midtown West to the Upper East Side. Some of the city’s highest performing schools can be found here, and they serve predominately white and Asian student populations. At P.S. 6. Lillie Devereaux Blake School, where Chancellor Carmen Farina once served as principal, more than 70 percent of its students are white.
On average, students in District 2 are more affluent. School populations here are less likely to qualify for meal programs. At P.S. 41 Greenwich Village, less than 4 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
District 3 Upper West Side
This district covers sections of Midtown West all the way to the Upper West Side. While this area serves a diverse demographic of Latinos, black and whites, schools hardly represent the population. District 3 is one of the most racially diverse, and racially segregated school districts in the city. While more than half of the district’s students are black and Latino, some schools have more than 90 percent black and Latino students.
Additionally, while 8 percent of its students are English Language Learners, schools like Manhattan Bridges High School report more than half of its students as ELLs, while Stuyvesant High School has no ELL students at all.
Free lunch status varies through the district. Students at P.S. 415 Middle Early College High School all qualify for free or reduced lunch while predominately white schools like P.S. 527 East Side School for Social Action have less than 10 percent of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.
District 4 East Harlem
District 4 covers East Harlem, and more than 20 percent of its students have disabilities, higher than the city’s average at 16 percent. Surprisingly, this district also has the third highest percentage of female students in the city. This seems at odds with the common criticism that children are more likely to be assigned to special education if they are male.
Assuming disability and gender are normally distributed among schools, District 4 is in the 95th percentile for female students and the 96th percentile for disabled students. This makes the district an anomaly, as districts with more male students tend to have greater proportions of their students classified as disabled. This proves that the conventional wisdom holds true for New York City: as districts become more male, they tend to become more likely to be assigned to special education.
District 5 Central Harlem
This district covers Central Harlem and serves a high population of blacks and Latinos, many of whom come from working class families. Most schools in this area reflect that demographic. At P.S. 36 Margaret Dogulas and Mott Hall High School, more than 90 percent of students are black and Latino. Specialized schools like The Urban Assembly Institute for New Technologies are exceptions, where more than 40 percent of its students are white.
Two underperforming schools are closing next year: Bread and Roses Integrated Arts High School and Choir Academy of Harlem.
Poverty is also an issue in this district. Most students qualify for a free or reduced lunch. At P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson and P.S. 175 Henry H Garnet, more than 90 percent of students qualified for free and reduced lunch. Economically disadvantaged students comprise 84 percent of the district’s population. One of the poorest schools in this district is PS/MS 123 Mahalia Jackson, where 91 percent of students were eligible for free lunch. The school, surrounded by homeless shelters, has a problem with attendance since most of its move to another neighborhood due to socioeconomic issues. About 45 percent of students were chronically absent. This elementary school shares space with Success Academy Harlem 5 Charter Elementary School.
District 6 Washington Heights
This covers Washington Heights, Inwood and all the way up to the upper half of Hamilton Heights. It has the largest population of Dominicans outside of the Dominican Republic. Eighty percent of the neighborhood’s population is Latino. The schools’ population mainly matches that of the neighborhood: it is 86 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Black, 5 percent White, 1 percent Asian and 1 percent other.
About a third of the district’s student population are English Language Learners. The Mott Hall School is an exception, where only 2 percent of its students are ELL. Some schools show a drop in ELL students which may be a sign of changing demographics.
Seven schools in the district have entire student populations that qualify for free or reduced lunch. Ethnic clustering occurs in part based on residential ethic clustering. For example, P.S. 18 Park Terrace gives admissions priority to students in the neighborhood, and more than 90 percent are Latino.
District 7 The South Bronx
This district covers the South Bronx, which is an industrial area, and one of the poorest in the city. The population is growing, however, as more Manhattanites move in. The majority of the district’s student population is black and Latino, and the district has the highest percentage of non-white students, as well as a high percentage of English Language Learners.
It also has a slightly higher population of students with disabilities. At Foreign Language Academy of Global Studies, more than 30 percent of students are in special education programs. Schools with special language programs, like the Bilingual School or International Community High School for new immigrants, are standouts when it comes to enrollment oddities. Two schools have a significantly low number of students in need of free or reduced lunch: Bronx Haven High School and Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science. Both also have higher populations of Asian students, especially compared to the small number of students in the district. A number of charter schools serve the area, including three Success Academy schools.
District 8 Hunts Point and Throgs Neck
This district covers the southeast corner of the Bronx and like the rest of the borough, has a high black and Latino population. Families live in neighborhoods like Hunts Point with high levels of poverty, as well as Throgs Necks, where luxury condos are part of the real estate. One-third of the students qualify for free lunch in the district overall. At P.S. 36 Unionport and P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake, all students qualify for free lunch.
Housing differences play a huge role in this district. In affluent areas P.S. 14 Senator John Calandra School is more than 25 percent white, and P.S. 304 The Early Childhood School is nearly one-third white. Conversely, P.S. 93 Albert G. Oliver Elementary School is 99 percent non-white.
District 9 Morrisania
This district covers the Southwest Bronx, and poverty is a big issue. More than 80 percent of the district’s student population qualifies for free or reduced lunch. That number is even higher at Frederick Douglas Academy III and P.S. 132 Garret A. Morgan, where 100 percent are poor.
The district also has a large Black and Latino student population. For example, at P.S. 218 Rafael Hernandez Dual Language Magnet school, about 80 percent of its students are Latino. More than 30 percent of its students identify as English Language Learners. The district also has a higher than average amount of students with disabilities. At schools like I.S. 229 Roland Patterson and P.S. 230 Dr. Roland Patterson, more than 30 percent of students are in special education programs.
District 10 Fordham and Riverdale
This district covers the northeast Bronx and is highly segregated. Neighborhoods like Tremont and Belmont with high poverty rates exist next to wealthier neighborhoods like Riverdale, which is home to three of the most expensive private schools in the country. District 10 (in large part because of the population in Riverdale) has a higher percentage of white students than the entire borough. At P.S. 24 Spuyten Duyvil, 41 percent of students are white and less than 30 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. In contrast, the rest of the district is predominantly black and Latino. At mostly non-white schools like P.S. 159 Luis Munoz Marin Biling and P.S. 207, all students qualify for free and reduced lunch. At four schools, more than half of their student populations are English Language Learners.
While the population of white students has increased to 9 percent in the district, there does seem to be some movement of white students across schools over the last five years. Six schools have more than a 100 percent increase in white student enrollment while 13 schools are experiencing a more than 30 percent decrease in white student enrollment.
District 11 Parkchester and Pelham Bay
This district in the Bronx borders Westchester and includes the neighborhoods of Pelham Bay, Eastchester and Woodlawn. The district has a large black and Latino student population, although South Asians are expanding into some areas. In schools like P.S. 106 Parkchester and P.S. 194, more than 30 percent of its students are Asian. In schools with large black and Latino populations like P.S. 121 Throop, 100 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. But for schools like P.S. 19 Judith K. Weiss, which has a large white population, fewer than half of its students qualify for free lunch.
At specialized schools like the Bronx Academy of Health, more than 60 percent of its students are girls. Meanwhile at Bronx Aerospace High School, more than 80 percent of its students are boys. More charter schools, especially Icahn Charters, are moving into the area.
It is also home to a school for children with severe disabilities, the Helen Keller school.
District 12 Crotona
This district encompasses the Bronx’s Crotona Park, the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. There are less than 50 schools in the district, known for having under-performing schools.
The district has a high black and Latino student population. At P.S. 211 and P.S. 536, more than 80 percent of their students are Latino, and more than half of them are English Language Learners. On Average, more than 80 percent of the district’s student population qualify for free and reduced lunch.
James Monroe High School was closed in 1994, and District 12 ended up with many small schools. There are film schools, charter schools like South Bronx Classical Charter School and Kappa III. Bronx Latin has been recognized for its academics.
District 13 Fort Greene
This district covers upscale townhouses of Brooklyn Heights, new high-rises along Flatbush Avenue Extension, sprawling public housing complexes and homeless shelters on the north side of Fort Greene Park, and the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant.
This area has grown more affluent in recent years. At P.S. 11 Purvis J. Behan and P.S. 9 Teunis G. Bergen, less than half of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. That number drops to less than 15 percent for students at P.S. 8 Robert Fulton, one of the highest performing schools in the district.
District 13 is a “district of choice,” according to a principal cited in a Chalkbeat article, and there are truly many options for students. As some schools in the neighborhood become increasingly attractive to middle-class students, others are rapidly losing their students as segregation rises.
The population is 43 percent African American, 40 percent white and 6 percent Asian.The median income in the district in general is much higher for its population than citywide, but the difference between white and black householder income is also much larger: white household earners make twice the amount that black household earners do. Schools are very segregated. Only nine out of the 42 schools in the district that have more than 10 percent white students.
The percentage of ELLs also decreased slightly and its proportion is much smaller than citywide. The percentage of students with disabilities, on the other hand, increased in the same time period from 11 percent to 12 percent, though these numbers are lower than citywide.
District 14 Williamsburg
This district covers Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and has seen a slight decrease in public school students overall, and a slight increase in both white and Asian populations. At The Brooklyn Latin School, more than 30 percent of students are Asian. Overall the district has a high student population of blacks and Latinos. Over the last 10 years, enrollment has decreased by 55,000 students. The district has 11 charter schools, much higher than most districts.
Most schools are zoned and a few are audition-based. P.S. 110 The Monitor, a predominately white school, has a French dual language program and an active PTA.
The district by comparison to others, does not have a high number of English Language Learners, 85 percent of whom speak Spanish as their first language, followed by Polish, Arabic and Yiddish.
Overall, more than 80 percent of the district students qualify for free and reduced lunch.
The district is slightly poorer than the city average, as 87 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
District 15 Park Slope
This district covers Park Slope, Prospect Park, Carroll Gardens and Sunset Park. The district has a 7 charter schools: The Brooklyn Prospect Charter School, Success Academy and Summit Academy. The district is home to a growing number of French dual-language schools and the first Japanese dual-language program will open this year.
Poverty rates vary depending on the school. At P.S. 107 John W. Kimball and P.S. 321 William Penn, less than 8 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Meanwhile at P.S. 1 The Bergen and P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly, all students qualify for meal programs.
Some schools in this district also serve a high number of students with disabilities. From P.S. 131 Brooklyn to I.S. 136 Charles O. Dewey, more than 40 percent of students are in special education programs.
District 16 Bedford Stuyvesant
This district in Brooklyn encompasses Bedford Stuyvesant and has a high black and Latino population, particularly Caribbean and West African immigrants. More than 80 percent of the district’s student population qualify for free and reduced lunch. At P.S. 21 Crispus Attucks and The Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance, all students qualify for meal programs.
This district also serves a high number of students with disabilities. At Frederick Douglas Academy IV Secondary School and M.S. 35 Stephen Decatur, more than 30 percent of students are in special education programs.
There are 10 charter schools in the district, with new ones set to open like New Beginnings and Excellence Girls and Launch Expeditionary.
District 17 Flatbush
This district covers central Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Museum and the Botanical Gardens, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and East Flatbush.
This district is home immigrant families, African Americans and orthodox jews. There are 18 charter schools in this district, including four Achievement First chains and two Success Academies. Dual language programs have increased in recent years, notably Haitian Creole and Spanish programs. At International High School at Prospect Heights, more than 90 percent of students are English Language Learners. Although schools in District 17 haven’t always been known for high performing schools, things are improving. There are science and research based schools, notably Pathways in Technology Early College High School known as P-TECH. This district also has more charter schools than other districts, notably Knowledge is Power Program, Citizens of the World and Success Academy Prospect Heights.
District 18 Canarsie
This district covers Canarsie and Flatbush and Southeast Brooklyn and has a significant black student population. This district also has a high number of gifted and talented programs. More than 80 percent of the district’s student population qualify for free and reduced lunch. At specialized schools like Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, more than 60 percent of students are girls.
There is also a Nest program for children on the autism spectrum at P.S. 224. District 18 has 11 charter schools, including the New American Charter School and Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School.
District 19 East New York
This district covers East New York, which is home to several public housing projects including Linden, Pink and Cypress, each with more than 3,000 residents. The district is one of the poorest in the city. At schools like P.S. 65 and P.S. 159 Isaac Pitkin, all students qualified for free and reduced lunch.
The district has a large black and Latino population. One notable school is P.S. 89 Cypress Hills, which is the only K–8 Spanish/English dual-language program in the city. More than 90 percent of its students are Latino and 43 percent are English Language Learners. The district is also home to 11 charter schools.
District 20 Borough Park
This district covers Borough Park, Bay Ridge and Dyker, a small section of Sunset Park and the Fort Hamilton base. It also houses the city’s newest Chinatown, which hosts a higher Asian population at 43 percent. At P.S. 105 The Blythebourne, more than 90 percent of students are Asian.
This district has many gifted and talented programs as well as a few dual language, one in Russian and one in Arabic. There are double the number of English language learners, however. At P.S. 160 William T. Sampson, more than 70 percent of students are English Language Learners. About 80 percent of students quality for free and reduced lunch.
District 21 Coney Island
This district covers Brighton Beach and Coney Island with a large Italian population. The Asian community has also been growing in the past five years and makes up 25 percent of the district’s student population. At P.S. 101 The Verrazano, more than half of students are Asian. The district also has a significant white and Latino population. More than 70 percent of the student population qualify for free and reduced lunch.
There is one dual-language Russian program at I.S. 228 David A. Boody, with a large Asian student body. There are only a few charter schools in this district.
District 22 Ditmas Park
This district covers Ditmas Park and Mill Basin. Because the district covers such a wide area, many immigrant groups live in the area, although 2013-2014 data shows a lower-than-average number of English language learners 9 percent. The demographic breakdown is 37 percent Black, 29 percent white, 14 percent Hispanic and nearly 18 percent Asian. Two new charter schools have opened in the District in recent years.
District 23 Ocean Hill-Brownsville
This district covers Brownsville, Ocean Hill and a part of East New York. These are among the poorest sections of this city. This district has a large black and Latino population. Some notable schools are P.S. 41 Francis White, the city’s first school designed to teach babies and toddlers – some as young as six weeks. More than 60 percent of its students are black.
The Riverdale Avenue Community School, which opened in 2012 has received much acclaim from their parents. About 71 percent of the district’s households make less than $50,000 a year, according to the census, while more than 90 percent of the district’s students qualify for a free or reduced lunch. Two schools have unusually high numbers of white students.
District 24 Glendale
District 24 covers Corona, Glendale, Ridgewood, Elmhurst, Long Island City, Maspeth and Middle Village. It has a diverse student population of whites, blacks and Asians. The district also has a large number of English language learners. At P.S. 7 Louis F. Simeone and P.S. 19 Marino Jeantet, more than 60 percent of students are ELL.
Overall, 85 percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Four schools in the district have higher numbers of white students than the district average.
District 25 Flushing
District 25 covers Flushing, and also includes Whitestone and College Point. Two new schools have been added to the district – Queens High School for Language Studies and Veritas Academy, which has a bilingual program for Korean Speakers. These schools have significant numbers of students who identify as other.
The district has a high Asian immigrant population. At P.S. 24 Andrew Jackson and The Active Learning Elementary School, more than 80 percent of students are Asian. Schools have a high number of English Language Learners as well. At P.S. 163 Flushing Heights and P.S. 20 John Bowne, more than 30 percent of students are ELL.
District 26 Bayside
District 26 consists of Bayside, Oakland Gardens, Fresh Meadows, Douglaston, Little Neck, Glen Oaks, Floral Park, Bellerose, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Hillcrest and parts of Hollis Hills and Holliswood.
In Jamaica Hills, there has been a 34 percent increase of Asians and Pacific Islanders, according to the census,
For its student population, the district has 51 percent of students who are Asian, 17 percent are White, 17 percent are Hispanic and 12 percent are Black. There is an even split between poor students and financially stable students, as seen in the numbers of students requiring free/reduced price lunch. According to our best estimates, two schools in the district have higher numbers of white students than average.
District 27 South Ozone Park
This district covers Ozone Park, Rockaway, Howard Beach, and Woodhaven to form the Southern Queens district, which is highly segregated. The district has a large black, Latino and Asian population. At P.S. 64 Joseph P. Addabbo, more than 90 percent of students are nonwhite.
Schools that have mostly white students show the segregation in this area. At P.S. 47 Chris Galas, where more than 80 percent of students are white, only 40 percent of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Meanwhile at M.S. 53 Brian Piccolo, where more than 90 percent of students are nonwhite, 100 percent qualify for food assistance.
District 28 Forest Hills
District 28 covers Forest Hills,Rego Park, Briarwood, Kew Gardens, South Jamaica and Springfield Gardens.
The district’s Jamaica section is the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, one the most selective schools in the city.
The district faces higher poverty rates, as 75 percent of its students quality for free or reduced price lunch. However, there are exceptions. Only 21 percent of students at P.S. 101 School in the Gardens, 26 percent of P.S. 144 Col. Jeromus Remsen School, 38 percent of P.S. 174 William Sidney Mount , 25 percent and 15 percent of The Academy for Excellence through the Arts’ students qualified for free or reduced price lunches.
District 29 Springfield Gardens
This district covers the Eastern Queens neighborhoods of Bellerose, Briarwood, Brookville, Cambria Heights, Holliswood, Laurelton, Queens Village, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens and St. Albans. The district has two elementary charter schools, and also has very selective and specialized schools, like Queens Gateway to Health Sciences and the Preparatory Academy for Writers.
Eighty percent of the students in the district require free or reduced price lunches.
District 30: Long Island City
This district covers Astoria, Ditmars, East Elmhurst, Hunters Point, Jackson Heights, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside, with high populations of Greeks, and Italians. A significant influx of Latinos now make up 53 percent of the student population. The district has many dual language schools, like East Elmhurst Community School.
The District is relatively poor compared to other districts. About 86 percent of students in the district qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
District 31 Staten Island
District 31 covers the entire borough of Staten Island. Although the borough is primarily white, one school stands out for its diversity: P.S. 65 The Academy of Innovative Learning. About 78 percent of the borough is white and the average income is $73,000. However, two schools are less white than average, P.S. 20 Port Richmond and P.S. 78, where more than 80 percent of students are nonwhite.
District 32 Bushwick
District 32 covers Bushwick and part of Bedford Stuyvesant, and faces high poverty rates. Of the district’s student population, 95 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch. Most students are Latino and black. Public School 151 Lyndon B. Johnson is the district’s whitest school. There are less than five charter schools in this district.