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The 10 Best Schools in New York Today

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The 10 Best Schools in New York Today

New York state is renowned globally for its vibrant energy, diverse culture, and bustling cityscape. But it's not just a place for singles and young professionals. Households also thrive here, ranking the state as the third best for raising families. Education plays a major role in this, as the state boasts an exceptional education system enviable throughout the country.

Parents have many schools to choose from in New York, which can be both a blessing and a curse. With so many options, deciding which school is the best fit for their child can be overwhelming. But fear not, as we've researched for you and compiled a list of the top ten schools in the state.

From top-notch academic programs to extracurricular activities that promote growth and development, you're sure to find an institution that'll nurture the desired future of your child. So let's jump in.

Best Elementary Schools

The Academy for Excellence Through the Arts

108-55 69Th  Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375 

The Academy for Excellence Through the Arts promotes cooperative learning via cohesive thematic centers known to highlight learners' interests and capabilities. The structure provides differentiated, student-focused instruction. In addition, the school enriches its social studies instruction with arts and music literacy. 

The Academy of Excellence is home to 375 pre-kindergarten to fourth-grade scholars. Both genders have equal populations, and 65% of learners come from minority communities. In addition, 19% of scholars face financial limitations.

The institution also employs 26 credentialed tutors, leading to a teacher-student ratio of 1:14. The teachers love what they do and always strive to create a safe space for scholars to excel and thrive. However, they don't do it alone; they leverage the partnership and support of the community and families.

The Academy of Excellence takes students through a rigorous program that follows the school's common core learning standards. Besides the balanced curriculum and hands-on science and math programs, the school's curriculum immerses students in the visual and performing arts.

According to the latest statewide test scores, the Academy of Excellence ranks 4th in the state and district. The school also ranks in positions 5 and 7 for reading and math proficiency, with a 95% pass rate.

Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars (TAG)

240 E 109Th  Street, NY 10029

TAG School for Young Scholars prides itself on a student-focused learning environment where students, faculty, and parents collaborate in preparing every student to attain their full academic and social potential and excel in life. The facility's collaborative culture inspires creativity, integrity, curiosity, compassion, and achievement.

The public elementary school serves 564 students between kindergarten and eighth grade, with an 81% minority student enrollment. The population has an equal gender distribution, and 29% of learners come from financially limited homes.

TAG School has 28 certified academic coaches, translating to a teacher-student ratio of 1:20. These instructors believe in every person's worth and dignity, whether child or adult. They also recognize their role in serving students with a challenging and stimulating education program that guides them to their full potential. As a result, the school stands out among the top-ranked facilities in the district and state.

TAG Young Scholars ranks third best in both the state and district rankings. In addition, the school ranks in fourth and fifth positions for reading and math proficiency. The two subjects recorded 95% and 93% pass rates. Besides academic triumph, the school has raised numerous notable artists and successful sports personalities. 

Exploring and learning outside the classroom: students take notes with clipboards on a beautiful day.

©Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock.com

P.S. 77 Lower Lab School

1700 3 Road Avenue, NY 10128

Lower Lab Elementary School's competitive edge lies in its dedicated and collaborative faculty and staff, who prioritize every pupil's well-being, enrichment, and whole growth. In addition, faculty members work closely with parents to meet student needs and nurture their academic and extracurricular development. 

P.S. 77 Lower Lab School, situated in bustling New York City, educates a diverse group of 349 students from kindergarten to fifth grade. The population has a near-even split of male and female students (51% and 49%, respectively) and has a 64% minority enrollment. In addition, 10% of learners register as financially limited.

Lower Lab Elementary hires 17 proficient and experienced instructors. The teacher-pupil ratio is 1:21, sufficient to ensure dedicated attention for each student. Most faculty members have been around for ages, with some advancing from teacher assistant or student teacher ranks before qualifying as classroom teachers. The same applies to non-faculty staff, who boast extensive combined experience.

Lower Lab implements a unique curriculum that follows a workshop model. The approach combines traditional and constructivist approaches to math with a multi-disciplinary social studies approach. In addition, the school follows inquiry-based science learning. 

PS 77 Lower Lab Elementary ranks 2nd statewide and in the district. In addition, the school ranks top in math and reading proficiencies, with a 98% pass rate in both.

New Explorations Into Science, Technology, and Math (NEST+m) 

111 Columbia Street, NY 10002

NEST+m Elementary School features in almost every review of the best elementary schools in New York, and it's clear why. The highly reputable facility has attained its current status by challenging and fostering every form of giftedness. The school is also reputable for creating a supportive environment for all forms of achievement.

NEST+m Elementary is located in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood and serves K-12 to 1,797 scholars. The school's gender distribution comprises 49% males and 51% females, with a 62% minority enrollment. In addition, the school designates 25% of its enrollment chances to financially limited students.

As you'd expect of this top-ranking facility, NEST+m pays significant attention to its staff qualifications and only prioritizes highly qualified tutors, non-teaching staff, and administrative assistants. The team comprises 106 accredited and seasoned instructors, so each teacher caters to 17 scholars.

This dynamic staff team has hands-on, insightful, and creative teachers. In addition, the same faculty comprises inspired mentors and coaches guiding learners through the school's many before and after-school activities. As a result, the school performs exceptionally at the state and local levels. 

NEST+m Elementary ranks 1st out of 2,211 elementary schools in the state and 1st out of 746 in the New York Elementary Schools District. The school also tops in math and reading proficiency rankings, with 97% and 98% pass rates in the respective proficiencies. 

Best Middle Schools

Baccalaureate School for Global Education (BSGE)

34-12 36Th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11106

BSGE is among the premier educational institutions in New York. The school opened its doors in September 2002 and has remained committed to delivering an exceptional learning experience in line with the International Baccalaureate program's frameworks and standards. Students who complete this experience are well-prepared to advance to an IB diploma. 

The Baccalaureate School for Global Education serves 579 students between grades 7-12. The reputable facility has a minority student enrollment of 70%, and the population comprises 58% schoolgirls and 42% schoolboys. In addition, 43% of learners come from economically limited households.

No matter their background or financial capabilities, each student experiences learning in a befitting environment that inspires curiosity and social and intellectual development. BSGE graduates remain committed to social justice and human responsibility.

This impressive culture and enriching learning programs run on the dedication and efforts of 37 board-certified tutors, hence the school's tutor-student ratio of 1:16. The certified and highly experienced instructors guide students through a rigorous program that meets the needs of the highly motivated student population.

The Baccalaureate School for Global Education ranks 3rd out of 1,219 in the state and 3rd out of 459 in the district. In addition, the school ranks 3rd for reading and math proficiency, with 98% of learners passing both subjects.

The IS 187 Christa McAuliffe School

1171 65Th  Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219

Christa McAuliffe Middle School educates students to overcome their present hurdles while preparing them to lead the future. The school's emphasis on social and emotional development encourages students to become empathetic and visionary leaders equipped with the skills to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Christa McAuliffe School caters to 990 students in grades 6-8. The student body has a slight majority of females at 54%, while males trail at 46%. The school has a significant minority population, with 85% of students identifying as belonging to a minority group. Moreover, the facility is reputable for its high percentage of economically disadvantaged students, forming 68%.

McAuliffe Middle has 56 licensed instructors with vast experience in middle-school instruction. Thus, each teacher is in charge of about 18 students. 

The school follows a rigorous educational program designed to inspire a love of reading, writing, and speaking while fostering critical thinking and innovation. As a result, graduates from this school are scholars who investigate, construct, evaluate, and ultimately inspire others to impact the world positively.

Christa McAuliffe School ranks second best in the state and the district. Moreover, the school has 3 and 1 reading and math proficiency ranks, with 96% and 97% of students passing both subjects. 

education, elementary school, learning and people concept - group of school kids with pens and papers writing in classroom
Collaborative learning is fun! These school kids work together with smiles to complete their classwork.

©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

PS 122 Mamie Fay

21-21 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105

PS 122 Mamie Fay Middle School believes in creating an inclusive and collaborative setup that values student diversity and responsiveness. With a rigorous and standards-driven curriculum, the reputable institution aids students in attaining their academic and social goals. So, if you're within Astoria and looking for an enriching learning experience, this could be the school for you.

Mamie Fay serves gifted children from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade, with 1,264 students. The gender distribution comprises 48% girls and 52% boys. In addition, 53% of the students come from minority backgrounds, and 52% of learners face economic hurdles.

The school boasts 72 board-certified instructors; hence each tutor caters to about 17 learners. These seasoned staff members can differentiate learning to meet the unique needs of each student. They also strengthen the school's core instruction to nurture meaningful conversations among learners. As a result, students who pass through this system have visible thinking skills and are critical thinkers across all coursework areas.

Mamie Fay middle school is the top-ranked facility out of 1,219 middle schools in the state and ranks 1st in the district. In addition, 81% of learners passed reading proficiency while 79% passed math, earning a 1st place ranking in both subjects.

Best High Schools

Stuyvesant High 

345 Chambers Street, NY 10282 

For more than a hundred years, Stuyvesant High has been a symbol of academic excellence. The facility is among the most reputable in the state and boasts a proud legacy of producing some of the world's brightest minds. Faculty, administration, parents, and the community work jointly to uphold Stuyvesant's tradition and provide an environment that fosters the unique talents of its students.

Stuyvesant High serves 3,344 talented scholars between 9th to 12th grades, one of the highest populations in the country. Most of the populace comes from minority backgrounds, with 82% belonging to this category. Additionally, 48% of students are considered economically disadvantaged. The facility serves 40% of students free lunch, and 8% are part of the school's reduced-price lunch program.

Stuyvesant High hires 155 instructors to care for this massive, diverse population, hence a 1:22 tutor-student ratio. These experienced teachers continue the facility's heritage, which is deeply rooted in the school's science, math, and technology traditions. In addition, these instructors instill humanistic, intellectual, and moral values to help each student achieve their peak potential.

Stuyvesant High ranks 36th nationally, 3rd of 542 in the state, and 4th in the New York metro area. The school is also the third best in the district and ranks 27th in STEM rankings. In addition, the facility has a 99% graduation rate and a 91.7/100 college readiness index. GreatSchools.org rates the school at 10/10.

Notable Alumni

Robert Alda – Actor

Ray Arcel – Boxing trainer who trained over 20 world champions in the sport

David Axelrod – Chief strategist for Barack Obama's presidential campaigns

Arthur M. Blank – Co-founder of The Home Depot

Robert Fogel – Award-winning economic historian

Kathryn Garcia – Director of State Operations for New York

Sheldon Leonard – Actor

Frank Hussey – Gold medalist at the 1924 Olympics

Eric Holder – 82nd United States Attorney General

Queens High School for the Sciences 

94-50 159th  Street, Jamaica, NY 11451

Established in 2002, Queens High School stands out among the nine specialized high school facilities in the city with its challenging college-readiness education that strongly emphasizes mathematics and sciences. The facility partners with York College/CUNY to offer an exceptional curriculum.

Queens High School serves a diverse student body of 512. Of the student population, 44% are female, and 56% are male. Most come from various countries worldwide, creating a global community. In addition, most students here are bilingual, while some are even proficient in three languages.

Regarding socioeconomic status, a significant portion of the populace, 62%, come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. About 54% of the students benefit from the free lunch program, while 7% benefit from the reduced-price lunch program. These students depend on 27 accredited lecturers, so each tutor caters to about 19 scholars.

Queens High students take honors courses and can also take College Now courses in Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, and more. The school is also part of the National Consortium of Specialized Schools for Science, and students can take AP coursework and exams. 

Queens High ranks 25th nationally, 2nd out of 542 in the state, 3rd in the New York metro area, and 2nd in the district. The top-ranking facility also boasts a 100/100 college readiness index, and all students graduate. In addition, GreatSchools.org rates the school at 10/10.

Townsend Harris High School 

149-11 Melbourne Avenue,  Flushing, NY 11367

At Townsend Harris High School, learning goes beyond simply memorizing facts and figures. Rather, the faculty members, non-teaching staff, families, and the community join efforts to nurture a passion for learning, encourage curiosity, and cultivate an appreciation of beauty in nature and the arts.

Townsend Harris High is a vibrant and diverse community of students and educators. With a total enrollment of 1,270 students in grades 9-12, the facility comprises 64% schoolgirls and 36% schoolboys.

In addition, the school boasts an 81% minority enrollment, and 54% of the students are economically disadvantaged. The school's reduced-priced and free lunch programs cater to 10% and 44% of students, respectively.

The Townsend Harris faculty comprises 72 board-certified and well-versed teachers, creating a well-spread-out teacher-student ratio of 18:1. By providing exposure to diverse perspectives, the teachers equip students to appreciate and respect different viewpoints. In addition, they strive to empower students to hit their peak potential. As a result, students graduate from this school as confident, expressive, and socially responsible citizens.

Townsend Harris High School ranks 19th nationally. The school also ranks 1st in the state, New York metro area, and district. Placed against its STEM counterparts, the school ranks 203rd. This top-ranking facility has a 100% graduation rate and a college readiness index of 98/100. In addition, GreatSchools.org rates the facility at 10/10.

Notable Alumni

Neil Drumming – Writer and director

Frank Loesser – Award-winning composer and songwriter

Edward G. Robinson – Actor

Alexander Sachs – Banker and economist who convinced Franklin Roosevelt to begin research into a nuclear weapon

Bennett Cerf – Author, publisher, and co-founder of Random House

Yip Harburg – Songwriter

Nily Rozic – Member of the New York State Assembly

Jonas Salk – Developed one of the first successful polio vaccines

Hari Kondabolu – Stand-up comedian

A smile that reflects the joy of learning: this high school girl beams with happiness.

©Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

Invest in Your Child’s Success

New York houses some of the best learning institutions in the world, making it a highly desirable destination for students of all ages.

While our comprehensive list of the top ten schools is a great starting point, always remember that what makes a “good” school varies from student to student. So when considering schools in New York, prioritize key factors, such as location, size, diversity, curriculum, and extracurricular activities.

Additionally, it's a great idea to visit the schools, speak with current students and faculty, and read reviews and rankings to get a better idea of the experience a school offers. You can find a reliable institution to set your child up for success by researching widely and carefully considering your options.

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