About Us

Essex Street Academy is a small public high school in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. We serve a diverse population of 350 students from all 5 boroughs.

At Essex Street Academy, we prepare all of our students for success in college and in life by treating them as individuals with specific strengths and needs, and appealing to their intellectual curiosity in our courses. Our emphasis on academic achievement coupled with the emotional support students need to be successful gives graduates from Essex Street Academy the best chance of being successful at the college of their choice.


  • We offer core and elective courses that challenge students to develop their own ideas.
  • We cultivate our students to be active learners, not passive, who will graduate from our school confident in their ability to tackle any problem they encounter.
  • With an emphasis on project-based learning, students complete Performance Based Assessment Tasks as their graduation requirements in lieu of the Regents exams.  Students learn the skill of making an argument supported by evidence by: designing and conducting experiments, developing a historical thesis, analyzing works of literature through a critical lens, developing mathematical solutions and proofs to problems encountered.
  • Our average class size is 20 students, enabling teachers to develop an individual relationship with each student. Small class sizes make a personalized approach to education possible.


Being a teenager has never been easy. At ESA we understand the importance of feeling safe, cared for and part of a connected community. We believe everyone needs to feel comfortable and relaxed to have their minds fully available to the ideas they are encountering. The ESA staff is aware of what is going on in the lives of our students and provides the social support network they need to be happy and successful at school. We offer:

  • safe learning environment where students’ needs are our number one priority
  • staff that prioritizes students above all else
  • Advisories of 10-14 students and one teacher
  • Access to four social workers
  • A full partnership with the Greenwich Village Youth Council (GVYC), an organization that has been providing support to New York City teenagers for 34 years.


Office Hours are available to students every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning from 8:15 to 9:15am. Teachers and tutors offer academic support in every subject on each of these days. Teachers and volunteers run a variety of clubs based on student interest. We are always open to new activities that students are interested in, and because our faculty staffs the program, it is easy for students to let us know what they want. ESA students can also join the Seward Park campus teams in a variety of PSAL sports, such as basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, wrestling, and much more.