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8 NYC Schools Named Top Innovative Schools in U.S.

8 NYC Schools Named Top Innovative Schools in U.S.

Eight New York schools named to the Top Innovative Schools list in a country-wide round-up of boundary breaking educational institutions. 

, a comprehensive education resource website dedicated to finding the best learning tools and environments for students, just released its first-ever Top Innovative K-12 Schools list. Eight out of the 41 cited are right here in New York City. The education team at Noodle studied profiles, test scores, and news articles, and conducted interviews in evaluating the schools. Not only are these schools moving away from traditional educational models, they are producing tangible, substantive results. Here are the NYC schools that made the list:

, the for-profit K-12 academy in Chelsea, Manhattan is graduating its first class this spring. The school’s teaching objectives are global preparedness, with an international curriculum emphasizing world religions, developmental economics, even drama in Mandarin. The first two international campuses will open in 2017, with 14 more slated for 2021.

The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem
, the first single-sex public school in the U.S. to open since the 1960s, boasts that 100-percent of the student body—the majority of whom are from low-income households—have been accepted to college every year since its founding. The school is committed to empowering its students through programming in college and career awareness, STEM education, health and wellness, leadership abilities, and community service.

Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter Schools
takes a community-centered approach to education, and emphasizes social-emotional learning, which examines stress and self-esteem issues. In support of its scholars, the academy offers a suite of programs, from two meals and a snack each school day to medical, dental, and psychological services on campus.

Saint Ann’s School
in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, evaluates its students with highly personalized biannual reviews, and is 100-percent grade-free. Its students consistently score well above national averages in standardized tests.

Fusion Academy
is a national-wide network with a campus in downtown Brooklyn, Lincoln Center and Park Avenue in Manhattan, and Westchester. It offers students a personalized approach to college-prep by offering flexible class scheduling and optional semester credit enrollment—similar to that of a college student—while meeting the same state standards of traditional schools. This approach is ideal for students with other commitments, such as athletics or performing arts.

RELATED: Find a School Near You

The Compass Charter School
in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was founded in 2014. Classes are staffed with two teachers and structured in a loop, meaning students remain with the same classmates and teachers for two consecutive years, creating a collaborative and inclusive leaning environment.

Democracy Prep Public Schools
is a charter network that teaches its DREAM community values: discipline, respect, enthusiasm, accountability, and maturity. Encouraging civic engagement along with a rich college-preparatory curriculum that includes intensive math, literacy, science, art, and four years of required Korean language learning. The New York high school is located on 134Street in Harlem.

Excellence Girls Charter School
in Bushwick, Brooklyn is a member of the Uncommon Schools network, made up of 44 schools in 3 states, which all share the goal of closing the achievement gap for low-income students and rigorously prepares its students for higher education.

Quest to Learn
is a NYC public school located in Chelsea, Manhattan, and created in collaboration with the nonprofit Institute of Play. The curriculum is designed to utilize gaming principles in its approach, as students engage in semester-long problem-solving created in alignment with Common Core State Standards. The school emphasizes digital citizenship skills taught through its own private social network, QLink.

These schools are re-imagining education and re-defining what a school should be—and producing tremendous results. To see the full list of the Most Innovative K-12 Schools in America, visit

RELATED: Insideschools' Tips for Evaluating Your Child's Classroom


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Catherine Patwell

Author: Catherine Patwell is a student of journalism and Italian at Hunter College. When not studying, she is running along the Hudson River, reading cookbooks, or plotting her next travel adventure. Catherine currently resides in Manhattan. See More

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