Finding public high schools for athletes in New York City -- a city filled with academic high schools, performing arts high schools, and technical high schools, but very few athletic high schools -- is not as easy as it sounds. Finding an athletic, public high school that also offers the academics that match your athletic child’s abilities can be even more difficult. Parents can spend hours clicking on slow-to-load high school ranking sites, only to find that the schools are not easily accessible from their home, or not academically rigorous enough, or not a public high school.
Fortunately, our website has a database of public and private high schools in NYC, which you find here. Yet, if you are looking for even more detailed information about public schools, you can use myschools.nyc.
Clicking on the “School Directory” tab at the bottom of the MySchools homepage, you can filter schools by location, type of sport your child plays, what subway line it’s on, the size of the school, the area of study your child is most interested in, and even more filters (such as gender of the student body, whether the school offers an early college program, diversity numbers, etc.). The website lists a wide variety of sports to filter from, anything from bowling to football. In addition to filtering the type of sport, you can also filter it by girls, boys, or co-ed athletics. (For parents familiar with the old textbook size directory, this website is the digital version of it).
Here’s an example of some public schools in each borough with good sports programs.
In Brooklyn, Midwood High School boasts boys’ Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, girls’ Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and co-ed Cricket, and Golf. Midwood students have access to a full-length football field and a full basketball court in their gymnasium. Midwood also has a strong medical program and offers 21 AP courses.
In Manhattan, Beacon High School offers a Dance Ensemble, the Beacon Step Team, Boys Ultimate Frisbee, the Climbing Club, Dance Makers Collaborative, Girls Ultimate Frisbee, Rock Climbing, Table Tennis, girls’ Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, and Volleyball, boys’ Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Soccer, Tennis, and Wrestling. Beacon also boasts numerous clubs and 5 AP classes, access to park fields for sports practice, as well as overseas travel opportunities, and the option to take courses at nearby community colleges.
In Queens, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, in addition to being an excellent performing arts high school, also offers boys’ Basketball and Baseball and girls’ Basketball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, and Volleyball. Their school also has a full-sized basketball court, offers students many AP classes, and is a well-known performing arts high school.
In the Bronx, Bronx Science High School, in addition to being an incredible STEM school, also features many sports, including girls’ Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, boys’ Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, and Wrestling.
In Staten Island, Curtis High School boasts numerous sports, including girls’ Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, boys’ Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, and Wrestling. Curtis Academy also offers many AP classes and a Baccalaureate program.
To find more information about any of the schools listed, or to find more athletic schools located in New York City, visit myschools.nyc and our website nycmentors.org/schools. These are key resources for those going through the high school process, especially for parents of student-athletes. The information about athletic high schools in NYC is not as easily found as other information. New York City public high schools offer many sports programs; parents just have to know where to look.
Maybelle Keyser-Butson is a junior at Bard High School Early College Queens. She enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and singing.
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Nearly a fifth of New York City students attend private schools, schools that are neither funded nor run at any government level. Unlike public schools, families are typically required to pay tuition, but many of these schools offer some degree of financial aid. Because private schools do not have to follow the rules and regulations set by the Department of Education, there is a diverse array of options to consider when looking for the right fit. Unlike with public schools, students are allowed to apply to as many private schools as they desire.
Public schools are the largest school type in New York City, and therefore contain a vast range of schools. Due to this range, there is a school for everyone! It is important to note that students apply to programs not schools, and can be admitted into more than one program within a single school. Families can choose a maximum of twelve programs on MySchools for the main list, but the specialized schools are on a separate ranking list that has no max.
As a student whose entire education has been centered around testing and grades, it is hard for me to imagine a school system without these requirements. There are, however, NYC high schools that set different standards for their students which are outside of the typical standards. These schools, like Beacon, the Bronx Lab School, and Saint Ann’s go about a different way of assessing their students.
For most families, eighth grade tends to be the most exciting yet stressful year of middle school. It is the year to fully dive into the high school admissions process and find out where your child will be heading for the next four years. Though this can feel really overwhelming, with the help of this guide and the preparation made already from the sixth and seventh grades, there’s no need to stress!
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