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Clinton School for Writers and Artists Approved to Expand Into High School

By Heather Holland | November 15, 2013 9:22am
 The new middle school and high school building is expected to have 730 seats.
The new middle school and high school building is expected to have 730 seats.
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DNAinfo/Heather Holland

UNION SQUARE — The Clinton School for Writers and Artists, a popular middle school, has won the chance to expand into a high school after receiving a top score on its Department of Education progress report card this week.

The Chelsea school, one of few public middle schools in the city to focus on creative arts, received a score of 98 on its latest progress report, the highest score of any middle or elementary school in the city. That convinced the Department of Education to move forward with expanding the program into a high school when it moves to its new home in Union Square in 2015.

“Where we see success, we double down on it,” said Devon Puglia, a spokesman for the Department of Education. “Clinton is an outstanding school doing great work with its students.

“That’s why we approved their grade expansion…We believe in their leaders and hope their success continues.”

This summer, the DOE conditionally approved Clinton's expansion, requiring the school to score a C grade or higher on its 2012-2013 progress report to get the green light.

Now that the expansion has been approved, Clinton will open with both middle and high school students — a total of 730 seats in all — when it moves from 425 W. 23rd St. to 10 E. 15th St., which is currently under construction.

The school's principal, Jon Levin, credited Clinton’s staff and parents with helping to achieve the high score on the recent progress report.

“I think it’s a combination of an incredibly hardworking staff, a commitment to challenging each child where they are,” Levin, who leads the 300-student middle school, said in a statement.

“When people tour, they often remark what a special community this is,” Levin added. “I couldn’t agree more and I can’t wait for 2015.”