About Us

  • 98% of our 2016 graduates were accepted to college.
  • 90% of our high school students graduate within 4 years.
  • 73% of our students are eligible for free/reduced lunch.
FAQs

Founded in 1987, NYC Outward Bound Schools has served over 60,000 students, teachers, administrators, and parents from over 300 schools and other youth-serving organizations throughout the City. Our educational approach challenges and supports students to do their best work, injects elements of adventure and discovery into schooling, grounds academic content in real-world issues and concerns, promotes teamwork as well as individual initiative, and places character and intellectual development on equal footing. For most participants, involvement with NYC Outward Bound Schools has resulted in profound learning and for many it has been transformational, helping them to recognize how much they are capable of accomplishing individually and collectively.

NYC Outward Bound Schools programs are organized into three broad categories:

1. Our Schools—a growing network of small, college-preparatory public schools that we operate in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. We support our schools in implementing the EL Education school model, which is rooted in Outward Bound's educational approach, and provide an extensive package of services and supports aimed at promoting high-quality teaching, high levels of student achievement, character development, and college access, readiness and persistence.

2. Our Associate Schools - a growing group of public schools to which we provide targeted professional development and coaching supports in implementing discrete aspects of the EL Education model. 

3. Adventure & Team Building—customized Outward Bound programs for NYC public schools and other youth-serving organizations which are organized around the themes of teambuilding and character/leadership development. 

"Last week I visited [NYC Outward Bound's] Leaders School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, which is a glowing example of community cohesion... Students are given tremendous responsibility, and are put in challenging social circumstances that call forth compassion, judgment, sensitivity and mercy... Most of all I was struck by their kindness toward one another. No student could remember any racial or ethnic conflict. Many upperclassmen serve as peer mentors to the underclassmen. There’s a palpable sense of being cared for. That’s in part because the school has a wide definition of student achievement."
-David Brooks, Columnist, NYTimes

"This Educational Leadership Award... really goes to NYC Outward Bound, which does truly extraordinary work in the field of education."
-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

“What NYC Outward Bound does is create self-possession and a sense of ownership over what one does and over one’s path - which is the key to so much of what works in education and, I dare say, to what works in life.”
-Mayor Bill de Blasio 

“NYC Outward Bound, we think the world of you. We think you are outstanding: all the energy, all the work and the vision that you have -- but more importantly, your partnership with the Department of Education will allow our students to grow and prosper and be successful adults."
-Former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott

"NYC Outward Bound is...defying the lie, defying the myth, defying the stereotypes about what children can and cannot do."
-Arne Duncan, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

“When you walk through the NYC Outward Bound schools, you really do get the sense that these kids are working with very high expectations, that they really are being pushed and prepared for college in all the ways possible.”
-Adam Tucker, Senior Program Officer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Recent News

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    NYC Outward Bound Schools Named Seminfinalist for 2016 Nonprofit Excellence Awards August 2, 2016

    We are a proud semifinalist of this year’s New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards. The Awards recognize excellence in eight key areas of nonprofit management: results and impact, governance, financial management, diversity and inclusion, human resources, information technology, communications, and fundraising. Finalists will be announced in October, 2016.

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    MELS Achieves Rare 100% Grad Rate July 28, 2016

    MELS' first senior class achieved a 100% 4-year June graduation rate. This achievement is especially remarkable considering that MELS is an unscreened public school - only one other unscreened public school in New York City has achieved this between 2006 and 2015.

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    Baldwin Principal Leading Voice on School Discipline Reform July 1, 2016

    What role can restorative justice play in ameliorating violence in our schools? This Atlantic article explores the question and includes quotes by Brady Smith, Principal of of our James Baldwin School, a leading voice on school discipline reform.

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