Urban Assembly New York Harbor School :: Assembly

Urban Assembly New York Harbor School

Your Fantasy on Governors

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, also called the Harbor School, is a public high school located on Governors Island. This school is unique in New York City, which has 538 miles (866 km) of waterfront, in that it attempts to relate every aspect of its curriculum to the water. The school is part of the Urban Assembly network of 21 college-prep schools in New York City. The New York City Department of Education classifies the Harbor School as a Career and Technical Education (CTE) school. Urban Assembly is a private fundraising organization to develop and support small public schools. The Urban Assembly schools are regular public schools, not charter schools.

A stated focus of the school is to continue to work with organizations such as Waterkeeper Alliance and the Governors Island Alliance to ensure the improvement of New York City's harbor.


The NYHS officially opened in 2003. The school was founded with the help of three organizations: the Urban Assembly, the South Street Seaport Museum, and Waterkeeper Alliance. Before moving to its own building on Governors Island, the school was located within the Bushwick Campus, first in the Annex and then, in 2004, on the building's fourth floor.

Bushwick High School, built in 1911, was one of the first public high schools in that area, on the former Union Cemetery used by Methodist churches of Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the New York City's Department of Education's effort to close large high schools and replace them with much smaller schools, Bushwick High School began to be phased out in 2003. In that year, three new high schools were founded on the Bushwick campus. One was the Harbor School, under founding principal, Nathan Dudley. The other two schools were the Academy of Urban Planning and the Bushwick School for Social Justice. At the close of Bushwick High School in 2006, the Academy of Environmental Leadership, a fourth high school, was added to the campus.

Since its founding, the Harbor School worked to secure a site on the water so that the school could better fulfill its mission. After several years and several proposals, the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) announced in November 2006 that the Harbor School would be moving to Governors Island. The NYHS left Bushwick in July 2010 and moved to a new academic building on Governor's Island, formerly Building 550.


The Harbor School runs various programs related to New York's maritime experience. This distinguishes this school from other public high schools in New York City. Private and public funding support the programs.

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