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The Heritage School Extended Day Program

1680 Lexington Avenue
New York, New York 10029

Susan Bartolone, Principal
Peter Dillon, Assistant Principal
Judith Burton, Chair, Art and Art Education Department, Teachers College, Columbia University
Cathleen Kiebert-Gruen, Director, Extended Day and Community Programs
Lisa Hochtritt, Incoming Director, Extended Day Program and Community Programs

Project Description

The Heritage School is a new public high school that is a collaboration between Teachers College, Columbia University and the New York City Board of Education. The School is located within the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, in the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue. The Heritage School's mission is to integrate the arts into a traditional academic curriculum. Professor Judith Burton, who envisioned and propelled the School into reality, saw the "Extended Day Program" as integrated with and flowing naturally from the regular school day curriculum and as a vehicle to involve the community in the life of the school. "The Extended Day, in particular, provides a door through which to bring the community and parents into the life of the school and a way for students to learn and connect with the community," Burton said.

The Heritage School principal, Susan Bartolone, explained why the Extended Day Program has become an important part of the school day. "For many students the Extended Day activities are a reason to come to school. It builds their self-esteem by giving them a chance to demonstrate skills in non-traditional ways."

Cathleen Kiebert-Gruen, a Teachers College doctoral student who wrote the 21st CCLC and TASC grants and is the Director for the Extended Day and Community Program, underscores Ms. Bartolone's assessment. "The Heritage School offers a unique model for an extended day program. Located inside of the newly renovated Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, which also houses the community arts organization, Taller Boricua (The Puerto Rican Workshop), our program serves students and families who live in the Harlem community and is participating in the current community renaissance in 'El Barrio,' the Latino section of East Harlem."

Art Lab/Photography example

During the Extended Day Program, Heritage students have the opportunity to work with professional visiting artists from Taller Boricua, a community arts organization that is also housed in the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center. Students also visit and work with artists in the art and photography studios at Teachers College Department of Art and Humanities, Columbia University.

Computer Lab

The Computer Lab teaches students to navigate a wide range of software applications and design their own "computer portfolios". Students in Computer Lab have created a CD-ROM about the School and the Heritage School's first Web site.

Video Production and Media Art Studies

The Video Production program offers students an opportunity to learn basic camera and editing techniques. Students write their own scripts, act as production crew, actors and interviewers for their own documentary and dramatic video productions.


Internships are available in cultural institutions and businesses around New York City and can provide students community service credit. Students have participated in internships at El Museo del Barrio, the International Center for Photography, Black Entertainment Network, Boys Harbor, Senator Goodman's Office, PAVE, TRUCE, and other community organizations.

Latin/Jazz Band

The Heritage School Latin/Jazz Band gave its first performances in the spring of 1999. With the acquisition of new instruments, students at Heritage are learning a variety of compositions and styles. The program provides a venue for students to perform on a regular basis and entertainment for Heritage School events. The Latin Jazz Band has also been invited to perform throughout the community.

Playwriting and Production

Students meet to learn about writing and performing original plays with the help of writers and actors from the Manhattan Theatre Club. The program is held in a beautifully renovated professional theater on the second floor of the Julia de Burgos Center.

Newspaper Club

The Newspaper Club is an Extended Day Program designed for students interested in developing writing, interviewing, and journalism skills. Students work together to create the School newspapers, the "Heritage Evolution" and "Heritage Hype," which serve as media for transmitting information, exchanging ideas, and publishing their work. It's an exciting opportunity for students to get a taste of what it is like to be a reporter and writer.

Study Skills

The Heritage School offers Study Skills during the Extended Day Program and on Saturdays throughout the school year. Enrichment classes in English and math, Regents and SAT preparation classes are provided. Support is available for every subject area.

Martial Arts and Dance

During the Extended Day Program, the Heritage School offers classes in the martial arts, which teaches students physical and mental discipline and enhances their sense of confidence and self-esteem. Several students at Heritage have won trophies in martial arts tournaments. The program also offers classes in dance that explore a variety of techniques and styles.

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