A Second Chance

That’s the word I use all the time. They’re students and they’re kids, they’re children, they’re young. When I first went to Rikers, I had a whole different picture. [Then I realized], this is it? These are the most egregious kids in New York City? I just realized they were a lot like my own sons. They are teenagers. And everybody deserves a second chance.

District 79 in the News

District 79 is New York City's Alternative Schools District.

In District 79, we believe that ALL STUDENTS can achieve at high levels and succeed in college and careers. Guided by this belief, District 79 helps students under 21 years old who have experienced an interruption to their studies.

  • Stay

    Stay on track to earn a high school or high school equivalency diploma.

  • Build

    Build the skills to succeed in post-secondary opportunities including career and college.

  • Gain

    Gain the social-emotional skills necessary to become confident and productive members of society.


High school equivalency preparation blended with college/career readiness, programs for student parents, and programs that serve court involved youth.

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    Located in every borough, Referral Centers for High School Alternatives are one-stop guidance centers where high school aged students can be connected to academic options and wrap-around supports. Additional information on the programs and services described in this document can be obtained at any Referral Center. The contact information for each borough’s Referral Center is in the footer of this document.

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    Pathways to Graduation provides students aged 17-21 with free, Department of Education classes to prepare for a successful future, through earning their High School Equivalency Diploma. With 70 sites offering classes within community based organizations and in high schools, P2G provides preparation classes and wrap around services to ensure that students are prepared for life after their diploma.

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    The Living for the Young Family through Education (LYFE) program provides student parents with ongoing academic guidance and advocacy services and provides their children with a free high-quality early childhood education, aligned with New York State’s Early Learning Guidelines . The LYFE program makes it possible for student parents to stay on track toward graduating from high school or completing their HSE and transition into parenthood.

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    Co-Op Tech (School of Cooperative Technical Education) offers half-day career and technical training courses for students who are enrolled in academic courses in another Department of Education school or program including Pathways to Graduation and ReStart Academy.

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    Re-Start Academy provides educational services for 13–21 year old students in temporary involuntary settings, including juvenile justice, substance abuse treatment, mental/behavioral health treatment, hospitals, social services agencies, and other transitional settings. ReStart Academy has locations throughout the city and two residential sites in upstate New York where students can continue on the path to academic success.

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    Passages Academy serves students 15 years old and younger who are incarcerated in secure and non-secure detention and placement facilities.

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    East River Academy serves students who are incarcerated on Rikers Island ages 16-21.

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    Court Liaisons give help to students 21 years old and younger who are incarcerated in secure and non-secure detention and placement facilities.

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    Earn your high school diploma while learning a trade at Judith S. Kaye high school located at the CO-OP Tech Campus with accelerated credit opportunities, paid internships, smaller clasroom setting, learn to work program, and highly supportive learning environment.

District 79 Calendar

This calendar is a merger of the NYC Department of Education main calendar and the District 79 calendar. Some of the DOE events may not apply to our district.

  • Academic Resources

    Access these important resources that we use in delivery of high-quality instruction.

  • NYC Department of Education

    4360 Broadway, 4th Floor

    New York, NY 10033


  • Tim Lisante, Ph D.

    District Superintendent


    on Twitter @d79supt

  • Robert Zweig

    Deputy Superintendent


  • Nick Marinacci

    Youth Justice & Treatment


  • Stacey Oliger

    Family & Community Engagement


  • D79 YouthHelp Line