Applying for admission to Cascades High School is easy!
Applications are accepted throughout the school year and admission is currently OPEN. 

HOWEVER, we are very full and can only accept students if we have availability in the classes they need.

Check out a virtual open house by reviewing this slide presentation and video.

You can fill out the application online by clicking here.

Contact the school with any questions or concerns.

Hello Students, Parents, Administrators, Guidance Counselors and Parent Coordinators! My name is Claire Sheehan and I am the principal of Cascades High School (01M650), a small transfer school located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. After working in Baltimore and Washington D.C., I came to Cascades in 2008, working as a history teacher before moving into administration in 2016. I say this to let you know that Cascades is extremely important to me and I treat every student who walks through these doors as if they were my own. Cascades is very much a family – and we are looking for new family members.

Cascades is a small school that offers significant academic and social-emotional supports to students to help them re-engage with school and graduate as quickly as possible. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and transfer for a variety of reasons. Most students are looking to get a fresh start, others are interested in programs we offer (such as paid internships and certification programs), while some want an environment where the staff knows them well and can support them as they navigate all the challenges that come with being a young adult today. Students are often shocked to find themselves in a school where the principal knows each and every one of them and is personally invested in their success beyond high school graduation.

Cascades operates on a semester basis and we have modified our daily schedule to allow students to earn eight credits in a regular school day – sixteen credits in a year. We have an extensive on-line after-school program, allowing students to earn even more credits while they work through coursework on their own schedule, with teacher support provided in-person and virtually. While students are required to attend school in-person, all teachers utilize Google Classroom to post assignments and supports so students don’t have to fall behind if they miss school. We also offer Saturday programming and Regents review to make sure students have all of the support they need to meet graduation requirements.

We are fortunate to partner with community-based organization Camba. Camba provides an Advocate Counselor for every student, which is another adult to help support them in all aspects of their development. Camba offers 1:1 post-secondary planning and is consistently running college and career workshops so students know of all the programs available to them after graduation – many of which provide paid training opportunities. Camba also runs the Learn to Work program, providing students with paid work experiences that won’t interfere with their school schedules. They also have a full-time social worker on staff so we have two social workers in the building to support students and their families. Additionally, they run our food pantry, open to all students and their families.

Looking for fun? Cascades is a fun place to be. We offer lots of incentive programs, rewarding students for academics, citizenship and engagement. This includes trips (such as Six Flags and Washington D.C.), movie tickets, and catered luncheons. Students can develop their leadership skills through Student Government, working closely with teachers and administration to improve the student experience. Our Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is very active and works to ensure an inclusive environment for all students. Young Men, Real Talk and Girls Group (both open to all students, regardless of their gender identity) allow students to engage in conversations and team building activities. We offer music through a partnership with Third Street Music School. For sports, we offer PSAL Boys Basketball (students interested in other teams are eligible to join teams of other schools).

Cascades is located at 198 Forsyth Street, close to many train lines (see below), making it accessible to students from around the city. We have students from all boroughs who come to Cascades because they know it is an environment where they will be safe and feel welcomed. We have a growing restorative justice program to help students address and work through conflict. We strive to make sure that Cascades is a peaceful place and a refuge from the violence on our streets, so we do have a Zero Tolerance policy for violence.

If you want to hear about the Cascades experience from former students, please check out the testimonial video on our website, We are also active on Instagram (@cascadeshighschool) and Facebook (@Cascades High School NYC).

All application information can be found on our website, but you can also reach out to me ( for additional information. I am always happy to speak with any school staff, parents, caseworkers or students to see if Cascades is the right place for them. We do not accept first time 9th graders (you need to have started high school elsewhere) and accept students aged 16-21. There are no minimum credit/exam requirements to enroll. We hope to hear from you soon!


Claire Sheehan


Traveling by train? Here are the nearby stations:

  • 2 nd Ave/Lower East Side on the F Train (closest)
  • Broadway/Lafayette on the B/D/F/M Trains
  • Bleecker Street on the 6 Train • Bowery Street on the J Train
  • Delancey St/Essex St on the F/J/M Trains
  • Grand Street on the B/D Trains Traveling by bus? Here are the nearby stops:
  • Allen/Stanton Street on the M15
  • E Houston St/1st Ave on the M21