What Makes MCHR so unique?

Principal Molly Smith is dedicated to offering her students the “extras” that cannot be found at many other struggling inner-city schools. In addition to its academic excellence, MCHR stands apart for its commitment to the arts. Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School provides its students a variety of unique art programs including violin, percussion, & vocal music studies through Education Through Music. There is a Saturday violin program for advanced students through the organization, Ten O'clock Classics. Our honors violin ensemble has performed at the Four Seasons Restaurant, the University Club, & the Russian Tea Room. Due to the high caliber of the violin students, the school was invited to host famous musician Joshua Bell in December of 2006. For the second year in a row the 4th & 5th grade classes have been studying ballroom dance through the American Ballroom Theater’s Dancing Classrooms program. In 2006 the team advanced to the city wide semi-finals competition.

School Overview

Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School has become a beacon of hope for the African American & Latino communities of East Harlem, providing 267 students in pre-k through eighth grade with an effective & solid education.
Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School has almost closed twice in the last seven years because of declining enrollment. In 2004, an article published in the New York Times about the school’s perilous situation sparked the involvement of Frank Stanley whose financial support literally saved the school from closing.
Since the spring of 2004, the school has undergone a total revitalization. Principal Molly Smith has tirelessly worked to recruit quality teachers & foster a nurturing but academically rigorous school environment. The school enrollment has risen from about 180 students throughout the years to today’s total of 267, thanks to aggressive marketing efforts.
Seventy seven percent of Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School students qualify for federally funded free or reduced lunch. Parents struggle to pay the modest $2,900 tuition & the actual cost of educating each student is over $4,800. Run on a shoestring budget, outside support is necessary for the school to offer each of its students the best possible education.

Mt.Carmel-Holy Rosary School is located on Pleasant Avenue between 119th & 120th streets. Many students come from the neighboring public housing development, The Wagner Houses. Strong support from the neighborhood has been gratifying. The famous Rao's Restaurant, which is located merely four blocks from the school, has catered a special benefit dinner at the school for nine years. Last year's event raised over $280,000! Rao's partnership with Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary has served not only to secure generous donations but also as a catalyst to re-engage the community & alumni.

Recent Test Scores

​As of 2017, Mt. Carmel Holy-Rosary has dramatically improved each students achievement at every grade level. Marking 2017 their third straight year of gains in every New York State Exam.

  • ​58% of the students scored in the highest percentile for the ELA State Exam
  • 49% of the students scored in the highest percentile for the Math State Exam


  • ​267 Students in pre-k through eighth grade​(2017 - 2018 academic year)
  • Optimal Enrollment: 290
  • 2017-2018 Enrollment: 267
  • 77% of the students qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program
  • Ethnic Background:
    - ​48% African American
    - 45% Hispanic
    - 3% Two or more races
    - 2% Pacific Islander
    - 1% Asian
  • 206 Students receive needs based scholarships

About Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School

Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School

371 Pleasant Avenue

New York, NY 10034