Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers

411 PEARL STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10038 Map
Phone: (212) 964-9610
Website: Click here
Admissions: Educational option; selective program
Principal: Naima Cook
Neighborhood: Financial District
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Mariella Rueda
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Science & Math
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: M103, M15, M22, M5, M9

What's special:

Industry internships, students make take Syracuse University courses

The downside:

Low graduation rate, building has few windows

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers delivers on its theme: Students may run a mock business or take classes in accounting, financial literacy, real estate law and marketing. Top students may take college classes certified by Syracuse University and graduate with up to 30 college credits.

A special program organized by the NYPD works with students who want to become police officers.

Once very overcrowded and at risk of being closed because of poor performance, Bergtraum is poised for a reset. The school’s graduation and college enrollment rates still lag behind the citywide average, but new leadership and increased support for students with special needs bring new energy and a sense of calm to the school.

Naima Cook, a former special education teacher at Bronx Lab, took over as principal in August 2014. The previous two principals lasted only two years each and were not popular with teachers, according to annual surveys.

Partnerships with accounting, consulting and other firms provide students with mentoring, tutoring and internships. In the VE (Virtual Enterprises) program, students perform all tasks related to running a mock business and participate in local and national VE competitions. Through a program with The Financial Women’s Association, some girls are matched with a mentor from the business sector to get support with academics and exposure to career options.

Freshmen take two periods of English daily—one dedicated to reading and the other focused on writing. Living environment is also taught over two periods. Freshmen taking pre-algebra get double periods of math instruction. After 9th grade, students join one of three themed learning communities—business, law or technology—that they stick with through graduation.

Teachers incorporate group work and projects. In an English class, students used free writing and discussions with their peers to better understand topics of study. Students in a living environment class worked together to understand Darwin’s theory of "descent with modification," the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring.

SUPA (the Syracuse University Project Advance Academy), a selective program, offers advanced work and the opportunity to graduate with up to 30 college credits by taking courses certified by Syracuse University, AP (Advanced Placement) classes, and College Now courses at Borough of Manhattan or LaGuardia Community Colleges. In the SUPA classes we visited we saw lots of challenging work. For instance, sophomores read The Iliad in English class; in a required research class, they tackle weighty topics of their choosing, such as the impact of frequent relocations on children. SUPA students attend an early morning math class in addition to their regularly scheduled one to ensure they complete algebra 2/trigonometry early on in high school.

While students are mainly admitted to SUPA through the high school admissions process, Cook said she has opened up the program to a few strong 9th-graders initially enrolled in the school’s 9th-grade academy, and she would like to expand enrollment even further.

Foreign language instruction is offered in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Students may also learn American Sign Language taught by a teacher in an onsite inclusion program for hearing-impaired students. AP and College Now classes are open to all qualifying students.

Classes are offered in visual arts, music and dance.

Students interested in law can join the moot court or mock trial teams. Student government, gay-straight alliance, robotics and SAT prep are among the selection of clubs and after-school activities.

Bergtraum is housed in a fortress-like brick building with few windows, adjacent to NYPD headquarters. It shares the facilities with three other small high schools: Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, which opened in 2013,  Manhattan Early College for Advertising and the Urban Assembly Maker Academy, which opened in 2014.

There are building-wide PSAL teams including the girls' basketball team, which won 15 consecutive city championships before losing to Frances Lewis in 2014.  

There’s a full-time college counselor on staff as well as a part-time advisor funded by the Harlem Children’s Zone.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are a range of services and supports, including SETSS, self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, as well as adaptive physical education. Cook hired additional special education teachers to ensure students received needed services after the previous principal was investigated by the state for failing to provide special education students with required supports. An onsite program run by District 75 integrates hearing-impaired students into Bergtraum’s classes.

ADMISSIONS: Students are admitted to the 9th-grade academy based on the educational option formula that is designed to ensure a mix of low, average and high achieving students. The selective SUPA program accepts students based on test scores, grades, an interview and writing sample. (Laura Zingmond, March 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Murry Bergtraum Educational Campus

Number of Students 971

Average Daily Attendance 68%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
9%

Black

  
46%

Hispanic

  
41%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
71%

Special ed

  
21%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.29 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

30 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

44% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

26% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

63% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

21% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

60% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

51% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

70% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

51% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

3% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

72% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

11% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

5%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

25%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

7%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

14% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

404
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

54% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

415
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

67% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

19% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

24% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

66% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

75% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

The Ninth Grade Academy

Ed. Opt.

Program features Town Hall meetings and goal setting sessions where students develop strategies to meet success and transition into one of the three Small Learning Communities (Emerging Technologies Institute, The Institute of Justice, Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies) in tenth grade.

Syracuse University Project Advance Academy

Screened

Students will focus on math and science, and will work with university faculty to develop research skills. Students will be considered for summer college programs at several universities, including Syracuse University. Academy students will be mentored by consultants from Deloitte Consulting, one of our corporate partners, in their four-year technology/college readiness initiative. Please note that all students will be in uniform.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Academics

AP COURSES: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language and Culture, United States History

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Alumni Mentoring Program, Conflict Resolution, Explorers Post 521, Fresh Start Mentoring for 9th graders, Honor Society for Young Men of Color, Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team, Math Team, Mock Trial, Moot Court, National Honor Society, Principal's Council, Senior Council, Student Government, Virtual Enterprise Competition

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball & JV Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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