Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers

411 PEARL STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10038 Map
Phone: (212) 964-9610
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option
Principal: Naima Cook
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan
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:

Hands-on business experience; topnotch girls basketball team

The downside:

Discipline is a problem; rapid turnover in leadership; declining enrollment

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Founded in 1975 as one of the first city high schools with a business theme, Murry Bergtraum for decades has offered its students hands-on experience in running a school store and mock businesses, and mentors from successful downtown firms from its prime location across the street from City Hall.  Bergtraum attracts students from all five boroughs for its business courses, college and university connections and its championship girls basketball team. But beginning a decade ago, Bergtraum began suffering from overcrowding, discipline problems and a turnover in leadership that led to declining attendance and graduation rate, making it a target for possible closure during the Bloomberg years.

When the city closed many large neighborhood schools in the early 2000's, Bergtraum got an influx of students, many of whom were low performing abd not interested in the business theme. The building couldn't comfortably accommodate all the students, discipline suffered and Bergtraum landed on the state's list of most dangerous schools in 2009. 

Two principals brought in to turn the school around lasted only two years each and were not popular with teachers, according to annual surveys. Under the leadership of Andrea Lewis, who came in 2010, students rioted when she attempted to limit bathroom. Lottie Almonte, principal from 2012-2014, was investigated by the state which found that special education students were not receiving needed services.  Hallways were out of control, according to some teachers. In August 2014, Naima Cook became principal. She was formerly a special education teacher at Bronx Lab.

Students say they feel unsafe at the school, according to school surveys. Only half the students in the class of 2014 graduated on time; 60 percent of students are chronically absent, meaning they missed ten or more days of school.

There are some pockets of excellence. A prospective parent praised the selective program with Syracuse University—alma mater for the current principal—called SUPA. In it, a small group of 9th graders focus on math and science, work with university faculty and may enter summer programs on college campuses, including Syracuse. Partnerships with accounting, consulting and other firms provide students with mentoring, tutoring and internships. And then there is the sports program, particularly the girls' basketball team: it won 15 consecutive city championships before losing to Frances Lewis in 2014. Longtime successful coach Ed Grezinsky resigned in October 2014.

Bergtraum remains a big school despite the drop in enrollment: 3,000 students were enrolled in 2006 as compared to only 1,500 in 2014. Students enter a Ninth Grade Academy to help them get accustomed to high school, and then join one of the three smaller programs in the school.

The building now houses three other small schools: Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, which opened in 2013, and Manhattan Early College for Advertising and the Urban Assembly Maker Academy which opened in 2014. Some Bergtraum students have lunch as early as 9:30 am in the shared building. Students from any school in the building may join Bergtraum teams.

Special education: In addition to co-teaching and self-contained classes, the school accommodates wheelchairs in regular classrooms and provides aides for deaf and hearing-impaired students. An adaptive physical education class and physical/occupational therapy room are available for handicapped students.

Admissions: Students are admitted to the Ninth Grade Academy based on the ed opt formula, designed to admit a range of students, but there were only 335 applicants for 220 seats in 2014. The selective SOFA program accepts 30 students based on test scores, grades, interview and writing sample. (Pamela Wheaton, web reports December 2014.)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Murry Bergtraum Educational Campus

Number of Students 1466

Average Daily Attendance 78%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
10%

Black

  
44%

Hispanic

  
42%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
71%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
12%

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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