Morris Educational Campus
Four small high schools are housed in Morris Educational Campus a castle-like structure with high ceilings, stained-glass windows, two gyms, a dance studio, and a beautiful auditorium.
Morris High School was the first high school in the Bronx, built in 1897. In the 1990s, the school fell into decline and the Department of Education decided to close it and replace it with small schools. Morris High School graduated its last class in 2004.
Morris Educational Campus is located in Morrisania, one of the poorest districts in the United States. Each school has its own floor and they share other spaces, including the gyms and the auditorium. Because they take turns in the cafeteria, students may eat as early as 10 a.m. or as late as 2 p.m., but this schedule rotates every year. Sports and ROTC are campus-wide, as is an award-winning Robotics team.
Attendance is below average at all four schools and safety outside the building is of some concern. Students pass through metal detectors. The atmosphere inside the building, however, is safe and orderly with lots of light and space.
Bronx International is open to students who have been in the United States for fewer than four years and who are not proficient in English. Academics are mixed with classes like guitar, art, drama, and Latin dance. Ninth and 10th graders are grouped together and have the same teachers for two years to help them improve their English.
Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies has a family-like atmosphere with caring teachers. Students can get extra help on Saturday and some participate in a mentoring program with professional adult volunteers.
At School for Violin and Dance, all students get four years of instruction in a string instrument and in dance. The majority of the students are girls, but a group of boys meet once a week and take monthly field trips.
School for Excellence has a partnership with the Metropolitan Opera, where kids learn history through opera and dance. Select students are trained in conflict resolution. (May 2012, Lydie Raschka)