Bard High School Early College

An Insideschools pick
525 EAST HOUSTON STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Phone: (212) 995-8479
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide, selective
Principal: MICHAEL LERNER
Neighborhood: Lower East Side/ Chinatown
District: 1
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Kristi Powell
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible
Screened
Citywide

Buses: M14A, M14D, M21, M22, M9

What's special:

High school and two years of college in four years

The downside:

Extremely fast pace of academics is not for everyone

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Bard High School Early College offers small class size, excellent teaching, and the promise of two years of college credit for free. The demanding, fast-paced curriculum has attracted some of the city's best students. Students complete their high school requirements in two years and then embark on college work. After four years, they receive both a Regents diploma and an associate's degree.

Most of the teachers have PhDs, and classes are organized as college seminars, with lots of opportunities for give and take between the teachers and students. Faculty members are both experts in their field and passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students. Students, too, are passionate about their studies, and may be heard talking about Kant or Machiavelli on the M14 bus that runs near the school. (The nearest subway is a 20-minute walk.)

Bard College contributes more than one-quarter of the school’s budget, enabling it to offer a wider array of courses than other public high schools its size. Course titles include Heidegger, Globalization and Politics, Game Theory, Neurobiology and Biological Statistics. Chinese, Latin and Spanish are offered. Class size is typically 23 or 24. Faculty teach four classes (rather than the typical five), leaving them more time to help students revise their papers. Far more writing is expected of Bard students than of typical high school students, Students can expect three hours of homework, and some students say they regularly work for four or five hours daily.

The pace is too much for some, and about 15 students in each class leave at the end of 10th grade for alternative schools such as Urban Academy and City-As-School. As many as 50 students in the school are on academic probation at any given time because their averages are C- or below.  The administration acknowledges that student attrition is a significant problem. “We’re troubled by that and we are working hard to address it,” said Michael Lerner, a history professor who became principal in 2010. Faculty members now give struggling students extra help in small groups, often in the library. In addition, the school has hired a learning specialist, as their special education teacher is called.

Bard is housed in a pleasant, red brick building constructed as an elementary school in 1915. It has high ceilings, huge windows with views of the East River, and sunny, if spare and basic classrooms equipped with wood-trimmed blackboards and oak cabinets. School begins at the civilized hour of 9 a.m. Students come from all five boroughs. There is a nice mix of students from different races and income levels. About two-thirds of the students are girls.

There is no gym. Students play sports in an adjacent park or at Chelsea Piers. Teams include basketball, tennis, and soccer. Students may play ultimate Frisbee, join the STEP team, or play an improvised game called Bard Ball, but it’s not a school that’s known for its athletics.

Special education: Only a handful of students receive special education services, including counseling, speech, occupational therapy and other services. In addition, about 20 students receive 504 accommodations, such as extra time on tests. The school hired a learning specialist in 2010 to work

College admissions: Bard’s college office gives far more individual attention than is typical in larger New York City public schools. Each counselor serves only 20 students. "We have the time to write really good letters," said Beth Cheikes director of what is called the college transfer office (because the students are already in college.) In 2011, 10 graduates were admitted to Reed College, seven to Swarthmore, three to Middlebury and 27 to Binghamton. Four students were awarded Posse scholarships to Brandeis and Colby. Students have also been admitted to Yale, Brown, Penn State, Haverford, Wesleyan, and the University of Chicago, as well as SUNY and CUNY schools. CUNY and SUNY accept full two years of college credit, allowing students to enter as juniors. Some private colleges (including Bard College) accept the full two years, others accept less than one semester.

Admissions: Students who have grades of 85 or above in their core academic subjects and score Level 3 or 4 on standardized tests may take Bard's entrance exam, which includes math questions and an essay.  Evening open houses are held in the fall and spring. About 3,000 students take the test and 800 are called for interviews for 155 seats. (Clara Hemphill, May 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 560

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
16%

Black

  
14%

Hispanic

  
19%

White

  
48%

Free Lunch

  
28%

Special ed

  
1%

English Language Learners

  
0%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.80 2.80 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

21 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

78% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

79% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

98% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

96% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

11% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

98% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

98% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

97% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

99% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

1% 11% 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?

1%

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

99%

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

79%

Are students ready for college?

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

94% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

632
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 62% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

621
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

83% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

95% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Early College

Screened

Selection Criteria

  • English (85-100) , Math (85-100) , Science (85-100) , Social Studies (85-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 3-4

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

Academics

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Bard Bulletin online newspaper, Bardvark student newspaper, Art Magazine, Asian Culture, BHSEC Connect, BHSEC Literary Magazine, BHSEC Student Activist Network, BHSEC Student's Union, Book, Break Dance, CAFE performances, Chinese Language and Culture, Current Events, Debate, ECO, Film, Future Doctors and Scientists of America (FDSA), Karaoke, Literary Magazine, MAC (Making A Change), Mock Trial, Model UN, Muslim Students Association, Philosophy, Step Team, Swim, Table Tennis, Theater Production, Winter and Spring Concerts, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Tennis

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee

Source: High school directory

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