Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

An Insideschools pick
1363 FULTON AVENUE
BRONX NY 10456 Map
Phone: (718) 992-7089
Website: Click here
Admissions: Bronx priority
Principal: EDWARD TOM
Neighborhood: South Bronx
District:9
Grade range: 9-12
Science & Math

Buses: BX11, BX15, BX17, BX21, BX35, BX41

What's special:

Culture of respect; high attendance and test scores

The downside:

Strict academic requirements are too much for some

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

A small, orderly school with high academic expectations and a culture of respect, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics has quickly become one of the top high schools in the Bronx. It accepts students with a range of abilities—including some with special education needs—and pushes to take demanding courses that prepare them well for college.

Founding principal Edward Tom, who taught math at Manhattan Center for Math and Science, wanted to replicate the success of that East Harlem school in in the neediest community in the Bronx—even though, unlike Manhattan Center, his school has no admissions requirements. “I want to compete in the top 1 percent of all schools.” With 84 percent of his students earning Regents diplomas—and 32 percent earning the more difficult Advanced Regents diplomas—the school appears to be well on its way.

The tone of the school is formal. Students must wear a blue blazer, tie and grey slacks or skirt (even in the summer when students swelter without air conditioning). On our visit, students were expected to shake our hands and introduce themselves. Students are encouraged to take four years of math and science; both Japanese and Spanish are offered. Standards are high. At most schools, 65 is considered a passing grade; at Bronx Center, it’s 80. Not all students make it to senior year: while there are more than 100 new 9th graders each year, by 12th grade there are only about 80 students in each class.  

The day of our visit, a 12th grade government class discussed a current article on Occupy Wall Street. “As a student, we don’t look at the news so much, so here we can know what’s going on,” commented one student. “I love this school.” Students in this class participate in a civic project, usually a street fair for the neighborhood. Overall, teaching was quite traditional, with students listening to the teacher talk rather than engaging in class discussion. “There needs to be a healthy balance between what they need to be successful in college,” explained Tom. “A lot of that is dry and clear-cut.” The school shares a building with Eximius College Preparatory Academy.

Over 50 percent of students take College Now classes at Lehman College or Advanced Placement courses. The Tucker Foundation funds students to attend a summer robotics program at Dartmouth each year. Three required courses (Assimilation, Personal Finance and College Knowledge) teach students practical life skills like writing a resume and filing taxes. In a College Knowledge course for seniors, all students apply to CUNY.

The school ranked third in the Bronx (after Bronx High School of Science and High School of American Studies) for “college readiness,” the Department of Education’s new measure of how many students get high enough scores on Regents exams to avoid remediation at CUNY.

College recruiters visit the school regularly. Two-thirds of graduates enrolled in a 2-year or 4-year college, according to the school Progress Report.

Many students say they value their relationships with staff. “They give you a lot of support,” said one student. “The only way you’re going to fail is if you let yourself down because they won’t let you fail.” But the rules are tough: if seniors fail more than two class marking periods or if they do not get their payment in on time, they cannot attend the prom. There was no prom in 2010 or 2011 because so few students met the requirements, causing lots of grumbling among students. (Tom plans to have a shared prom with Bronx Leadership Academy 1 and 2 in future years.)

Tuesdays through Thursdays students may attend a variety of activities afterschool, including tutoring, drama, set building and selected sports. In partnership with buildOn, 12 students raised over $70,000 and helped build a school in Mali. In another effort to keep students off the streets afterschool, Tom created a student co-op program where students get paid minimum wage to help with tutoring and as assistants afterschool for a few hours a week.

Special education: About 14 percent of students have IEPs. Most receive Regents diplomas—not the less demanding local diploma that many special needs children receive. Struggling readers have periods of Wilson Reading to catch them up.

Admissions: Limited Unscreened. Preference to students who attend open houses in October and November. (Aryn Bloodworth, October 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the X002 Building

Number of Students 461

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
67%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
83%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
4%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.20 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

23 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

69% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

94% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

27% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

92% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

91% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

87% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

45% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

95% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

3% 12% 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?

29%

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

23%

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

72%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

77% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

464
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

71%

SAT math scores

504
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?

85% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

30% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

80% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to Bronx students or residents
  4. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, United States History, World History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Japanese, Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Band, buildOn, Costume Design, Drama, Homework Help, Math Peer Tutoring, Modern Dance, National Honor Society/Arista, Salsa, School Leadership Team, School Spirit Team, Science Tutoring, Set Design, Soccer, Softball, Student Government, Technology, Yearbook, Yoga

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball

Other schools sports: Contact Steve Greenwald, Athletic Director, at 718-992-7089 for information regarding additional sports offerings.

Source: High school directory

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