High School for Violin and Dance

1110 BOSTON ROAD
BRONX NY 10456 Map
Phone: (718) 842-0687
Website: Click here
Admissions: Bronx priority
Principal: Franklin Sim
Neighborhood: South Bronx
District: 9
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Sarita Borrero
Performing Arts
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: Bx13, Bx15, Bx17, Bx21, Bx35, Bx4, Bx41, Bx4A, Bx6

What's special:

Four years of group instruction on a string instrument and in dance.

The downside:

Attendance is below average.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The senior orchestra at the High School for Violin and Dance played a piece by composer George Friderich Handel. "I'm proud," said Catherine Plichta, an energetic teacher who has expanded the school's string program to include basses, cellos and violas. She and her students should be proud: unlike most high schools with string programs, these students don't take private lessons and they had never played a string instrument before 9th grade.

The other special feature of this school is dance, which, like music, has two teachers and meets four days a week. Teens learn modern, jazz, tap, ballet and choreography. They dance in the Puerto Rican Day Parade and showcase their work at two big concerts a year. Everyone is required to take dance and learn an instrument the first year and then they may switch to visual arts or fitness – but most stay with dance and strings.

Franklin Sim became principal in March 2011 after serving as assistant principal for many years. Before that, he taught math at Chelsea Vocational High School. He said research shows music and movement are good for the brain. "A large part of our budget is for instrumental repairs and concerts, because we believe in the arts," he said.

As for academics, there are attempts to provide extra challenges as well as help for those who need it most. Adult volunteers work with the lowest-scoring third. Some 9th graders are mixed in with 10th graders in math classes and in 11th grade U.S. History, students are grouped according to ability at tables. "Study jams," PM school and Saturday school are other times kids may seek help.

A guidance counselor coordinates college visits and applications and some students take college classes. On Wednesdays, the faculty all wear college t-shirts. ("We're big on school spirit," Sim said, mentioning a pancake breakfast, a burrito meal and pajama day.). About one-third of the students who graduate enroll in two- or four-year colleges upon leaving the school.

Four small schools share the Morris Educational Campus, and students pass through metal detectors. Violin and Dance shares one of the two gyms with the School for Excellence. The other two schools are Bronx International and Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies.

In recent years attendance has risen above 80%, which is not great, but is as high as any of the schools in the building have achieved. However, at the time of our visit it was 79 percent, below average, despite incentives, phone calls and home visits. On the bright side, the school steadily gets "A" ratings on report cards from the city.

The majority of the students are girls. A boys' program meets once a week and every month the boys go bowling, see a Broadway show or visit a martial arts studio, among other trips.

Half the teachers reported that order and discipline could be better on the Learning Environment Survey, but most students said they felt safe in the hallways and bathrooms. In addition to weekly advisory groups, there are assistant principals and three deans to help out at this small school.

Special education: Special needs students work in general education classes with two teachers, one of whom in trained in special education.

Admissions: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session. (April 2012, Lydie Raschka)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Morris Educational Campus

Number of Students 378

Average Daily Attendance 78%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
0%

Black

  
36%

Hispanic

  
63%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
92%

Special ed

  
27%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.13 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

26 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

NA 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

NA 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

NA 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

58% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

62% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

74% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

49% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

2% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

78% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

13% 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?

0%

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

9%

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

0%

Are students ready for college?

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

3% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

368
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

358
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?

NA 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

36% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

56% 54% 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?

59% 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. 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

Violin and Dance

Limited Unscreened

Students take 55-minute group lessons in violin and dance three to five times a week; in dance, students learn the fundamental positions and movements of classical and modern dance; in violin, students learn the foundations of music, theory, and technique

Academics

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), Character Education Leadership Program, College Summit, Community Service, National Honor Society, PM School, Saturday School, Student Council, Study Jams; Clubs vary each year according to student interest.

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Softball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Morris Educational Campus Basketball and Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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