Fordham High School for the Arts

500 EAST FORDHAM ROAD
BRONX NY 10458 Map
Phone: (718) 733-4656
Website: Click here
Admissions: Audition
Wheelchair accessible
selective
Principal: IRIS BLIGE
Neighborhood: Fordham
District: 10
Grade range: 09 thru 12

Buses: BX1, BX12, BX12-SBS, BX15, BX17, BX19, BX22, BX28, BX34, BX41, BX55, BX9

What's special:

Some students compose jazz with teachers from Carnegie Hall.

The downside:

Friction between principal and teachers.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Modeled on Talent Unlimited, a Manhattan high school for the performing arts, Fordham High School for the Arts strives to give students a foundation in dance, drama, vocal music, instrumental music, and studio art. It is one of six schools housed in Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus.

Students seem happy: Most students say they feel safe and their teachers inspire them to learn, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Dance students performed a hip hop version of the Nutcracker. Drama students memorized monologues by playwright August Wilson for a competition. Instrumental students compose their own jazz numbers and perform them at Lehman College with teachers from Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School. [See video at left.]

The school’s suspension rate, which was high a few years ago, has steadily declined and its attendance rate has increased in recent years. More girls than boys attend, but the ratio of 60% female and 40% male is less lopsided than many performing arts schools.

Most students enter 9th grade with reading scores that are well below grade level. The school does a good job ensuring that most graduate on time. However, few graduates are prepared for college-level work, according to the city’s Progress Report for the school.

The school has long had a high rate of teacher turnover and there has been considerable friction between the faculty and the administration. Nearly 60% of teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey said they do not trust the principal, Iris Blige, and more than 40% said she is a poor manager. The United Federation of Teachers picketed the school in 2009, complaining that Blige consistently berated teachers and yelled at students. In 2011, the Department of Education fined her $7,500 for not following protocol in her teacher evaluations. News accounts said she had a “hit list” of staff she wanted to target and instructed assistant principals to give teachers unsatisfactory ratings without observing them, as required by the contract.

Blige declined Insideschools’ request to visit the school. The report was compiled from Department of Education data and news reports.

Special education: The school offers "self-contained" classes for students with special needs as well as SETSS or special education teacher support services.

Admissions: Students are admitted by audition. (Clara Hemphill, March 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus

Number of Students 407

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
34%

Hispanic

  
62%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
89%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.80 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

23 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

71% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

47% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

91% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

94% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

19% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

85% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

90% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

76% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

84% 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?

4%

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

29%

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

23%

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?

20% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

394
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

54%

SAT math scores

395
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?

79% 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?

41% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

53% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

47% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

94% 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
  2. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Fordham High School for the Arts

Audition

Academics

AP COURCES: Calculus AB, English Literature and Composition

Online: Calculus AB, English Literature and Composition

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Cheerleading, Chess, Dance, Dance Team, Dramatic Arts, Instrumental Music, Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC), Regents Academy, Small group Tutoring, Student Government, Student Leadership, Upward Bound, Visual Arts, Vocal.

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

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Softball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Basketball, Swimming and Lifeguard Training, Weight Training

Source: High school directory

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