Pelham Preparatory Academy

925 ASTOR AVENUE
BRONX NY 10469 Map
Phone: (718) 944-3601
Website: Click here
Admissions: unscreened, Bronx priority
Principal: Carlos Santiago
Neighborhood: Baychester
District: 11
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Theresa Garcia
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx26, Bx39, Bx8

What's special:

Close-knit community; partnerships with Lehman College and University of Vermont.

The downside:

Limited course offerings; metal detectors.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Pelham Preparatory Academy, a small school housed in the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus, provides students with a close-knit community and good advice on college. Starting in 9th grade students write drafts of college application essays and tour college campuses.   Students may take courses for free at Lehman College, which also sponsors SAT prep classes for older students and a summer bridge program for incoming 9th graders. Though many students arrive ill-prepared for high school, over 90 percent graduate in four years, which is well above the citywide rate.

Founded in 2002 as a program within Columbus High School, Pelham Prep became a full-fledged school within a few years. Principal Carlos Santiago took the helm in October, 2011 and has worked at Pelham Prep since 2003 as a Spanish teacher and assistant principal.

The school does a good job of creating a supportive environment. Classrooms are clustered together by grade, which means most students spend a good portion of their day in one section of the school’s home on the fourth floor. Students are encouraged to stick around after their last class. If they don’t have an activity scheduled, they may hang out in the Student Union, a classroom set aside for students to socialize, do homework and get extra help.

One student who transferred from the larger school in the building, Columbus High School, said he was much happier at Pelham Prep “They make an effort to help students,” he said. That sentiment was reflected in the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey. A majority of students who responded said that they felt safe in their school, got extra help when needed, and were inspired to learn by their teachers. In the same survey, teachers gave high marks to Santiago.

Instruction is pretty traditional, with students sitting in rows and teachers leading the lesson. For instance, in a 10th grade English class we observed, the teacher read aloud from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, pausing at regular intervals to pose questions to the students, who all appeared to be paying attention.    

Course offerings are limited. Advanced Placement (AP) offerings vary from year-to-year, but typically include AP English, Calculus and Spanish. Some are open to students in other schools in the building. Electives also vary year-to-year, but typically include journalism, technology and a marine biology class that covers college-level work, but not for college credit. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.

For variety, students participate in a range of extra-curricular activities including student leadership art, the school newspaper, chess, and culinary arts. There are also PSAL sports teams and five orchestras open to students in all campus schools.

All schools in the building share the cafeteria, library, gymnasiums, auditorium and culinary arts room.   Everyone entering the building must pass through metal detectors.

College admissions: Graduates have won scholarships to Bard, Skidmore, Syracuse, the University of Vermont and the University of Tampa. The University of Vermont sponsors student trips to its campus and helps seniors prepare for college interviews and complete applications.  

Special education: The school has self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) class. There is a small population of roughly 15 English language learners who receive extra support from an English as a second language teacher.

Admissions: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, June 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Christopher Columbus Educational Campus

Number of Students 480

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
40%

Hispanic

  
48%

White

  
7%

Free Lunch

  
69%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.42 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

25 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

52% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

85% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

77% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

88% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

21% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

95% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

94% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

90% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

15% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

93% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

0% 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?

9%

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?

15%

Are students ready for college?

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

50% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

427
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

87% 62% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

420
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% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

100% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

86% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

92% 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. 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

Pelham Preparatory Academy

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, Physics B, Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Literature and Culture, United States Government and Politics, United States History

Online: Environmental Science

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: The Challenge (academic competition sponsored by Cablevision), Art, ASPIRA, Beginner's Band, CFES Leadership Class, Chess, College and SAT Preparation, Computer, Dance, Drama, Drama Workshop, Introduction to Computers, Mentoring Program, National Honor Society, Panther Press Journalism, Peer Tutoring, PEP & Latin Jazz Band, Pep Band, Poetry, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (National Spanish Honor Society), Student Council, Student Union, Web Design

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Football & JV Football, Golf, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball & JV Volleyball

Other schools sports: Step and Dance Teams, Cheerleading

Source: High school directory

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