Bedford Academy High School

An Insideschools pick
1119 BEDFORD AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11216 Map
Phone: (718) 398-3061
Website: Click here
Admissions: Screened; priority to District 13
Principal: Adofo Muhammad
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant
District: 13
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Pamela Tate
Health Professions
Computer Science & Technology
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: B25, B26, B38, B43, B44, B44-SBS, B48, B49, B52

What's special:

High academic expectations and support, committed staff

The downside:

Building is too small

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

College flags are the first things one sees when entering Bedford Academy, and they set the tone for the academically demanding, tight-knit school community. The building is spotless, and it's clear from the smiles and greetings that staff members—from the principal to the safety agent—know every student.

Staff and students work hard. Most students attend after-school tutoring four days a week, and they are expected to come to school for two hours on Saturdays. "We have to kick them out sometimes," said longtime parent coordinator Pamela Tate. Students told us that there is a lot of competition. Teachers work long hours too, often staying into the evening. "You think you've given your all," said one teacher, "and then you give a little more." "Teachers care a lot," said one student. Another added, "Teachers care too much."

The toughness is matched with a sense of family and responsibility. "If you're not prepared, then we've failed, and we're not in the business of failure," said Principal Adofo Muhammad, previously a teacher and assistant principal at Benjamin Banneker Academy and principal of JHS 258 and IS 143 before coming to Bedford in 2011. Students sit in his office during their lunch period to catch up on their studies. He teaches three classes, including a leadership class for male students whom he describes as "at-promise," not "at-risk." "We want them to be critical thinkers and leaders," Muhammad said.

Freshmen start in July with an intensive English, math and living environment preparation course. Students take most Regents exams in 9th grade. All students are expected to receive advanced Regents diplomas, and about half do within four years, well above the city average. The school offers nine AP courses, and all students must take four years of science and math. Electives include classes like black studies and sociology.

The small size of the building creates a challenge for programming—about 40 percent of students on the school survey said there weren't enough activities and classes to keep them interested. The school has some clubs (such as chess, newspaper and yearbook committee), but students told us they would like more. "We have never been that school. Our focus is college preparedness," said Steve Burrell, a guidance counselor, who handles college admissions.

Every student must apply to one city school, a state school and a private college. Students have been admitted to elite schools such as Harvard, Brown, Barnard and Cornell. Penn State is a favorite, and many attend Wells College, Bapson, Howard, Hampton, Spelman, Lincoln or Delaware State.

The parent coordinator, who hugs and greets most students by name, is described as the "glue" that helps parents stay connected to the school. A member of the founding team, she acts as nurse, counselor and community liaison. Parents are very involved. They can access their kids' homework assignments and quiz scores online, and often exchange cell phone numbers with the staff. "The parents are on it," said one teacher.

Students may play sports and participate in clubs only if they have an average above 80. One basketball player said it was hard to maintain this average with training after school and on weekends. When we visited in 2011, a star basketball player whose grades dropped three points below the mandatory cut-off had been benched during the semi-finals in 2011 and watched his team fall three points shy of the title. "He didn't take care of his business, so he didn't play," said Robert Phelps, who is both coach and dean. "We didn't have that problem with him the next year."

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There is one special education teacher who provides SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services), mainly supporting students in class.

ADMISSIONS: Screened, with priority to students who live in District 13, and then Brooklyn. Students apply to one of two programs—technology and health professions. They must score at least a 2 on state ELA and math exams and have an average of 75 for the technology program and 80 for health professions. Exceptions are made, however, and family commitment to the school's rigorous demands is very important, the principal said. Interviews are also considered. In 2015 there were more than 5,000 applications for 89 seats. (Meredith Kolodner, April 2012; updated by Ella Colley, April 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 364

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
85%

Hispanic

  
7%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
60%

Special ed

  
12%

English Language Learners

  
1%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.73 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

24 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

65% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

94% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

17% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

98% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

98% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

94% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

49% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

99% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

1% 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?

15%

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?

68%

Are students ready for college?

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

70% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

461
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

86% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

490
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?

89% 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 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 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?

100% 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 District 13 students or residents
  2. Then to Brooklyn students or residents
  3. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Technology

Screened

Courses in fundamental and advanced technology; opportunities for our students to work with and learn from school partners in education and specialists in the field.

Selection Criteria

  • English (75-100) , Math (75-100) , Science (75-100) , Social Studies (75-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

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

Health Professions

Screened

Introduction to health professions; in addition to required and advanced courses, students have opportunities to work and learn in state-of-the-art labs and facilities.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

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

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, Music Theory, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, United States History, World History

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Bedford Gazette School Newspaper, Art, Debate Team, Drama, National Honor Society, Speech and Debate, Student Government Council, YMCA Youth and Government

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Outdoor Track

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Cross Country, Indoor Track

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

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