Bedford Academy High School

An Insideschools pick
1119 BEDFORD AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11216 Map
Phone: (718) 398-3061
Website: Click here
Admissions: Priority to Central Brooklyn
Principal: Adofo Muhammad
Neighborhood: Prospect Heights
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 you see when you enter 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 'good mornings' that the staff – from the principal to the safety agent – knows every student.

Staff and students work hard. Students are assigned to after-school tutoring twice a week in classes where they are struggling, and they are expected to come to school for two hours on Saturday. 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."

Parents are also very involved. They can access their kids' homework assignments and quiz scores on line, and often exchange cell phone numbers with the staff. "The parents are on it," said one teacher.

Parent coordinator Pamela Tate, 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.

The atmosphere inside the welcoming building is relaxed as students study in the halls, but discipline is tight. Cutting class can get you a three-day suspension. A star basketball player whose grades dropped three points below the mandatory 80 average was 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."

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, who moved from teacher to assistant principal at Benjamin Banneker and then was 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 who he describes as "at-promise," not at-risk. "We want them to be critical thinkers and leaders," Muhammad said.

The small size of the building creates a challenge for programming – about half the students on the Learning Environment Survey said there weren't enough activities and classes to keep them interested. Still, there are nine AP courses and a 10th planned for 2012, and all students must take four years of science and math.

The school requires uniforms, although seniors we saw were mostly dressed in street clothes. Some kids bristle at the strict demands – 40% on the Learning Environment Survey said adults yell all or most of the time and that the discipline wasn't fair. But staff members say they are pushing hard against an atmosphere outside the building where "anything goes" and where students can easily lose their way. "If you don't have the tenacity and drive to learn," said one student, "you will get it when you come here."

After school: Tutoring, school newspaper, debate and art. Sports teams include basketball, volleyball and track.

Special education: There is one special education teacher who comes into the classrooms to provide services.

College admissions: A guidance counselor 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 Indiana Tech, Temple, Howard University, Sienna and Stonybrook. Some go to top CUNY schools, but many students prefer to leave the city, the principal said.

Admissions: Priority is given to students who live in district 13. 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 2010 there were more than 3,800 applications for 80 spots. (Meredith Kolodner, April 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 361

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
88%

Hispanic

  
6%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
51%

Special ed

  
10%

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

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

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

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