Westchester Square Academy

3000 EAST TREMONT AVENUE
BRONX NY 10461 Map
Phone: (718) 904-5050
Website: Click here
Admissions: Limited unscreened
Principal: Sara Dingledy
Neighborhood: Westchester
District:8
Grade range: 9-11
Parent Coordinator: EVA CACERES
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
New School

Buses: BX21, BX24, BX31, BX4, BX40, BX4A, BX8

What's special:

Modeled on Brooklyn Latin but serving a wider range of students.

The downside:

Building has metal detectors.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Westchester Square Academy, opened in fall 2012 on the Herbert H. Lehman campus, is a good fit for students who want uniforms and structure and a demanding liberal arts education.

Founder Sara Dingledy came from one of the city's most selective schools, Brooklyn Latin, where she was assistant principal.  Dingledy, [pictured with partnership manager Matthew McSorley] designed Westchester Square to bring some of the teaching methods of the specialized high school to a wider group of students.

Westchester Square Academy doesn't teach Latin, but it does offer student-led discussions, called Socratic Seminars. Students learn to defend their ideas logically, to draw key ideas from their reading and to state and write their ideas clearly. Students take quarterly assessments and teachers offer in-depth feedback.

Most 9th grade classes have two adults in the classroom with the addition of either a special education teacher or a humanities teacher.

An honors program for students who scored 3 or 4 on state English Language Arts and math exams opens in 2013. Coursework is accelerated and Advanced Placement classes begin sophomore year. Students have the opportunity to take an additional science course such as physics or Earth Science.

Students in the unscreened program who want to push themselves may also take pre-AP and AP classes. This "open honors" approach allows students to take just one or two AP classes if they "show a willingness to engage and demonstrate motivation," Dingledy said. Teachers get pre-AP training where they will learn how to build skills to make AP level classes accessible to all. Native Spanish and World History will be the first AP classes offered with more to be added as the school grows.

An avid traveler, Dingledy believes travel can be a "life-changing experience" and plans to offer opportunities such as a trip to Costa Rica for students who study Spanish.

Through a collaboration with DreamYard, students take weekly electives in the arts, humanities or technology/science. At the end of sophomore year students choose one area of focus.

McSorley said some students prefer to stay within the close-knit WSA community while others make use of Lehman campus-wide clubs and sports. WSA has a Model United Nations club and a Student Leadership Council. It shares a cafeteria with Renaissance, another small school in the building.

Students wear a uniforum of maroon and white polo shirts and button-down shirts with collars paired with black pants. McSorley said that some students hide their uniforms under hoodies to avoid unwanted attention from co-located schools, but added that this should be less of an issue now that four of the new schools will require uniforms.

College: A college advisor works with classroom teachers on skills such as vocabulary development, test-taking and essay writing.

Special Education: Special education teacher Lacey Vargas said some students with special needs are pulled out for small group instruction as needed, but whenever possible they are mixed in classes with their general education peers, and two teachers, one of whom is trained to teach special education.

Admissions: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session, fair or open house. Over 700 applied for 135 seats in the school's second year. Students must score level 3 or 4 on state math and ELA exams for the honors program. All interested students must interview with a faculty member as part of the application process. Contact admissions@westchestersquare.org. (Lydie Raschka, interviews at the high school fair, April 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Herbert H. Lehman Educational Campus

Number of Students 251

Average Daily Attendance 89%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
4%

Black

  
31%

Hispanic

  
53%

White

  
8%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
25%

English Language Learners

  
8%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 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

30 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

35% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

53% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

101% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

38% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of

How many -4 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

NA 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many -6 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many -4 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

NA 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many -6 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

NA 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?

0%

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

NA

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

NA

Are students ready for college?

How many -4 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 0 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

NA

SAT math scores

NA
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?

50% 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?

NA 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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 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

Westchester Square Academy Honors Program

Screened

Program offers accelerated coursework, including AP courses starting in Sophomore year. Students will have the opportunity to take additional science courses including Physics and Environmental Studies.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

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

Westchester Square Academy

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: N/A

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Dance, Drama, Robotics. Additional clubs to be added based on student interest.

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: N/A

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: N/A

Other schools sports: As we expand, we plan to offer PSAL sports through Lehman Campus teams. School-based club sports will be added based on student interest.

Source: High school directory

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