Bronx Park Middle School

2441 WALLACE AVENUE
BRONX NY 10467 Map
Phone: (718) 652-6090
Admissions: District 11
Principal: Dillon Prime
Neighborhood: Wakefield
District:11
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: MAGGALENE ANDERSON
Zoned
New School

What's special:

Interesting program features unusual projects; warm atmosphere

The downside:

The building has a history of poor performance and discipline problems

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Opened in September 2012, Bronx Park offers a close-knit atmosphere and attention to children’s social and emotional development. Many students have struggled academically, but the principal is betting that hands-on projects will engage children and improve their academic performance.

Bronx Park, whose planning was led by principal Dillon Prime, structures learning around multi-week units, many related to developing sustainable careers. One entitled "Design Construction and Power" looked at how what people build reflects who they are. In math, students used fractions and decimals as they developed blueprints and, in science, they considered simple machines. The 6th graders also examined their own neighborhood, reading and analyzing passages on health care and education in the Bronx. At the end of the unit, each student developed a plan for a community school.

Another unit plans to look 500 years into the future, when deteriorating conditions on Earth force people to find a new place to live. At the end, students will design their own colony, incorporating what they learned about a range of topics from the solar system to leadership.

Prime thinks such a curriculum helps give children a sense of control. "It's their opportunity to be the experts that change the world," he says. The school has embraced a concept called Flow, seeking to create projects that so engage students that they lose track of time and themselves.

In class, some students worked intently on projects -- one boy was quick to describe his invention of a machine to feed hamsters -- and participated in classroom discussions, such as one on the core principles of their imaginary school. "Fun, wealth and security," one offered. Other students seemed easily distracted.

Many students arrive at Bronx Park reading a year or more below grade level and some struggle with basic arithmetic. The school offers a Saturday academy and after-school help and supplements regular math classes, which focused on more advanced topics, with a class period of math games.

All students meet with advisory groups of about 15 every day often to discuss issues of concern to adolescents, such as cyber bullying and peer pressure. A social worker is available to mediate conflicts, and Prime says the focus has proved successful.

At the time of our visit, the schedule at Bronx Park concentrated academic work in the morning, along with breakfast in a reading class at around 10:30 a.m. After a late lunch, with time outside in good weather, students return for their advisories, math games, academic help and extra curricular activities. All teachers sponsor a club, and virtually all students participate in at least one. Arts clubs, such as drama and hip-hop, help to compensate for the lack of arts classes.

The building that houses the new school has a history of poor performance and discipline problems, but Bronx Park seemed orderly on our visit. As Aspire Preparatory Middle School is phased out, Bronx Park will occupy the entire third floor in the Frank D. Whalen building, which has seen several schools come and go. Bronx Green Middle School and  Pelham Academy of Academics and Community Achievement occupy the other floors. The schools remain fairly separate but share the library, cafeteria, auditorium, gym and weight room.

Special education: The school offers team teaching and other services but no self-contained classes.

Admission: Students who live within the zone apply to their favorite schools on the Whalen campus and are assigned to the particular school by lottery, with their preferences weighted. (Gail Robinson, February 2013)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Pelham Academy of Academics and Community Engagement and Bronx Green Middle School

Number of Students 259

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
31%

Hispanic

  
57%

White

  
7%

Free Lunch

  
88%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
18%

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

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

66% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

83% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

77% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

60% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

82% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

32 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

27% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

5% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

6% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

NA 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

20% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

25% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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