Bushwick Community High School

An Insideschools pick
231 PALMETTO STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11221 Map
Phone: (718) 443-3083
Admissions: Citywide, age 17+
Principal: Llermi Gonzalez
Neighborhood: Bushwick
District: 32
Grade range: 10-12
Parent Coordinator: Natalie Genao
Transfer Alternative
Citywide

What's special:

A nurturing atmosphere for struggling older students

The downside:

Metal detectors, poor attendance and graduation rates

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Bushwick Community High School has a reputation as a loving, supportive, safe-haven, staffed by caring people who help turn students’ lives around.

By many measures, this school looks bleak: Attendance is poor. Low graduation rates landed Bushwick Community on a state list of troubled schools in 2011 (making it eligible for $800,000 in federal grant money). Yet students lobbied for their beloved school and it was saved from closure in 2012. [photo at right from the New York Times article]

Teachers and school leaders have long been committed to making whatever accommodations are necessary to meet the needs of their students. About 30 to 40 percent of the population live without a parent or legal guardian, some are parents themselves, and some reside in homeless shelters. Many teens have no adult guidance outside of school.

When one boy stopped attending class, a teacher posted signs around his neighborhood in East New York, and spoke to his neighbors, until she got word to him, staffers told us during our visit in 2005. Two days later he returned. Staffers empathize with the kids, in part because some of them, too, struggled to survive on rough Bushwick streets during their youth. A school guidance counselor recalls the day she was expelled from Bushwick High School, and arrived at Bushwick Outreach (the organization that became Bushwick Community High). She graduated from high school, went on to college, obtained her bachelor's degree, and now holds two master's degrees.

Students are not sorted into class by age, but take classes based on their achievement to date in a particular subject. In addition to Regents preparation courses in Global and U.S. history, Earth Science, and Living Environment, there are a raft of courses of special interest to black and Hispanic students: African-American studies, Latino studies, history of slavery in America, and the Harlem Renaissance.

The school shares space with Math, Engineering, and Science Academy, a charter school opened in 2013, and J.H.S. 291, which has a reputation for being rough. Bushwick is housed in a small wing on the fourth floor of J.H.S. 291, and although the middle school has long had metal detectors, Bushwick never did, until they were installed in 2012, much to the dismay of the older students.

Special education: Teachers work inside students' regular classrooms to provide additional support. There is also a classroom with supplies for students with special needs.

After school: The school conducts classes including Spanish for travelers, finance, film and hidden voices in women's literature. There are also lectures and guest speakers.

Admissions: Open to students from throughout the five boroughs, ages 17-21, who were not successful at their previous high school and can read at a 5th grade level or above. (Vanessa Witenko, April 2005, updated from web reports and DOE statistics, Lydie Raschka, 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with JHS 291 and the Math, Engineering, and Science Academy Charter HS

Number of Students 328

Average Daily Attendance 61%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
0%

Black

  
35%

Hispanic

  
63%

White

  
2%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 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

32 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

86% 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?

98% 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?

87% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

12% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

20% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

4% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

18% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

26% 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?

NA

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

1% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

14% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

NA
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?

87% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

11% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

20% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 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

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