Bronx Early College Academy for Teaching & Learning

250 EAST 164 STREET
BRONX NY 10456 Map
Phone: (718) 681-8287
Website: Click here
Admissions: unscreened/priority to Districts 9 & 10
unzoned
Noteworthy
Principal: Yvette Rivera
Neighborhood: South Bronx
District: 9
Grade range: 06 thru 12
Parent coordinator: MYRNA FELIX

What's special:

Focused and driven students; strong parent involvement; cheerful tone.

The downside:

The school is still working to improve literacy among high school students.

Middle School Stats

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High School Stats

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Our review

Bronx Early College Academy (BECA) is a bright and cheerful middle- and high school with an unusual program that allows its high school students to take classes at Lehman College. The students we observed were well behaved and eager to learn. Teachers kept students engaged, encouraging them to participate in class discussions and to work in small groups.

Walls and classrooms are brightly-lit and freshly painted. Bulletin boards and signs display the school’s message of hard work, and samples of outstanding student work are prominently displayed around the school.

BECA shares a building with Grant Avenue Elementary School, and a middle school, Science and Technology Academy: A Mott Hall School. The three schools' principals work together to build a tight-knit community: For example, some BECA high school students read with youngsters from the elementary school.

Select BECA ninth and 10th graders get a taste of college in a humanities class conducted on the Lehman College campus. They meet twice a week with a Lehman professor.  Because many students read below grade level, they meet twice a week with literacy specialists who help them improve their skills enough to tackle the challenging books in the course. Classes are small, about 18 students, and students sit in a circle discussing books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, selections of Plato’s Republic, and Junot Diaz’s Drown. The year-long course for BECA students is similar to the semester-long introductory course for all Lehman College freshmen. BECA students in the class said they did more than two hours of homework a night.

Starting in middle school, all BECA students are expected to read at home for 30 minutes a night. They are required to attend a Saturday Academy as well as after school program three days per week until 4:20 pm. Many also attend optional clubs until 5:50 pm. To encourage good behavior and perfect attendance, the students participate in Project BECA, which rewards students who behaved exceptionally well with fun trips every six to eight weeks.

The school offers a range of clubs and activities, including track, debate, dance groups, writing workshops, 2 CHAMPS sports, guitar club and a chorus. Students interested in medical careers also enjoy "Doc's Club" led by a volunteer was dean of Cornell Medical School. Students study diseases and visit research laboratories in the city to talk with research doctors.

Special education: The school offers self-contained and Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classrooms, and students may spend part of the day in each setting. We observed students in both, and found them to be alert, attentive and engaged. English language learners spend part of the day in ESL classes.

Admission: There are no admissions requirements. Priority goes to students in district 9 and 10 who attend an open house. (Tom Jacobs, October 2010. Updated May 2013 to reflect change in school leadership.)

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