Victory Collegiate High School

Phone: (718) 968-1530
Website: Click here
Principal: MARCEL D. DEANS
Neighborhood: Canarsie
District: 18
Grade range: 09 thru 12

What's special:

Creative projects, high graduation rate

The downside:

Far from nearest subway, most grads need remediation in college

The InsideStats


Our review

Victory Collegiate, housed in the South Shore Educational Complex, has high academic standards and a family-like atmosphere, according to the Department of Education's Quality Review. Even though most students begin 9th grade with poor academic skills, most graduate on time.

"They don't give up, because we don't give up on them," founding principal Marcel Deans said in a video produced by the Institute for Student Achievement, one of the school's partners. Deans, who has a masters degree from Bank Street College and who taught at the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE) in Manhattan, has incorporated some of that progressive school's practices, such as classes based on projects and a Town Hall meeting where students may voice their opinions.

Students seem to have a good rapport with the principal and staff. "The principal is out in the hallway every day shaking hands and encouraging kids to be safe and make good decisions,” said Malika Bibbs, a Department of Education official who offers support to the school. The school has had considerable success with students who are still learning English and those who have had their formal education interrupted; it has "highly motivated students" and teachers who have "high expectations," according to the Quality Review.

In the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey, over 90 percent of students report feeling challenged and supported academically and more than 90 percent of teachers said that the school sets high standards for student learning. While nearly all students said they felt safe in class, more than one in five said they had some safety concerns about the property outside the school. South Shore is in an isolated area, far from the nearest subway.

The school opened in September 2007, and graduated its first class in 2011. While most graduates need to take remedial classes if they go to CUNY, at least one was admitted to Penn State.

Students meet with their faculty advisor twice a day. Seniors participate in internships and externships at a variety of businesses on Thursdays and Fridays. Students might mentor at an elementary school or help out in a law firm.

Deans has an open door policy with his teachers. “A principal’s job is to honor and take care of the hands that take care of your children,” stated Deans in the ISA video. All the teachers responding to the survey said they trust the principal and feel supported by him. “[Teachers] are happy, invested in the school and have leadership opportunities,” Bibbs said.

Afterschool, students have access to building-wide PSAL sports, including golf, in addition to clubs like cheerleading, fashion design and knitting. Though the South Shore Complex has worked to shed its stigma as a violent place, students must still pass through metal detectors.

Special education: The school is fully integrated with ICT classes and SETSS.

Admissions: Priority to students who attend an information session. (Aryn Bloodworth, interviews and DOE statistics, November 2012)

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