Bronx Haven High School
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Bronx Haven High School
Older students who have been unsuccessful at other schools come to Bronx Haven hoping to make up lost ground quickly so they can graduate. “If you’re messing up and you hate your school, you should come here,a girl said.
Students say they like the small environment and intensive help from teachers. "If you need help after school, they'll stay," another girl said. "I feel like everyone is here to help each other."
Housed in Alfred E. Smith High School [along with Bronx Design and Construction Academy], Bronx Haven allows students to accrue up to 18 credits a year, compared to the typical 11 credits a year at a traditional high school. The school runs on a trimester schedule, so students who complete the required number of credits and Regents exams to graduate may graduate at three points during the year.
Every student has an advisor from East Side Settlement House. Advisors welcome students to school in the morning, call students at home when they are more than half an hour late, and perform home visits when a student has been absent two days in a row. Students meet in advisory groups once a week, and compete for prizes based on attendance, including trips and going out to eat.
East Side Settlement House also coordinates “Learning to Work” internships, which provide students with paid jobs at a variety of local employers, such as day care, offices and home health care organizations. One student attends Bronx Haven in the mornings, and then travels to the Co-Op Tech in Manhattan to learn welding. (Students must attend school in order to go to work in the evenings.)
Students are encouraged to attend college. Students told us they received help writing a personal essay and getting recommendations from teachers for their college applications. The school also participates in CUNY's At Home in College program, which offers CUNY's math and English classes so that students can avoid remediation their freshman year.
Attendance is a constant struggle, but the students we observed were attentive and engaged. Most classes are designed focused on help students pass Regents examinations needed to graduate. However, some classes are offered at students' request, such as pre-calculus and a popular cooking class. In 2009, three students wrote a song that won first place in the Good to Go contest, a college and career readiness campaign run by New Visions for Public Schools.
Special education: The school offers Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classes.
Admissions: Open to students ages 16 to 21. (Tom Jacobs, October 2010)