Grace Dodge Career and Technical Education High School

2474 CROTONA AVENUE
BRONX NY 10458 Map
Phone: (718) 584-2700
Website: Click here
Admissions: Educational option
unzoned
vocational
alternative
Principal: Frank Giaimo
Neighborhood: Fordham
District: 10
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: LUISA DEJESUS

What's special:

Vocational courses in cosmetology, nursing, and hair-styling.

The downside:

Old furniture and equipment.

The InsideStats

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Our review

Grace Dodge High School, which trains students to make eyeglasses, style hair or work as nursing assistants, is being phased out for poor performance. The school accepted no new 9th graders in 2012. Current students may stay until graduation in 2015. A small school serving new immigrants, Crotona International High School, opened in the building in 2011 with a 9th grade class. A new school focused on building maintenance, The High School for Energy and Technology, accepted its first 9th grade class in 2012.

Grace Dodge has long served a very needy population, including a significant number of young mothers and pregnant girls. Nearly every student qualifies for free lunch. A large proportion of students are learning English or receiving special education services. Teachers say many students arrive reading at a 4th grade level, making it extremely difficult for them to graduate on time. The proportion of students with very low reading levels has increased in the past decade; at the same time, the graduation rate declined from 63 percent in 2005 to 35 percent in 2011. The school had three principals the year before the Department of Education announced it would be closing.

A successful program in the school was its mock trial team which competed in the citywide moot court competition. But overall, the school has had very low attendance and a very low graduation rate. Although the Career and Technical Education program was designed so students could be certified as hair stylists, many students failed the cosmetology licensing exam because their reading skills were so poor, a teacher said.

The building has tight security. Students must pass through metal detectors to enter the building. Although students told us they generally feel safe, there are occasional fights in the building.

Situated across the street from the Bronx Zoo, the school is far from subway stops. This means that a lot of kids must take at least one subway and a bus to reach school. (Clara Hemphill, May 2012)

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