Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE)

BRONX NY 10458 Map
Phone: (718) 733-6024
Website: Click here
Admissions: Limited unscreened
Neighborhood: Fordham
District: 10
Grade range: 09

What's special:

Students learn computer programming and get internships in the tech community

The downside:

New school has no track record; metal detectors

The InsideStats


Our review

The Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE) taps into one of the most compelling themes for new small schools: a program dedicated to computer science with connections to the Bronx's burgeoning tech industry.

BASE opened in the fall of 2013 with 108 9th graders. Housed in the Grace Dodge Educational Complex, BASE aims to teach students programming languages like javascript, C++ and PHP and also problem-solving techniques from the software engineering community that can be applied to all subjects.

Principal Ben Grossman says the school has a strong commitment to social justice and teaches kids to improve their community using their tech skills. Grossman spent seven years as an English teacher at Satellite Academy in the Bronx and most recently worked as director of achievement for the Education Department's Children First Network.

BASE has a standard Regents-prep curriculum with English, history, math and sciences and will offer a career and technical education (CTE) certificate. The hope is that students will be prepared to go to college, and will also be able to enter the workforce if they decide not to go to college.

BASE is a sister school to the Academy for Software Engineering, another small CTE high school that opened in 2012 in Manhattan. Some of the same board members who founded Academy for Software Engineering are working with BASE, including venture capitalist Fred Wilson, who invested in companies like Foursquare and Twitter with his organization, and NYU computer science professor Evan Korth, who chairs the advisory board for both schools. BASE also has connections to groups like Google, New York Tech Meetup, General Assembly, Girls Who Code, StartUp Box: South Bronx and Sustainable South Bronx on its board. Grossman says the board members will serve as mentors to kids and may offer internships to advanced students in junior or senior year.

Grace Dodge (another CTE school) is being phased out for poor performance and replaced with a number of small high schools including BASE. Students must pass through metal detectors to enter the building. While students at Grace Dodge have low morale and have reported safety issues, most students at Crotona International – another small high school in the building, which opened in 2011 – say they feel safe. Another small school, The High School for Energy Technology, opened in the building in 2012. The challenge for Grossman and the principals of the other schools in the building will be to set a new tone in the coming years. 

Students from BASE will be able to play on Grace Dodge sports teams.

Admissions: Limited unscreened. Students should attend an open house or high school fair to express interest. See the school website for more info or email for more info. (Anna Schneider, interview and web reports, April 2013)

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