Bard High School Early College

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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Location

525 East Houston Street
Manhattan NY 10002
Lower East Side (District 1)

Contact

Phone
212-995-8479
Principal
Michael Lerner
Parent Coordinator
Kristi Powell

What’s Special

High school and two years of college in four years

The Downside

Extremely fast pace of academics is not for everyone

Our Review

Bard High School Early College offers small class size, excellent teaching, and the promise of two years of college credit for free. The demanding, fast-paced curriculum has attracted some of the city's best students. Students complete their high school requirements in two years and then embark on college work. After four years, they receive both a Regents diploma and an associate's degree.

Most of the teachers have PhDs, and classes are organized as college seminars, with lots of opportunities for give and take between the teachers and students. Faculty members are both experts in their field and passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students. Students, too, are passionate about their studies, and may be heard talking about Kant or Machiavelli on the M14 bus that runs near the school. (The nearest subway is a 20-minute walk.)

Bard College contributes more than one-quarter of the schools budget, enabling it to offer a wider array of courses than other public high schools its size. Course titles include Heidegger, Globalization and Politics, Game Theory, Neurobiology and Biological Statistics. Chinese, Latin and Spanish are offered. Class size is typically 23 or 24. Faculty teach four classes (rather than the typical five), leaving them more time to help students revise their papers. Far more writing is expected of Bard students than of typical high school students, Students can expect three hours of homework, and some students say they regularly work for four or five hours daily.

The pace is too much for some, and about 15 students in each class leave at the end of 10th grade for alternative schools such as Urban Academy and City-As-School. As many as 50 students in the school are on academic probation at any given time because their averages are C- or below. The administration acknowledges that student attrition is a significant problem. Were troubled by that and we are working hard to address it, said Michael Lerner, a history professor who became principal in 2010. Faculty members now give struggling students extra help in small groups, often in the library. In addition, the school has hired a learning specialist, as their special education teacher is called.

Bard is housed in a pleasant, red brick building constructed as an elementary school in 1915. It has high ceilings, huge windows with views of the East River, and sunny, if spare and basic classrooms equipped with wood-trimmed blackboards and oak cabinets. School begins at the civilized hour of 9 a.m. Students come from all five boroughs. There is a nice mix of students from different races and income levels. About two-thirds of the students are girls.

There is no gym. Students play sports in an adjacent park or at Chelsea Piers. Teams include basketball, tennis, and soccer. Students may play ultimate Frisbee, join the STEP team, or play an improvised game called Bard Ball, but its not a school thats known for its athletics.

Special education: Only a handful of students receive special education services, including counseling, speech, occupational therapy and other services. In addition, about 20 students receive 504 accommodations, such as extra time on tests. The school hired a learning specialist in 2010 to work

College admissions: Bards college office gives far more individual attention than is typical in larger New York City public schools. Each counselor serves only 20 students. "We have the time to write really good letters," said Beth Cheikes director of what is called the college transfer office (because the students are already in college.) In 2011, 10 graduates were admitted to Reed College, seven to Swarthmore, three to Middlebury and 27 to Binghamton. Four students were awarded Posse scholarships to Brandeis and Colby. Students have also been admitted to Yale, Brown, Penn State, Haverford, Wesleyan, and the University of Chicago, as well as SUNY and CUNY schools. CUNY and SUNY accept full two years of college credit, allowing students to enter as juniors. Some private colleges (including Bard College) accept the full two years, others accept less than one semester.

Admissions: Students who have grades of 85 or above in their core academic subjects and score Level 3 or 4 on standardized tests may take Bard's entrance exam, which includes math questions and an essay. Evening open houses are held in the fall and spring. About 3,000 students take the test and 800 are called for interviews for 155 seats. (Clara Hemphill, May 2011)

About the students

Enrollment
548
Asian
25.7%
Black
16.1%
Hispanic
17.7%
White
38.9%
Other
1.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
44%
Students with disabilities
3%
English language learners
0%
Male
38%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
70%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
15%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
84%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
14%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
96%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
86%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
93%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
80%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
84%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
87%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
92%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
87%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
88%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
80%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
99%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
1%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
99%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
100%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
99%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
56%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Early College
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Chinese (Mandarin), French, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Tennis

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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