Riverdale / Kingsbridge Academy (MS/HS 141) (RKA)

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Diverse student body, strong neighborhood connections

The Downside

Large class size; some litter

Our Review

Riverdale-Kingsbridge Academy, serving grades 6-12, has a working kiln, a dance studio, a comfortable library, handball courts and a softball field in the leafy Riverdale section of the Bronx. Virtually all students live in the surrounding middle-class neighborhood and the student body reflects Riverdales melting-pot ethnic mix.

Ive never been to a school that has this much diversity in its student population, said Lori OMara, RKAs principal since 2006. Students speak some 60 different languages at home, and the school has a mix of white, black, Latino and Asian students.

The school has good attendance and a high graduation rate, and most kids on to college. On our visit, class changes were orderly. Classes were large, but kids typically appeared respectful and attentive and hands shot up when questions were asked. DOE security guards are present and hall monitors sit outside restrooms, but the campus sees no need for dispiriting metal detectors.

RKA has a strong music program. Starting in 6th grade, students are required to play an instrument or sing. The high school offers Spanish, French and Latin linguistics, plus a wide range of Advanced Placement courses. Students must accumulate 40 hours of volunteer community service to graduate. Turnover is relatively low and most teachers have at least six years of experience.

RKA offers a wide variety of varsity sports, including boys baseball, basketball, soccer and wrestling, and girls basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. Golf, tennis, running and other in-school sports also are offered. A wide variety of afterschool clubs (including a popular drama program) are available--all at no cost to students. Many activities are provided or supervised by Riverdale Community Center, a community-based organization.

Not everything is perfect: While students say they feel safe in class, there are occasional fights outside of class, according to the Learning Environment Survey. There are scraps of litter in the hallways and stairwells, and many classrooms bear the scuffs of a half-century of hard use.

College: Many RKA grads go on to SUNY and CUNY universities or small private colleges, but some have been admitted to New York University, Penn State, Johns Hopkins and Wesleyan University.

Special education: RKA offers self-contained 12:1:1 classes. It also has Collaborative Co-Teaching (CCT) classes in which students with special needs are taught alongside general-education students in classes featuring two teachers, one of whom is certified to teach special education. RKA also offers Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS).

Admissions: RKAs middle school is open only to students who live in its attendance zone. All 8th-graders who attend the middle school may attend RKAs high school, and most do. (About 30 or 40 leave for elite high schools such as Bronx Science.) There are 3 or 4 seats open for 9th graders who live outside the schools attendance zone, and the school often receives 1,500 applications for those few seats.

New arrivals to the Riverdale neighborhood do not automatically qualify for a seat in the school. Children of new residents must go to 1 Fordham Plaza for a referral, and must meet minimum acceptance criteria, which are based on grades and attendance. (Skip Card, October 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
1459
Asian
8.6%
Black
9.4%
Hispanic
54.6%
White
26.6%
Other
0.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
48%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
8%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with PS 24 Spuyten Duyvil
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
95%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
18%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
85%
74% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
25%
22% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
41%
48% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
9.0
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
77%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
77%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
76%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
85%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
75%
83% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
47%
30% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
43%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 10 licensed arts teachers in Visual arts (part-time), Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
77%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
43%
52% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
68%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, Algebra I, Earth Science
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
49%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
89%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Riverdale / Kingsbridge Academy (Middle School / HS 141)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
87%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
19%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
9%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
55%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
48%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
81%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
3%
4% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
19%
7% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
88%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.89
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.43
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.92
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.35
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.4
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.31
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
92%
87% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
68%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

RKA Humanities
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

All 9th grade or accelerated subject areas

Academics

Language Courses

French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP English, AP Psychology, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP Studio Art, AP US History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

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

Coed PSAL teams

Golf, Stunt, Wrestling

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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