The Marie Curie School for Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions
Bronx NY 10463
Marie Curie High School has a curriculum designed for students pursuing careers in medicine and related health fields.
"When we have our open house and ask kids what medical profession they want to pursue, everyone says pediatrics, said Principal Rodney Fisher. Due to the exposure they get at Marie Curie, students go on to work in all kinds of specialty fields including geriatrics, sports medicine or hospital business. The school has a committed partnership for their students with Jewish Home Lifecare and many stay on as employees after graduation.
The school opened in September 2004 on the fifth floor of a building shared with The New School for Leadership and Journalism . In keeping with the school's theme, all students wear surgical scrub shirts to class, and all staff members wear white lab coats. The scrubs are color coded by grade level: green for 9th, blue for 10th, maroon for 11th and black for 12th. (If students forget their scrubs they are charged a $2 rental fee.)
The population is 80 percent female with an average of two boys per class. To fuel and support the boys, a group called Brotherhood provides mentorship and special activities. Groups called flocks work similarly to advisories, where teachers touch base weekly and cover topics ranging from a students school work to her personal life. After school, students can choose between boys basketball and coed soccer.
The majority of students arrive at Marie Curie with average to below-average academic skills. In order to get them up to speed and ready for the heavy math and science needs of the medical field, the school offers a full four years of math (algebra 2, trigonometry, geometry and pre-calculus) and science (Living Environment, earth science, chemistry, physics and forensics). Students can choose between Spanish and Mandarin as well as AP English, AP biology and AP U.S. history.
During our visit to Marie Curie, we observed some superior teaching but most teachers struggled with classroom management. Teachers in both the earth science and AP bio classes had full command of their classrooms and presented extremely engaging lessons. Their teaching methods were impressive because they challenged their students to find answers. Go back to your notes if you need help, said Mr. G patiently as he pushed the class for answers. Mr. Bugel encouraged students to use their iPads Do the research, you can find it, he said as he went around the room and assisted without leading. However, in most classes teachers drowned under the load of student chatter and only a few kids were engaged. One teacher of a social studies class stood out by having the ability to incorporate progressive learning strategies and still maintain an orderly class. The discussion between students was based on the subject matter and not idle banter.
Marie Curie faces some practical problems as it prepares students for employment. The school does helps its students earn certification to become emergency medical technicians, pharmaceutical assistants and nursing assistants as early as 10th or 11th grade; but, students have to renew the certification once they turn 18. The process is longer, the test is harder and many do not retake the exam.
In partnership with Lehman College of Nursing, the school enables students to get hands-on experience through internships at hospitals and other healthcare organizations, but Marie Curie (and the DOE in general) does not support the higher math and science courses that satisfy nursing school prerequisites. Most four-year colleges will not consider students into the nursing program without these courses, including Lehman.
College: The school has a college center with two full-time counselors staffed by their collaboration with Mosholu Montefiore Community Center. Students start the college conversation in 9th grade with the focus on graduation. In 10th grade internships begin, while in 11th grade the focus turns to SAT prep, workshops and college visits. Over forty percent of students are opting for two-year colleges (CUNY) despite acceptances to four-year universities that offer smaller scholarships and more loans.
Special education:The school offers ICT team-teaching classes and SETSS.
Admissions: Limited unscreened. Preference to students who attend an open house. (Jacquie Wayans, January 2013)
About the students
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Programs and Admissions
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Biology, AP English, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US History
Boys PSAL teams
Girls PSAL teams
Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Softball
Coed PSAL teams