Bronx High School of Science

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
Marquee homepage

Location

75 West 205 Street
Bronx NY 10468
Kingsbridge (District 10)
Trains: 4 to Bedford Park Blvd-Lehman College; B, D to Bedford Park Blvd
Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx2, Bx22, Bx26, Bx28, Bx3, Bx38

Contact

Phone
718-817-7700
Principal
Jean Donahue
Parent Coordinator
Cynthia Golan

What’s Special

Most Nobel prize-winning graduates of any school in the country

The Downside

Punishing workload and lack of individual attention

Our Review

The Bronx High School of Science, one of the most famous schools in the country, has a proud history of training not only scientists but also authors, business executives, and academic leaders. Its graduates have won eight Nobel prizes, more than any other school in the country. Many of the faculty members are Bronx Science alumni and have PhDs in their fields.

With a typical class size of 34 and a demanding curriculum, Bronx Science can be a stressful place. Kids are chronically sleep-deprived from hours of homework and long commutes, and many take on multiple extracurricular activities on top of their heavy academic load. Almost all students come in with some Regents exams under their belt, so freshmen who are lacking algebra will take it alongside geometry their first year. Many students exhaust the extensive Advanced Placement curriculum (the school offers all possible AP courses except AP German), so Bronx Science offers several "post-AP"_ classes like genetics, multivariable calculus and organic chemistry. Other electives include smart phone app development, a horticulture class which makes use of the greenhouse on the roof, an engineering course on drones, and a history course which trains students as docents for the on-campus Holocaust Museum.

In addition to the fast-paced science and math curriculum, all Bronx Science students take a writing seminar and a research literacy course in 9th grade where they learn how to design testable experiments, analyze peer-reviewed science articles, and defend their arguments in writing and discussions. About 10 percent of students go on to a three-year research track which culminates in an independent research project under the supervision of one Bronx Science faculty member and an outside expert from the field. Those students work in labs or field settings throughout the summer and enter their projects in national competitions, where several have won prestigious awards.

The enrollment has ballooned to more than 3,000, an increase of nearly 600 students since 2006 and well over the 2,300 the building was designed to accommodate, but students we talked to say they do not feel anonymous. One benefit of its large size is the school can offer a wide array of courses. Students may choose from eight foreign languages, including Latin, and may take electives such as Spanish narrative and film. Students may take band and orchestra as a sixth major class. Many students take required classes such as drama, visual arts and health during the summer to free up their schedule for more academic electives. There are dozens of clubs and afterschool activities, including one of the top debate teams in the country. To draw more female students into the robotics club, the school recently established an all-girls team called the Iron Maidens.

To support students who are struggling, the school now offers special seminar-style after-school classes called small group instruction or SGI to give students the chance to review material with their teachers. The student-led National Honor Society has also organized a peer-to-peer tutoring system, where students can find tutors by subject area on an online database. The Big Siblings program, where four to five seniors are paired with each freshman homeroom class, has also grown stronger in recent years.

Since Principal Jean Donahue took over in 2013, the curriculum has shifted towards more applied learning activities to hook students in to the abstract concepts they are studying. In every science class we visited, students were engaged in hands-on activities, working in groups to solve real-world challenges such as building prototypes for a collapsible wall to shield combat troops. Math, English and social studies classes, too, had built-in time for working in pairs or teams, though discussions in most classes were still largely teacher-driven.

Enabling this change in culture is more time built into the daily schedule for teachers of the same subject to plan lessons together, Donahue said. As an alumna of the school, parent of a recent graduate, and former teacher at Bronx Science, she knows the school well. She has a PhD and a background in cancer research, which she put to use as the head of Bronx Sciences three-year research program prior to becoming principal. Her experience in the field and her history with Bronx Science seems to have earned her the respect of her faculty and the alumni association, a welcome change after years of tension with the previous administration.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS:The guidance office has grown in recent years, now up to 12 counselors, some of whom double as college advisors, and one full-time college advisor. They run a six-week transition program for freshmen, host college admissions officers on campus, and bring Bronx Science alumni in to conduct practice interviews with seniors. Students attend a range of top-tier private collegesYale, Haverford, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Barnard, to name a fewas well as CUNY and SUNY schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION:The building is wheelchair accessible. At the time of our visit, 40 students received special education student support services and between 10 and 20 received 504 accommodations for conditions such as ADHD or limited vision.

ADMISSIONS:There is one open house each semester. Students offer tours of the building in the evening, and both students and staff are available to answer questions. Admission is based on the Specialized Science High School Admissions test (SSHAT) given in the fall. (Nicole Mader, October 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
2979
Asian
61.7%
Black
2.1%
Hispanic
5.5%
White
21.3%
Other
9.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
43%
Students with disabilities
1%
English language learners
0%
Male
58%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
130%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
97%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
5%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
93%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
26%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
82%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.8
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
95%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
94%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 0 dedicated spaces for the arts.
This school has 8 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), 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?
90%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
75%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
83%
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?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
99%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
0%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
100%
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?
100%
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?
64%
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?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
86%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
100%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

The Bronx High School of Science
Admissions Method: Test
Program Description

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their guidance counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.

Academics

Language Courses

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

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, AP Computer Science, AP Economics, AP English, AP European History, AP French, AP Italian, AP Japanese, AP Latin, AP Music Theory, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf

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

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.