FDNY Captain Vernon A. Richards High School for Fire and Life Safety

Grades 9-12
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What’s Special

Pathway to joining the Fire Department

The Downside

Rowdy lunchroom

Our Review

FDNY High School, housed in the Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus, was designed to offer students a path to joining the city fire department. The school has struggled with safety issues, poor attendance and low graduation rates. The relationship with the Fire Department has not always been strong. But more students are getting their diplomas, and the graduation rate increased to 76 percent in 2012, school officials said.

The school is in one of the highest crime areas in the city, and students must pass through metal detectors when they enterl. Safety agents were courteous on our visit. There were deans and assistant principals from all four schools in the building helping at the doors. The New York Police Department has worked with the school to create a safe corridor to and from the campus.

Successful graduates may enroll in an intensive summer program and get certified to be an Emergency Medical Technician. EMTs are Fire Department employees and the position can be a first step to becoming a firefighter. Science courses emphasize fire safety and fire science, and students can learn the basics of CPR and what it takes to become a first responder. An English Advanced Placement class and College Now courses are available.

The school has sometimes had difficulty recruiting firefighters to travel to the school in East New York, but the relationship with the Fire Department is improving, school officials say. Fire Department officials sometimes come to the campus for demonstrations and to help teach courses.

Students and teachers report improvements in safety over the past few years on Learning Environment Surveys. Still, on a visit to the building we observed a very rowdy lunchroom. Most students, 80 percent of whom are male, said they felt safe in the building but also reported fights in the hallways and gang activity on the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey.

Teachers give the principal mixed reviews on the same survey, revealing some tension between leadership and staff. City reviewers who visited in 2011 recommended professional development to strengthen teaching methods.

Nonetheless, the majority of students said they felt welcome in the building and that they felt that the adults in the building were looking out for them.

Admissions: Priority to students who live in the attendance zone for Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus or who attend an information session. (Meredith Kolodner, interviews and web reports, October 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
340
Asian
1.2%
Black
71.8%
Hispanic
25.3%
White
0.3%
Other
1.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
26%
English language learners
4%
Male
74%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus with three other schools
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
69%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
82%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
48%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
53%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
44%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
77%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
47%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
8.9
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
58%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
72%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
53%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
70%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
55%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
53%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Visual arts (part-time)

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
70%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
53%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
69%
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?
83%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
13%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
2%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
4%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
30%
63% 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 graduate in 4 years?
83%
65% 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?
67%
68% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
81%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

FDNY – Captain Vernon A. Richards High School for Fire and Life Safety
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Stunt

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NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11207
East New York (District 19)
Trains: 3 to Pennsylvania Ave; C to Van Siclen Ave; L to Livonia Ave
Buses: B14, B15, B20, B83

Contact

Phone
718-922-0389
Principal
James Anderson
Parent Coordinator