Bushwick Community High School

Grades 10-12
Staff Pick

Location

231 Palmetto Street
Brooklyn NY 11221
Bushwick (District 32)
Trains: J, Z to Gates Ave; L to Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves; M to Knickerbocker Ave
Buses: B13, B26, B52, B54, Q24, Q55, Q58

Contact

Phone
718-443-3083
Principal
Llermi Gonzalez
Parent Coordinator
Cindy Lora Velez

What’s Special

A nurturing atmosphere for struggling older students

The Downside

Metal detectors, poor attendance and graduation rates

Our Review

Bushwick Community High School has a reputation as a loving, supportive, safe-haven, staffed by caring people who help turn students lives around.

By many measures, this school looks bleak: Attendance is poor. Low graduation rates landed Bushwick Community on a state list of troubled schools in 2011 (making it eligible for $800,000 in federal grant money). Yet students lobbied for their beloved school and it was saved from closure in 2012. [photo at right from the New York Times article]

Teachers and school leaders have long been committed to making whatever accommodations are necessary to meet the needs of their students. About 30 to 40 percent of the population live without a parent or legal guardian, some are parents themselves, and some reside in homeless shelters. Many teens have no adult guidance outside of school.

When one boy stopped attending class, a teacher posted signs around his neighborhood in East New York, and spoke to his neighbors, until she got word to him, staffers told us during our visit in 2005. Two days later he returned.Staffers empathize with the kids, in part because some of them, too, struggled to survive on rough Bushwick streets during their youth. A school guidance counselor recalls the day she was expelled from Bushwick High School, and arrived at Bushwick Outreach (the organization that became Bushwick Community High). She graduated from high school, went on to college, obtained her bachelor's degree, and now holds two master's degrees.

Students are not sorted into class by age, but take classes based on their achievement to date in a particular subject. In addition to Regents preparation courses in Global and U.S. history, Earth Science, and Living Environment, there are a raft of courses of special interest to black and Hispanic students: African-American studies, Latino studies, history of slavery in America, and the Harlem Renaissance.

The school shares space with Math, Engineering, and Science Academy , a charter school opened in 2013, and J.H.S. 291 , which has a reputation for being rough. Bushwick is housed in a small wing on the fourth floor of J.H.S. 291, and although the middle school has long had metal detectors, Bushwick never did, until they were installed in 2012, much to the dismay of the older students.

Special education: Teachers work inside students' regular classrooms to provide additional support. There is also a classroom with supplies for students with special needs.

After school: The school conducts classes including Spanish for travelers, finance, film and hidden voices in women's literature. There are also lectures and guest speakers.

Admissions:Open to students from throughout the five boroughs, ages 17-21, who were not successful at their previous high school and can read at a 5th grade level or above. (Vanessa Witenko, April 2005, updated from web reports and DOE statistics, Lydie Raschka, 2013)

About the students

Enrollment
236
Asian
0.0%
Black
28.4%
Hispanic
68.2%
White
3.0%
Other
0.4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
23%
English language learners
4%
Male
52%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with JHS 291 and the Math, Engineering, and Science Academy Charter HS
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
50%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
61%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
95%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
62%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
15%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
91%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
78%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
54%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
69%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
66%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
77%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
61%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 4 licensed arts teacher in Visual arts (part-time) and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
85%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
66%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
77%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
29%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

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?
77%
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?
94%
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
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