South Bronx Classical Charter School

Grades K-8
Staff Pick

Location

977 Fox Street
Bronx NY 10459
Longwood (District 12)

Contact

Phone
718-860-4340
Principal
Lester Long

What’s Special

Students study Latin and learn to debate.

The Downside

Strict behavior code may not appeal to some.

Our Review

South Bronx Classical is a high-performing charter school where students study Latin, learn to debate and have multiple math and English lessons each day. Part of a small charter school network, South Bronx Classical has a school day and school year that are longer than in traditional public schools.Class size is small—20 students or less, even in the upper grades—and there are only two classes per grade.

The school delivers on its “classical” theme. Latin instruction begins in 3rd grade; debate classes start in 5th grade. There’s a heavy emphasis on learning facts and honing skills and by middle school, students tackle challenging work and have an impressive command of history. We observed 7th-graders who were parsing a section of "Mein Kampf" and at ease drawing on detailed historical references such as the Treaty of Versailles and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in response to the teacher’s questions.

The tone is orderly and formal. Children wear uniforms and must adhere to a strict behavior code. When listening to the teacher, they’re expected to sit up straight with hands folded on the desk; a student may be admonished for behavior such eye-rolling, sulking, whining and talking back. Repeat offenders will face tougher consequences, such as suspension. The benefit is there is little time is wasted in transitions between lessons; the drawback is that the school has an above-average suspension rate.

Classroom instruction is mostly traditional, with students sitting in rows listening to the teacher deliver a lesson, though we saw some instances of group work. Kindergarten is very academic. In one class we observed the teacher worked with a small group of students, while a few others gathered around an easel to work on sentences and the rest worked independently at computers or read books at their desks, arranged neatly in rows.

Classes run from 8 am to 4:30 pm and the longer school day is packed with instruction. For instance, in the elementary grades English is taught across several lessons—grammar, writing, read aloud, guided reading and close reading (analyzing text for meaning)—that are dispersed throughout the schedule. Students have a traditional skills-focused math lesson and one dedicated to word problems each day. Starting in 6th grade, students are grouped by skill level for math, grammar and “textual analysis” (similar to “close reading”).

Eighth-graders take the Living Environment Regents and typically all pass it. Art, music and gym are provided in all grades.

Located in the Longwood neighborhood, a couple of blocks from the nearest subway station, South Bronx Classical shares a building with IS 217, School of Performing Arts and the Entrada Academy. Each school occupies its own floor. South Bronx Classical elementary school students have their own entrance. Middle school students in all three schools pass through metal detectors in the main entrance.

Elementary school students participate in building-wide after-school activities run by the Beacon program. South Bronx Classical runs its own after-school program for middle school students (grades 5-8).

The school sends graduates to a range of high schools; some attend specialized high schools, other competitive schools such as Beacon as well as independent and Catholic schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: A special education teacher and several learning specialists work with children individually and in small groups. There is a fulltime psychologist and part-time occupational therapist on staff.

ADMISSIONS: Admissions is by lottery with priority to siblings of current students and then to District 12 residents. A handful of seats are open in the upper grades. (Laura Zingmond, April 2017)



 

 

About the students

Enrollment
490
Asian
2.0%
Black
38.8%
Hispanic
57.4%
White
1.2%
Other
0.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
88%
Students with disabilities
9%
English language learners
18%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with the School of Performing Arts and Entrada Academy
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
87%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
97%
94% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
4%
19% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
10%
25% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers say their students are safe outside around this school?
39%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
39%
46% Citywide Average

About the leadership

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
90%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
96%
86% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
89%
79% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
84%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
85% Citywide Average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
94%
59% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
80%
79% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
83%
84% 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?
84%
39% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
81%
40% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
40%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
50%
55% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
51%
70% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
100%
28% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for SETSS students
2.97
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
3.12
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
34%
69% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
88%
84% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
96%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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