Bard High School Early College

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

High school and two years of college in four years

The Downside

Extremely fast-paced academics are not for everyone

Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) offers small class sizes, excellent teaching, and the promise of two years of college credit for free. The demanding, fast-paced curriculum has attracted some of the city's best students. Students complete their high school requirements in two years and then embark on college work. After four years, they receive both a Regents diploma and an associate's degree.

Most of the teachers have PhDs, and classes are organized as college seminars, with lots of opportunities for give-and-take between the teachers and students. Faculty members are both experts in their field and passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students. Students, too, are passionate about their studies, and may be heard talking about Kant or Machiavelli on the M14 bus that runs near the school (the nearest subway is a 20-minute walk).

Bard College contributes to the high school’s budget, enabling it to offer a wider array of courses than other public high schools its size. Course titles include The Novels of Dostoevsky, Forced Migration in Contemporary Africa, The History of American Education, Engineering, Urban Ecology, Computer Science, and Medicinal Chemistry. Once in the college program, students have the option of creating their own independent study and selecting a faculty advisor. Class size is typically about 20 students. Far more writing is expected of BHSEC students than of typical high schoolers. Students can expect three hours of homework, and some say they regularly work for four or five hours daily.

“The standards for work are really, really high,” a mother of one student told InsideSchools. “There is no way to fake it through this school.”

Faculty members are more than willing to provide students extra help individually or in small groups. In the library, there is a writing center and math center that students can take advantage of as often as they’d like. Still, the fast pace and high expectations are unmanageable for some students.

BHSEC is housed in a pleasant red brick building constructed as an elementary school in 1915. It has high ceilings, huge windows with views of the East River, and sunny, basic classrooms equipped with wood-trimmed blackboards and oak cabinets. School begins at the civilized hour of 9 a.m. Students come from all five boroughs. There is a nice mix of kids from different races and income levels. About two-thirds of the students are girls.

There is no formal gymnasium but the school uses a turf field next to the building or nearby East River Park. Indoor gym classes take place in a multipurpose room or the converted auditorium. Teams include basketball, tennis, cross country, track and field, soccer and volleyball. Students may also participate in ultimate frisbee, the literary magazine, the philosophy club, STEP team and more.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: About 5 percent of students receive special education services. The school added team-teaching classes in the 9th grade for the first time in 2016 and is working to expand the special education services offered in the upper grades, according to the yearly plan.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: BHSEC’s college office gives far more individual attention than is typical in larger New York City public schools. Each student is guided by both the head of the College Transfer Office (CTO), Beth Cheikes, and a CTO advisor who serves only about 20 students. "We have the time to write really good letters," said Cheikes. Students enroll in a CTO advising course, and they can consult the writing center for help with supplements and college essays. In the past, students have been admitted to a range of schools including Stanford, Yale, Wesleyan, Swarthmore, Binghamton, Middlebury, Haverford, Brown and Reed College. Students have also been selected as Posse Scholars. CUNY and SUNY accept the full two years of college credit, allowing students to enter as juniors. Some private colleges (including Bard College) accept the full two years; others accept less than one semester.  

ADMISSIONS: Students who have between an 88 and 100 percent average may take BHSEC’s entrance exam, which includes math and writing sections. Based on their performance on this exam, students are called for interviews. Past attendance records are also considered. Most recently, there were 35 applicants per seat. (Clara Hemphill, May 2011; updated by Katharine Safter, June 2018. Note: Safter graduated from the school in 2015)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
99%
Average daily attendance
 
96%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
8%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
75%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
92%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey

Students

636
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
39%
Students with disabilities
 
13%
Multilingual learners
 
0%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
 
76%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
95%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
19%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
18%
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
79%
9.9
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
153
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
89%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

 
34%

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

 
36%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
38%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Music

 
36%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
98%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
89%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
27%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Early College

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Comprehensive liberal arts early college program. Students earn a high school diploma and a tuition-free Associate Degree from Bard College.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Greek, Japanese, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Tennis

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

525 East Houston Street
Manhattan NY 10002

Trains: N/A

Buses: M14A, M14D, M21, M22, M8, M9, X37, X38


Contact

Principal: Michael Lerner

Parent Coordinator: Carol Ca Turitz

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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