Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers

Grades 9-12
Marquee homepage

What’s Special

Industry internships, students make take Syracuse University courses

The Downside

Low graduation rate, building has few windows

Our Review

Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers delivers on its theme: Students may run a mock business or take classes in accounting, financial literacy, real estate law and marketing. Top students may take college classes certified by Syracuse University and graduate with up to 30 college credits.

A special program organized by the NYPD works with students who want to become police officers.

Once very overcrowded and at risk of being closed because of poor performance, Bergtraum is poised for a reset. The schools graduation and college enrollment rates still lag behind the citywide average, but new leadership and increased support for students with special needs bring new energy and a sense of calm to the school.

Naima Cook, a former special education teacher at Bronx Lab, took over as principal in August 2014. The previous two principals lasted only two years each and were not popular with teachers, according to annual surveys.

Partnerships with accounting, consulting and other firms provide students with mentoring, tutoring and internships. In the VE (Virtual Enterprises) program, students perform all tasks related to running a mock business and participate in local and national VE competitions. Through a program with The Financial Womens Association, some girls are matched with a mentor from the business sector to get support with academics and exposure to career options.

Freshmen take two periods of English dailyone dedicated to reading and the other focused on writing. Living environment is also taught over two periods. Freshmen taking pre-algebra get double periods of math instruction. After 9th grade, students join one of three themed learning communitiesbusiness, law or technologythat they stick with through graduation.

Teachers incorporate group work and projects. In an English class, students used free writing and discussions with their peers to better understand topics of study. Students in a living environment class worked together to understand Darwins theory of "descent with modification," the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring.

SUPA (the Syracuse University Project Advance Academy), a selective program, offers advanced work and the opportunity to graduate with up to 30 college credits by taking courses certified by Syracuse University, AP (Advanced Placement) classes, and College Now courses at Borough of Manhattan or LaGuardia Community Colleges. In the SUPA classes we visited we saw lots of challenging work. For instance, sophomores read The Iliad in English class; in a required research class, they tackle weighty topics of their choosing, such as the impact of frequent relocations on children. SUPA students attend an early morning math class in addition to their regularly scheduled one to ensure they complete algebra 2/trigonometry early on in high school.

While students are mainly admitted to SUPA through the high school admissions process, Cook said she has opened up the program to a few strong 9th-graders initially enrolled in the schools 9th-grade academy, and she would like to expand enrollment even further.

Foreign language instruction is offered in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Students may also learn American Sign Language taught by a teacher in an onsite inclusion program for hearing-impaired students. AP and College Now classes are open to all qualifying students.

Classes are offered in visual arts, music and dance.

Students interested in law can join the moot court or mock trial teams. Student government, gay-straight alliance, robotics and SAT prep are among the selection of clubs and after-school activities.

Bergtraum is housed in a fortress-like brick building with few windows,adjacent to NYPD headquarters. It shares the facilities with three other small high schools: Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, which opened in 2013, Manhattan Early College for Advertising and the Urban Assembly Maker Academy, which opened in 2014.

There are building-wide PSAL teams including the girls' basketball team, which won 15 consecutive city championships before losing to Frances Lewis in 2014.

Theres a full-time college counselor on staff as well as a part-time advisor funded by the Harlem Childrens Zone.

SPECIAL EDUCATION:There are a range of services and supports, including SETSS, self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, as well as adaptive physical education. Cook hired additional special education teachers to ensure students received needed services after the previous principal was investigated by the state for failing to provide special education students with required supports. An onsite program run by District 75 integrates hearing-impaired students into Bergtraums classes.

ADMISSIONS: Students are admitted to the 9th-grade academy based on the educational option formula that is designed to ensure a mix of low, average and high achieving students. The selective SUPA program accepts students based on test scores, grades, an interview and writing sample.(Laura Zingmond, March 2015)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

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


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

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

About the leadership

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

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), and Music

Engaging curriculum?

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

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
66% 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?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

The Ninth Grade Academy
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

Well-rounded liberal arts curriculum and opportunities to prepare students for post-secondary options.

The Blazer Early College Preparatory Academy
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students will focus on a liberal arts program with an emphasis on math and science and will work towards earning college-level courses through Advance Placement and Syracuse University Project Advance coursework.


Language Courses

American Sign Language, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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.


411 Pearl Street
Manhattan NY 10038
Chinatown (District 2)
Trains: 1 to Chambers St; 2, 3, A, C to Fulton St-Broadway-Nassau; 4, 5, 6, J, Z to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall; E to Park Place; N, Q to Canal St; R to City Hall
Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BxM18, M103, M15, M15-SBS, M22, M5, M9, QM11, QM25, QM7, QM8, X1, X10, X10B, X11, X12, X14, X15, X17, X17A, X19, X2, X27, X28, X3, X4, X42, X5, X8


Naima Cook
Parent Coordinator
Carmen Munoz

You may also like …

Manhattan Early College School for Advertising

411 Pearl Street
Manhattan, NY 10038

Urban Assembly Maker Academy

411 Pearl Street
Manhattan, NY 10038