Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, The

Grades: 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

Our Insights

What’s Special

Computers for all, college trips, research projects

The Downside

Recruiting teachers is a challenge

 

The Laboratory School for Finance and Technology, MS/HS 223, has a dynamic administration, energetic teachers, lively kids, and lots of research projects and class trips. Each teen is assigned a computer for use at home and schooland the whole family gets training in its use.

Students tackle multi-step research papers and take yearly overnight trips that combine college visits and tours of historic sites. The school has a strong English and Spanish dual language program.

The academic offerings are smart. For example, kids tend to stick with math throughout their high school years because there are several pathways for all skill levels. All students attend five technology classes per week, where they study coding, web design, robotics and more. They visit Google offices, Buzzfeed and the Maker Fair, to name a few field trips.

There are coaches in every academic subject to help teachers design effective lessons. Children study about 400 extra hours per year. They get extra help in reading in one of three programs geared towards low, middle and high abilities. Every class has at least two adults. Keeping that student-teacher ration small is really important to us, said assistant principal Ashley Downs.

Founding principal Ramon Gonzalez, who grew up in Harlem, attended a gifted and talented program as a kid and went on to win a scholarship to Cornell University. He is determined to offer the children of the South Bronx the same educational opportunities that allowed him to rise from poverty.

Opened with a 6th grade in 2003, the school expanded to include high school grades in 2013 in hopes of offering continuity and better preparation for college.

In 2015 the school joined a consortium of New York State schools that does not require Regents exams, except in English. Instead, children take on reading and writing projects called Performance Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs), which are like mini dissertations, the principal said. Students must complete four of these tasks in the 12th grade to graduate, in English, math, social studies and science.

Middle school children do so-called prePBATs to get used to the reading, writing and speaking skills needed for high school tasks. We saw 7th graders consult notes they had compiled from reading articles together in class. As she typed up her notes, a child new to prePBATs, said, I already did the outline and now Im putting it in paragraph form. Its more work, but its easier. Ninth graders design their own experiments: one group visited Trinity Church cemetery in lower Manhattan to measure the effects of acid rain on tombstones.

Middle school children stay until 4:45 pm for various activities and academics. Two hundred attend a free summer program. High school students can make up credits after school, participate in sports or join one of the schools six bands. About one-fourth of the eighty 12th graders work with a teacher to prepare for the Advanced Placement computer science exam after school.

Recruiting teachers can be a challenge. Parking is scarce and a consortium school requires teachers to work heavily in teams, which has caused pushback among some staff, the principal said. Still, close to a dozen former teachers have gone on to become principals elsewhere, which makes Gonzalez proud. Thats the way we get to influence the system, he said.

In addition to typical sports, children can try out unusual ones such as squash, or Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art combining dance and acrobatics. We want to provide kids with as many experiences as possible so they can compete, Gonzalez said.

The college office is robust, and there are eight guidance counselors on staff, one for every grade. The school, with a first graduating class in 2017, is still new, so it is not well known among college recruiters, a staffer said.

The building is shared with South Bronx Prep.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Special education teachers receive extra training in one subject area, such as science, so they can be full academic co-teachers.

ADMISSIONS: District 7 choice for middle school, by lottery. About 700 apply for 45 seats; roughly 300 apply for 22 seats in the Spanish dual language program, which is screened. More than half the 8th graders continue in the high school. In high school, the dual language program screens for Spanish proficiency, otherwise, it is limited unscreened with priority to those who show interest at a fair or open house. (Lydie Raschka, March 2017)

 

 

 

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
96%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
94%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
Average daily attendance
 
89%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
36%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
83%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
86%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

715
Number of students
631 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
95%
Students with disabilities
 
18%
Multilingual learners
 
6%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
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?
 
20%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
14%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
86%
18.2
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
98
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
62%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 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

 
7%

Computer Science

 
13%

Physics

 
30%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
22%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
47%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
50%

Music

 
1%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year 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?
 
87%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
87%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
74%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought 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

Dual Language Spanish Program

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

The vision of this program is to educate our students to become bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural in this ever-increasing global society. Our students will achieve academic excellence in two languages while attaining a multicultural understanding and appreciation for the different cultures represented in our program and in our world.

The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

All students have the opportunity to specialize in either computer science or personal finance and entrepreneurship. Both courses of study culminate in college or career accreditation and opportunities for job shadows and internships.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 1, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP Biology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Computer Science A, AP Psychology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Spanish Language and Culture

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Handball, Outdoor Track, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

360 East 145th Street
Bronx NY 10454

Trains: 2 Line, 5 Line to 3rd Ave-149th St; 4 Line to 138th St; 6 Line to 3rd Ave-138th St

Buses: Bx1, Bx15, Bx17, Bx19, Bx2, Bx21, Bx32, Bx33, Bx4, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx4A


Contact

Principal: Dr. Ramon Gonzalez

Parent Coordinator: Wanda Hill

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with South Bronx Prep

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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