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University Heights Secondary School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
701 St. Anns Avenue
Bronx NY 10455
Phone: 718-292-0578

Our Insights

What’s Special

Top-performing students go to selective colleges

The Downside

Very popular, many applicants

University Heights Secondary School, in the South Bronx, has the best of both worlds: It offers the comfort of a small school and the variety of academic options usually found at a large school. Students have a dizzying range of choices both during and after school: High achievers can earn as many as 18 college credits and have off-campus internships; students can grow vegetables in the school farm, join the robotics team or play in the school salsa band after school.

Students can apply to up to two screened programs, STEM and Humanities, and high achievers can test into an honors track starting in 10th grade. Top graduates have been admitted to highly selective colleges such as New York University, University of Wisconsin, Spelman, Bard, Vassar, Trinity, Sarah Lawrence, Brown and Columbia.

The school is warm and collegial. Students call teachers by their first names, but teachers expect a certain level of academic maturity. For example, 10th-graders are instructed to use MLA style to format research logs for big projects in science class.

University Heights belongs to a consortium of 30 schools whose students are exempt from taking most state Regents exams. Instead, they present portfolios of their work. Everyone must also log community service hours and complete at least one college course to graduate. Seven college courses are offered at the school, taught by professors from Bronx Community College; topics include business, psychology, painting and sociology.

The school is particularly strong in science and math, offering many advanced courses to challenge students at every level, including AP Calculus, Statistics, AP biology, AP Physics and AP Science and Genetics. In a popular 9th grade course, teens face engineering design challenges such as making battery-operated cars, trebuchets, bridges and other machines. Principal Hazel Joseph Roseboro says that both male and female students have gone on to study engineering in college, for example, at Purdue and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Roseboro has been at University Heights for decades, first as a student, then as a teacher and administrator. “I tell my students, ‘If I can do it, you can do it,’” she says. Staff members are happy and tend to stay for years. Every Friday, the entire staff gets together before the first bell for a school-sponsored breakfast, a tradition as old as the school.

University Heights offers a long list of electives including theater, creative writing, band, robotics, genetics and neuroscience to name a few. The many extracurriculars include Bronx Lacrosse, DreamYard Dance and Theater, gaming, mock trial, cooking, web design, yoga and more.

In 2010, University Heights lost its space on the Bronx Community College campus and moved into its current home, a former elementary school building shared with Mott Haven Village Preparatory School. The space is old and the hallways are narrow, but the school is tidy. Some classes are large.

Technology is updated, accessible to all and used in many ways from digital portfolios to instruction. Every classroom has its own laptop cart, students have access to a computer lab and a library with a media center. 

The school's athletic facilities were recently renovated. The many sports teams are shared with Mott Haven Village Prep, as is a LYFE center, which offers free childcare to young mothers at both schools. A psychologist, nurse and doctor are on-site five days a week in the Montefiore operated school-based clinic available to all students free of charge.

Students can earn up to 18 college credits in partnership with CUNY. The high school produces five to ten POSSE scholarship recipients per year, as well as Gates Millennium scholarship winners, whose education is fully funded through graduate school.

ADMISSIONS: University Heights looks at grades and attendance records. It requires a writing sample and group interview. Roseboro says good character sometimes trumps good grades. (Lydie Raschka, phone interview, January 2018; updated August 2020)    

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
95%
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
11%
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
96%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
91%
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80%
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
9.9

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
99%
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
98%
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
99%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
92%
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
519
Asian
5%
Black
26%
Hispanic
64%
White
2%
Other
4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
82%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
3%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
94%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
18%
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
100%
66% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2020 High School Directory

Humanities
Admissions Method: Screened
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (81-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (2.5-4.5), Math (2.3-4.5)
  • Individual Interview (On-Site)
  • Writing Sample
Program Description:

Our Humanities program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the studies of Literature, the arts and Social sciences. Students are exposed to common threads found in different cultures and human history. They will develop critical thinking skills, communicate efficiently and make cross curricular connections. Their academic experience will foster curiosity and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their relation to the world.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Admissions Method: Screened
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (82-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (2.7-4.5), Math (2.8-4.5)
  • Individual Interview (On-Site)
  • Writing Sample
Program Description:

The STEM program is based on preparing students for college and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Our STEM program provides rigorous and hands on courses in science technology and math, including robotics, media, history of engineering and inquiry, technology, calculus and more. Qualified students can do an executive internship in the STEM fields (including medicine) senior year.

Academics

Language Courses

French

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP Physics 1

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools
NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

Longwood (District 7)
Trains: 2 Line, 5 Line to Jackson Ave
Buses: Bx13, Bx15, Bx17, Bx19, Bx2, Bx21, Bx4, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx46, Bx4A, Bx6, Bx6-SBS

Contact

Principal
Hazel Joseph Roseboro
Parent Coordinator
Esmeralda Pelaez

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the South Bronx Educational Campus with one other school
Metal detectors?
No

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