University Heights Secondary School

Grades: 9-12
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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)    

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
99%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
96%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
Average daily attendance
 
96%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
12%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
100%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

597
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
78%
Students with disabilities
 
17%
Multilingual learners
 
3%
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?
 
96%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
6%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
4%
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?
 
100%
12.0
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
71
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
80%
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

 
11%

Computer Science

 
26%

Physics

 
10%

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
13%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
44%

Music

 
24%
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?
 
96%
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?
 
83%
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?
 
73%
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

Humanities

Admissions Method: Screened

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 efficiency 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

Program Description:

Our STEM program is based on preparing students for college and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. We provide rigorous and hands-on courses in science, technology and math, including robotics, media, history of engineering and inquiry, technology, calculus, computer science, statistics, and more. Qualified students can do an executive apprenticeship in the STEM fields (including medicine and/or science research).

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A

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

701 St. Anns Avenue
Bronx NY 10455

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

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the South Bronx Educational Campus with one other school

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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