Strong leadership; longer school day; students learn audio engineering and app development
School is moving in right direction but has a ways to go
Longwood Preparatory Academy (Longwood Prep) in the Bronx is a small high school making some big strides thanks to strong leadership and supportive programs for students.
Principal Asya Johnson is a former special education teacher who has worked in both traditional public and charter schools and once served as the director of special education for District 79, which focuses on alternative high schools and programs for older students in New York City.
When Johnson arrived in January 2016, the school, formerly known as Banana Kelly High School, was struggling with a high dropout rate and absenteeism, low staff morale and rapid turnover of leadership (Johnson was the school’s fifth principal in five years). Since then, courses and activities have been added, the number of incoming 9th-graders has more than doubled and the school adopted a new name to reflect a new beginning. Teachers also say they like and respect Johnson, based on their responses to the NYC school survey and reporting by Chalkbeat, which described Johnson’s office as being lined with laudatory notes from staff.
Longwood Prep receives extra funding and support as part of the city's Renewal and Community Schools program aimed at improving low-performing schools, The additional resources have been a boon to the school, helping Johnson and staff tackle challenges and expand opportunities for students.
All students participate in CTE (career and technical education) that emphasizes media, technology and design. Ninth-graders take a class in digital literacy that introduces them to a range of software. Tenth-graders choose between two paths they stick with through graduation: app development or audio engineering.
A “student success center” is staffed by a full-time college counselor as well as student mentors who are trained to lead workshops on topics such as why GPA (grade point average) matters when applying to college.
Motivated students can earn college credit by taking Advanced Placement and College Now courses. All students learn Spanish.
Attendance, which has improved but still has a ways to go, is monitored very closely. Teachers are paired with struggling students to keep tabs on them, and all students are given incentives to show up each day. For instance, they accumulate points for good attendance that they exchange for rewards such as skipping a homework assignment or dressing down for the day. To get kids to show up on a sub-freezing day in early January, the school served hot chocolate and doughnuts as a morning treat.
Classes run for an hour, which is longer than the typical 42-minute period, and the school day runs until 4 p.m. The longer classes and school day allow teachers more time to deliver lessons and schedule extra help for all. For example, in addition to daily classes in algebra, 9th-graders take a math modeling course twice a week that addresses gaps in their foundation skills. Academic tutoring as well as prep for Regents exams and the SAT are offered after school and on Saturdays.
All students attend small-group advisory sessions where they discuss issues and engage in activities that focus on character development and conflict resolution. Upperclassmen also serve as mentors to incoming freshmen.
There’s a nice range of after-school clubs and activities thanks to partnerships with outside organizations such as a poetry and theater program through Urban Word, a painting club through Public Color, and art, dance and academic help though Bronx Community College. Through a grant to create calm mindfulness spaces in high schools, Longwood Prep installed a state-of-the-art audio booth, where students can express themselves by recording and sharing music with their peers.(Laura Zingmond, interview and web reports, January 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
MusicNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2024 High School Directory
Longwood Preparatory Academy (X94A)
Career and Technical Education classes (CTE) in Graphic Arts, Web Design and Multi-media. Freshman mentoring program, college trips and career exploration beginning in 9th grade.
OfferingsFrom the 2024 High School Directory
Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP United States History, Chemistry (Advanced Science), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Coed PSAL teams
Contact & Location
965 Longwood Avenue
Bronx NY 10459
Trains: , to Prospect Av; to Longwood Av
Buses: Bx17, Bx19, Bx4, Bx46, Bx5, Bx6, Bx6-SBS
This school is in its own building.