Mott Hall Bronx High School
Demanding curriculum to prepare for International Baccalaureate
Some complaints of fights
A beautiful building, a rich curriculum that includes French instruction, and a stable and committed group of teachers make Mott Hall High School a pleasant place. While many students enter high school performing below grade level, most graduate on time—a testament to hard work by both the teachers and the students themselves.
The school shares the Bathgate Educational Complex--a light and airy modern building opened in 2006--with Validus Preparatory Academy and the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science. Founding Principal David Tinagero left to work at New York University’s Dubai campus in 2012. He was replaced by Kathryn Malloy, who had been the assistant principal and is a graduate of Teach for America.
“The school has a small but committed parent group and a tight-knit faculty,” said Romina Carrillo of New Visions for Public Schools, the non-profit organization that provides support to the school. Half the staff has been with the school since opened in temporary quarters in 2005, a sign of loyalty and dedication, she said. Mott Hall Bronx was modeled on the original Mott Hall middle school in Harlem, but no longer has an affiliation with that school. Students wear khaki pants or skirts and light blue shirts.
Mott Hall Bronx offers the International Baccalaureate diploma, a degree widely accepted at universities in more than 100 countries. More demanding than a standard Regents prep curriculum, the IB program requires students to show competency in a foreign language, write a 15-20 page research essay, make an oral presentation, and pass various subject exams. Only a handful of students are able to complete the IB program, and some teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey say academic expectations could be higher. Many graduates are not prepared to do college level work without remediation. Nonetheless, the IB curriculum offers wider opportunities than many schools have.
In keeping with the international theme, a handful of students visited Nicaragua and Haiti, helping to build schools there as part of a program called BuildOn. Mott Hall Bronx was awarded a $250,000 three-year grant to boost performance of black and Latino boys. (It expired in in 2015)
Students mostly say they are safe, although there were some complaints of fights, according to the 2012 Learning Environment Survey. More than one-third of teachers then said there were issues with order and discipline. In response, the principal said: "We are aware and we are taking steps to help the handful of students who are engaging in fights." She said the school has added a second social worker and an extra family assistant "to help students deal with their anger." There were "almost no fights" in the 2015-2016 school year, according to the school guidance counselor.
College admissions: Although not all graduates are well-prepared for college, top students have been admitted to Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Boston University as well as SUNY campuses upstate. "Our kids go to college," said Malloy. The "vast majority" go within 18 months of graduating high school, she said. The school has a partnership with the College Bound Initiative which specializes in helping students get to college.
Special education: The school offers both self-contained special education classes and team-taught classes that mix students in general and special education.
Admissions: Limited unscreened. Preference goes to students who attend an information session. (Clara Hemphill, interviews, DOE statistics, July 2012; updated January 2013)
About the students
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Programs and Admissions
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Flag Football, Softball, Wrestling
Coed PSAL teams