Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice

Grades 6-12
Noteworthy
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What’s Special

Modern facility, courses in law and government, lots of extra curricular activities

The Downside

No dedicated college advisor; no outdoor yard for recess

Our Review

Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice (LGJ) is a combined middle and high school that seeks to introduce students careers in law or government. It’s located next to the criminal courthouse, where students often visit as part of mentoring programs with judges and lawyers and more than a dozen law firms and companies (including several News Corp. divisions) offer internships.

Inside the entrance to the modern facility a wall is overflowing with many years worth of debate and civic award plaques. The school building features a mock court room, modern science and Mac-equipped computer labs, a large cafeteria plus a full-size indoor gym and fitness center (each grade takes PE three days a week), but the campus has no auditorium or outdoor yard. The middle school is housed on the 1st and 2nd and floors, while high school classes occupy the 3rd and 4th floors.

Classroom assignments often have a legal flavor in high school. One English class we observed drilled students on how to make claims and counter-claims. Forensic science is a required course. Debate is a popular after-school club and the source of virtually all the trophies in the display case, as well as favorable press. However, middle school classes focus on academic strength with double periods, limiting exposure to youth court observation and Law Day activities.

By the end of 8th grade, most students earn high school credit by taking and passing the Regents exams in subjects such as algebra, United States history or earth science. For algebra, students are selectedt o take the Regents bays on their performance on assessments and their overall average in the the course.

In addition to core academic classes, 6th-graders have technology, 7th-graders have drama and visual art and 8th-graders have health and Spanish.

Instruction is fairly tradition with teachers leading most of the lessons, though they do incorporated time for student discussions. Whether reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in their English class or The Jungle in United States History, students demonstrated good understanding of the books.

Classes we visited appeared orderly and polite and teachers find ways to reinforce good behavior. For instance students snap their fingers to acknowledge correct answers by the classmates. We also saw one student discussing a classroom behavior challenge with one of the teachers outside of class. “What are your options? What can you do instead,” asked the teacher. When the student returned to class and the annoyance continued, he chose to move to another seat so that he could focus.

In addition to its popular debate program, LGJ offers many after-school activities such as cooking, arts & crafts and basketball through the Bronx Institute at Lehman College The school has varsity basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball teams. Academic support is also available after school for both students who can handle accelerated studies as well as those who need extra help.

The school day starts at 8:15 am with a mandatory meeting for high schoolers held in the cafeteria and middle schoolers in the gym.

Students in every grade go on college trips. Through a grant from NYGEAR UP, students from Lehman College work with high school students on their college applications as well as help them stay on track for college. There is no dedicated college counselor; instead, guidance counselors provide assistance to students. Most graduates attend CUNY and SUNY schools and some go on to private and out-of-state colleges.

Some graduates eventually return to LGJ. At least 4 alumni are teachers at the school. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: LGJ has self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching)) classes, as well as SETSS support services. Principal Johanie Hernandez, who was the AP at LGJ for 10 years, leads the English language learner (ELL) department., working with teachers to plan lessons and target student needs. English as a new language (ENL) teachers work with students in their classrooms, on a pullout basis, after school and on Saturdays.

ADMISSIONS: For middle school, top priority to students and residents of District 9 who attend an open house. Decisions are also based on a review of grades, state test scores, record of attendance, completion of an interview and writing exercise. For high school, priority to Bronx students and residents who attend an open house. High school decisions are also based on an interview and completion of a writing exercise. Roughly 90 percent of middle school students stay for high school. (Jacqueline Wayans November 2017)

 

About the students

Enrollment
774
Asian
1.3%
Black
24.8%
Hispanic
71.1%
White
1.0%
Other
1.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
91%
Students with disabilities
21%
English language learners
7%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
106%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
91%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
22%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
85%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
81%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
43%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
0.9
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
87%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
93%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
83%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
54%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
96%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
91%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
46%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Music and Media arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
78%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
58%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
70%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, US History, Algebra I, Earth Science
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
77%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
86%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
84%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
6%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
28%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
70%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
17%
3% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
55%
43% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
73%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.8
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.06
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.92
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.3
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.92
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.58
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
52%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
91%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
95%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
95%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
55%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice for New Students
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice for Current Students
Admissions Method: For Continuing 8th Graders
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP U.S. Government and Politics

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

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

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Location

244 East 163rd Street
Bronx NY 10451
Concourse (District 9)
Trains: 4, B, D to 161st St-Yankee Stadium
Buses: Bx1, Bx13, Bx2, Bx32, Bx35, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx6, BxM4

Contact

Phone
718-410-3430
Principal
Johanie Hernandez
Parent Coordinator
Mildred Smallwood

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