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Bronx Leadership Academy High School

Grades: 9-12
1710 Webster Avenue
Bronx NY 10457
Phone: 718-299-4274

Our Insights

What’s Special

A focus on law and opportunities for travel

The Downside

Concerns about discipline and order

Bronx Leadership Academy (BLA) was founded in 1993 through the efforts of South Bronx Churches and parents. In recent years, the school has suffered from high teacher turnover, poor student attendance and a declining graduation rate, but staff are working to tighten structures so students feel safe and teachers feel supported.

The school has some nice features. Students take field trips to law firms and courtrooms, and compete in mock trial tournaments. Lawyers at O’Melveny and Myers law firm provide mentors. Some children attend law courses on Saturdays as part of a New York University program.

Each year, four students travel to places like Mali, Nepal, Haiti and Nicaragua to help build houses, said parent coordinator Mohamed Kamara. A 2010 BLA graduate, Kamala returned to join the staff of BLA because he “loved the culture of the school,” where “everyone was so caring, like a family.”

Unfortunately school surveys show there has been a downslide in safety, order and discipline in recent years. Surveys show friction between the principal and the teachers, with fewer than half the teachers saying they trust the principal. In 2018 about half the staff left.

To turn things around, the school has partnered with Phipps Neighborhoods. “They help us with attendance and putting programs together for the kids after school,” Kamara said. Cell phones are no longer allowed in class, teens must adhere to the dress code and those falling behind must stay after school for help. To improve instruction, the school hired an academic coach

“It is much better this year,” Kamala said. “Everyone is working together as a team.”

BLA is two blocks south of the Cross Bronx Expressway amid the auto repair shops of Webster Avenue. The two-story building, originally a warehouse, has narrow halls and lacks an auditorium but, happily, it also lacks a metal detector. Instead, children are greeted at the front door by the principal and members of the staff, Kamala said.

One recent graduate was awarded a full scholarship to Cornell University. Others have been accepted to Binghamton and Borough of Manhattan Community College, while some go on to join their family’s restaurant business or work in retail.

The school has a small gym but no outdoor space. Softball and soccer teams play at local ball fields, and softball is sometimes practiced after hours in hallways.

Admissions: BLA accepts students from the Bronx. In the educational option formula, it seeks a range of academic abilities. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, interview, October 2018)


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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?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
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?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

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

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
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?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% Citywide Average

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

Bronx Leadership Academy
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

This program seeks to develop the critical-thinking skills of our students and expose them to issues involving ethics, justice and morality. We partner with the Justice Resource Center and law firms around the city to expand opportunities for our students to gain exposure to the legal profession (e.g., Moot Court competitions, Mock Trial competitions, law firm and court visits), and for scholarship opportunities.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

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


Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location


Claremont Village (District 9)
Trains: B Line, D Line to 174-175th Sts
Buses: Bx1, Bx11, Bx15, Bx17, Bx2, Bx32, Bx36, Bx40, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx42, BxM4


Geralda Valcin

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

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