Bronx Leadership Academy High School

Grades: 9-12

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)

 

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
66%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
50%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
45%
Average daily attendance
 
83%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
56%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey

Students

394
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
91%
Students with disabilities
 
30%
Multilingual learners
 
16%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
 
56%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
69%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
56%
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
73%
1.4
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
93
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
43%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 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

 
4%

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
3%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
7%

Music

 
36%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 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?
 
23%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
13%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
37%
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?
 
54%
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

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.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Mandarin

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

Location

1710 Webster Avenue
Bronx NY 10457

Trains: B Line, D Line to 174-175th Sts

Buses: Bx1, Bx11, Bx15, Bx17, Bx2, Bx32, Bx36, Bx40, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx42, BxM4


Contact

Principal: Geralda Valcin

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

You may also like …

Validus Preparatory Academy

1595 Bathgate Avenue
Bronx, NY 10457

Dreamyard Preparatory School

240 East 172nd Street
Bronx, NY 10457

Comments

  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.

×