Jonas Bronck Academy

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
400 East Fordham Road
Bronx NY 10458
Phone: 718-365-2502

Our Insights

What’s Special

A focus on research and writing; graduates attend good high schools

The Downside

Math instruction is a work in progress; no outdoor space

Founded in 1997 as an alternative to traditional junior high schools, Jonas Bronck Academy has become one of the most sought-after schools in the Bronx. A caring atmosphere, teachers who work together as a team and an imaginative curriculum combine to offer excellent preparation for high schoolboth public and private.

Students do far more research and writing than at a typical middle school. Beginning in 6th grade, children learn skills such as how to cite sources and how to weigh the reliability of materials they find online. By 8th grade, they write 5-page research papers, thoughtful essays on books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, and their own poetry. In science, they construct research projects on topics of their own choosing. One student examined whether a students height affects how fast he or she can throw a baseballand used a radar gun to measure the speed of the ball. Another measured bacteria growth in toothpaste and mouthwash.

Children read classic texts, such as Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream, but they also debate contemporary issues such as Is illegal immigration a problem? In one class we visited, 6th graders were writing essays about ancient Greece: Was Spartas educational system, based on fitness, obedience and courage, better than Athens, with its emphasis on reading, writing, and learning to be a citizen?

The school offers dance, art and Italian. A full-time guidance counselor and social worker offer an unusual level of social and emotional support. The student body is mostly black and Latino, and children come from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala, and various countries in Africa.

The schools average test scores dont reflect the high quality of instruction we saw on our visit. Teachers say they emphasize speaking, listening and writingskills that are not measured well by multiple choice exams.We dont do test prep, says Principal Brenda Gonzalez. We teach them to do research papers, write essays, and do interdisciplinary projects. Gonzalez, principal since 2012, has masters degrees both from Harvard School of Education and Bank Street College.

A few downsides: math instruction is not as strong as humanities and science. A lot of work needs to be done in math, Gonzalez acknowledges. The school, housed on two floors of an office building across the street from Fordham University, has no gym, auditorium or outdoor space. It does have a nice cafeteria and a multipurpose room that doubles as a dance studio. Children go to a nearby elementary school to use the gym.

The school invites representatives from various high schools to come to two high school fairs at Jonas Bronck and encourages kids to visit as many high schools as possible. My kids visit tons of high schools, public, private and charter, says Gonzalez. Children take part in academic enrichment programs such as Breakthrough New York, Prep for Prep and Summer on the Hill at the Horace Mann School. Many graduates attend Bronx Center for Science and Math; some are admitted to private schools such as Fieldston and Fordham Prep as well as the citys specialized public high schools. Jonas Bronck offers test prep for the Specialized High School Admissions Test to any student who wants it.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers team teaching classes with two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education.


ADMISSIONS: There are roughly 10 applicants per seat for 90 seats. Priority to District 10 students and residents. (Clara Hemphill, May 2017)

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
89% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
27% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
88% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 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 the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
44% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
34% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
15% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
6% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Fordham (District 10)
Trains: B Line, D Line to Fordham Rd
Buses: Bx1, Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx15, Bx17, Bx2, Bx22, Bx28, Bx32, Bx34, Bx38, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx9, BxM4


Brenda Gonzalez
Parent Coordinator
Wagner Acosta Ulloa

Other Details

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

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