Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, The

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Terrific musical training

The Downside

Metal detectors

Celia Cruz High School of Music, housed in the Walton Educational Complex, offers students great opportunities to perform at places such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Students take some of their music classes at nearby Lehman College.

In addition, the school boasts strong academic instruction. Almost all children graduate on time, including kids with disabilities, and there are honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses for high-achievers.

The school’s award-winning musical groups include a jazz ensemble, a string orchestra, piano instruction and one of the best school choirs in the city. “We have great music,” said principal Jerrod Mabry.

The musicians at Celia Cruz are a source of pride in the Bronx and beyond. Children have performed at the New York Botanical Gardens during the winter holiday season, at events hosted by local politicians and even on Good Morning America.

Mabry was named principal in 2013 and he has made the school stronger. Formerly a teacher and an assistant principal at the school, Mabry has raised academic expectations and test scores, improved attendance and safety, and raised the four-year graduation rate to a near-perfect level. Under his leadership, the school has revamped its computer lab, and purchased additional laptops and books for classrooms. Students have opportunities to travel to far-flung locales, such as Ireland, Montreal and Boston.

The school makes an effort to be inclusive. There is a gay-straight alliance, and a Restorative Justice program, in which teens learn to talk through conflicts before they become bigger problems. In the STOKED mentoring program, adults take struggling teens snowboarding or skateboarding four to six times a year to expose them to nature and challenging sports.

Not all graduates are ready for college-level work, however, especially in math. Mabry is proud of how hard his teachers are working to improve and how they have “taken ownership,” of teams and instruction, he said.

“Teachers go several days a week to lunch trainings where we work with each other on our practices and lesson planning,” said a teacher on our website. Some children get extra help after school. Nearly 100 percent of teachers would recommend the school to other families.

The Walton campus is shared with four other small schools. There are two entrances and students must pass through metal detectors. The schools come together on campus-wide sports teams, and in AP courses. There is a swimming pool where students may earn their lifeguard certification.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The four-year graduation rate for kids with disabilities is well above the citywide average. Mabry plans to add AP team-teaching classes, in which children with disabilities are placed in general education classes with two teachers. The Department of Education praised the special education teachers for adjusting lessons to meet the needs of kids with disabilities, according to the school’s Quality Review. For example, teachers added more music and articles to give kids a better sense of the historic period, when they read The Great Gatsby and The Great American Dream. This helped them stay interested and increased performance on the English Language Arts Regents exam,” the report stated.

ADMISSIONS: Audition. (Lydie Raschka, June 2018)



School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 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



Computer Science



Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
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?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 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

Concert Band / Jazz Band / Piano

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

Students audition annually to participate in varying levels of Concert Band and Jazz Band. Band curriculum includes music theory and jazz improvisation in all ensemble classes. Students prepare for a minimum of four performances a year, including state competitions and evaluations in solo and ensemble work. Please note all students auditioning on piano must select a band instrument in which to major.

Vocal Music: Chorus

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

Students study fundamentals as well as perform in concert choir. Advanced level choirs include: Stage Choir, Girls Chamber Choir, Mixed Choir, as well as other ensembles. All choirs incorporate music theory, music history, and sight singing. Preparation for state competitions as well as auditions. Evaluations in solo and ensemble work.

Instrumental Music: Orchestra / Strings

Admissions Method: Audition

Program Description:

Group instruction on orchestral instruments. Participation in three string orchestras and two full orchestras. With a performance focus, all students will perform a minimum of four times per year. Advanced ensembles perform frequently and represent the school on frequent trips and tours. Orchestra curriculum includes music theory, music history, and sight singing. In addition to concerts, students prepare for state competitions and evaluations in solo and ensemble work.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Microeconomics, AP United States History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, AP English Language and Composition

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


2780 Reservoir Avenue
Bronx NY 10468

Trains: 4 Line to Kingsbridge Rd

Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx2, Bx22, Bx26, Bx28, Bx3, Bx32, Bx34, Bx38, Bx9, BxM3, BxM4


Principal: Jerrod Mabry

Parent Coordinator: Yvette Perez


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Walton Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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