Marble Hill High School for International Studies

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Stellar attendance and graduation rates

The Downside

Classes demand a lot from students

Marble Hill High School for International Studies strives to live up to its motto: exploring the world, one day at a time. Flags and brightly colored greetings in several languages adorn the halls. More than 35 languages are spoken at the school, and many teens are studying English as a Second Language (ESL). Teachers and staff balance student care with rigorous coursework that goes beyond city or state requirements. The graduation rate is excellent, and the vast majority of students are ready for college-level work when they graduate.

Many of the teachers were Peace Corps volunteers or have traveled and studied overseas, and most speak a language other than English, including Principal Kirsten Larson, who served in the Peace Corps in Africa.

The school offers two programs. International Studies students are required to take three years of a foreign language (Italian, Japanese or Chinese). Japanese classes were especially impressive on our visit, with even first-year classes conducted mainly in the language. The International Academy is open to ESL students who take one period of ESL and one period of English in 9th grade. Additionally, students may participate in conversation groups at lunch to improve their spoken English. The majority of the English learners speak Spanish, Yemeni, Bengali or West African dialects.

Students are required to do 108 hours of community service over the course of their four years. They paint murals, clean parks, tutor kids, work in clinics and more. They must complete an exit program with a résumé, college essay and college research paper.

Students prepare projects each marking period and present them one-on-one with a staff member. It might be a PowerPoint presentation or a monologue based on a historic person. One student made a game based on the anatomy of the human body. Along with a required four years of math and science, students may also take Advanced Placement classes or College Now courses through Lehmann College.

Parents are encouraged to participate in school events. Road to College meetings and parent-teacher night are particularly popular. The staff, teachers and administration all claim that they focus heavily on parent outreach to help students academically.

In a four-day college class for seniors, everyone applies to CUNY; the majority attend CUNY schools. Students routinely receive Posse Scholarships. Two graduates, a brother and sister, got full rides to Columbia University. Some have attended NYU, Tufts and the University of Pennsylvania.

Marble Hill has the highest participation rate of any school in the country in the iMentor program, says assistant principal Wanda Dingman. In the program, students are paired with professional adult volunteers for individual help with writing, résumés and college applications. Mentors also help teens find summer internships. “It has really helped us cast a wider net,” Dingman says.

Located on the 6th and 8th floors of the John F. Kennedy Campus building, Marble Hill has its own office and classroom space, but it shares its gym, auditorium and athletic fields with seven other schools. Students must pass through a metal detector. Black, navy or khaki pants and a white collared shirt with black shoes distinguish kids at Marble Hill from the other students in the building.

After school, students play PSAL sports on building-wide teams and can participate in fashion, dance, chess, guitar and more. Select students fundraise to go to China, Japan, South Korea or other destinations.

ADMISSIONS: Screened. Priority to Bronx residents and English language learners. Apply to one of two programs: International Studies, for mainstream students; or International Academy, for ESL students. The school strongly encourages an interview and writing sample as part of the application. “If you come to an open house and do a writing sample, you’re going to have a much better chance of getting into the school,” says Dingman. “We especially struggle getting ESL students to visit before applying." (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and interview, January 2018)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
99%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
94%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
Average daily attendance
 
89%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
33%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

444
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
88%
Students with disabilities
 
17%
Multilingual learners
 
31%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
93%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
17%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
9%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
77%
14.0
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
442
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?
 
91%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 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

Calculus

 
13%

Computer Science

 
14%

Physics

 
8%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
27%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
34%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
17%

Music

 
18%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year 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?
 
85%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
90%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
89%
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?
 
58%
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

Foreign Language Academy

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

College Prep program for mainstream students. All mainstream students in 9th grade will choose a foreign language (Japanese or Italian) and study it for three years. The other courses will be Environmental Science, World Literature, CC Algebra (students who passed CC Algebra in eighth grade with an 85 or higher will move on to CC Geometry). Each Wednesday, students will choose one art form to study for the year, take health and Advisory. Students will take PE two days a week from 3:10pm-4:40pm.

English Language Learners Academy

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

College Prep program for English Language Learners. All students in 9th grade will have one period of English as a New Language and one English class. The other courses will be Environmental Science, CC Algebra (students who passed CC Algebra in eighth grade with an 85 or higher will move on to CC Geometry). Each Wednesday students will choose one art form to study for the year, take health and Advisory. Students will take PE two days a week from 3:10pm-4:40pm.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP World History: Modern, AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP United States History, AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP European History, AP Spanish Language and Culture

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Golf, Stunt

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

99 Terrace View Avenue
Bronx NY 10463

Trains: 1 Line to Marble Hill-225th St

Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx2, Bx20, Bx7, Bx9, BxM1, BxM18, BxM2, M100


Contact

Principal: Kirsten Larson

Parent Coordinator: Ignacia Reyes

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the John F. Kennedy Educational Campus with six other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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