Marble Hill High School for International Studies

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
99 Terrace View Avenue
Bronx NY 10463
Phone: 718-561-0973

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)

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 2019-20 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 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 2019-20 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 2019-20 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 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 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 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

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.


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


Kingsbridge (District 10)
Trains: 1 Line to Marble Hill-225th St
Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx2, Bx20, Bx7, Bx9, BxM1, BxM18, BxM2, M100


Kirsten Larson
Parent Coordinator
Ignacia Reyes

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the John F. Kennedy Educational Campus with six other schools
Metal detectors?

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