Stellar attendance and graduation rates
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)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Foreign Language Academy
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
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.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
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
Contact & Location
99 Terrace View Avenue
Bronx NY 10463
Trains: to Marble Hill-225th St
Buses: Bx1, Bx10, Bx2, Bx20, Bx7, Bx9, BxM1, BxM18, BxM2, M100
This school shares the John F. Kennedy Educational Campus with six other schools