Collegiate Institute for Math and Science (CIMS)
Nice selection of AP classes; lots of trips to college campuses
Large class sizes; students must pass through metal detectors
Collegiate Institute for Math and Science (CIMS) offers students experienced teachers, challenging work and school partnerships with the University of Vermont and Vassar College. The school is located on the third and fourth floor of the massive Christopher Columbus High School Campus building, which is home to several small high schools.
College preparation begins early at CIMS. Starting in 9th grade, students visit colleges. The University of Vermont and Vassar College sponsor student trips to their campuses. In the upper grades, students meet with an advisor two to three times a week to review transcripts, college applications, financial aid forms, essays and more.
All teachers have at least several years experience. In classrooms, observed we saw a mix of teaching styles. In some, students were sitting in rows listening to the teacher at the front of the room. In others, students worked in small groups. Classrooms were colorful and decorated with student work.
Students must take four years each of social studies, science, English and math. For a small school, CIMS offers a nice range of challenging courses including Advanced Placement (AP) classes in calculus, chemistry, physics, English, Spanish and US history. More than half of CIMS students take AP courses, some as early as 10th grade, and many participate in internships. Student also can choose from a slew of elective courses, including poetry, film, philosophy, food science, robotics, journalism, genetics, psychology and law.
Class sizes run large, ranging from 27 to 34 students, according to the principal, Shadia Alvarez, who took over in 2011.
All campus schools share use of the lunchroom, gyms, auditorium, culinary arts room and outdoor field. Students in all schools can participate in campus-wide sports teams and orchestras.
Students and visitors must pass through metal detectors to enter the building.
Of those who graduated in 2011, 98 percent went to college. Most attend CUNY or SUNY schools, but every year some attend Ivy League and other private schools, including Barnard, Mercy, Smith, Brandeis, Columbia, Cornell, and New York University.
Special education: The school offers ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes and extra support on a pull-out basis.
Admissions: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session. (Nikki Dowling, May 2012)
About the students
About the school
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Programs and Admissions
All incoming freshmen are expected to take a full course load in all major subjects including physical education, Spanish and elective classes. Students who take accelerated courses in middle school will be programmed for higher level courses accordingly. Regents prep, tutoring, and homework help are offered weekly and on weekends to support students in securing success in courses and on external exams.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. History
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball