Bronxdale High School
Projects, field trips and warm rapport between students and teachers
High rates of chronic absenteeism
At Bronxdale High School, students may plant trees to protect the coastline from storms, learn to cook gourmet meals, or create artwork designed to foster a peaceful community. Classes are smallabout 22 studentsand meet for 90 minutes instead of the usual 43. Class discussions, not lectures, are the norm, and students are more likely to take part in projects than to read textbooks. To graduate, students must prepare an interdisciplinary Capstone Project, similar to a college thesis paper.
The school encourages students to be kind to one another and to resolve their differences peacefully. BronxdaIe uses "restorative justice" rather than traditional punishments when students misbehave. Students learn to take responsibility for their actions and make amends to a person they have wronged in "restorative circles," or discussion groups where everyone can be heard. An annual Peace Rally is a full day of workshops aimed at "creating a culture of peace." Students make artwork about the kind of community they want, according to the school's website.
Opened in the Christopher Columbus Campus in 2011, Bronxdale has seen its enrollment steadily increase since Carolyne Quintana became principal in 2012. Teachers and parents are enthusiastic about the leadership and the tone of the school, according to school surveys.
"I have really been blown away by the unanimous support and love given to every student from every teacher," a staff member wrote to InsideSchools. "Social-emotional support isn't just something I believe in, but it's a school wide goal which fosters incredible student-teacher relationships, and teacher-teacher relationships."
Students take trips to the American Museum of Natural History, the African Burial Ground and the Museum of Modern Art. In the fall of 2016, students planted trees in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to make the coastline more resilient in case of hurricanes. Students in the culinary arts program prepare a three-course meal and student dancers offer entertainment at an annual dinner for community members.
Many students enter 9th grade with weak academic skills, and many are chronically absent. Teachers work hard to fill in the gaps. They assign different books to different students to accommodate a range of abilities. In one English class, for example, students read and discussed books such as Fences, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Raisin in the Sun and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indiansome easy, some harder. Students spend two years mastering algebra, rather than the typical one year, according to the Quality Review. The school's graduation rates is higher than the citywide average, but many graduates must take remedial classes if they go on to college, according to Department of Education statistics.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes in the core content areas. Advisors also give individual attention to special education students. English language learners get extra support during project time.
ADMISSIONS: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session. (Clara Hemphill, DOE statistic and web reports, January 2017)
About the students
About the school
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Programs and Admissions
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, 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