Close-knit community; partnerships with Lehman College and University of Vermont
Limited course offerings
Pelham Preparatory Academy provides students with a close-knit community and good college advisory. Starting in 9th grade students write drafts of college application essays and tour college campuses. Students can take courses for free at Lehman College, which also sponsors SAT prep classes for older students and a summer bridge program for incoming 9th graders to help them shore-up skills before starting high school. The school’s graduation rate is well above the citywide average, including for students with special needs.
The school was founded in 2002 as a program within the former Christopher Columbus High School and transitioned to a full-fledged school inside the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus building within a couple of years. Pelham Prep shares the facilities with several small high schools, which all share use of the cafeteria, library, gymnasiums, auditorium and culinary arts room.
The school does a good job of creating a supportive environment. Seniors serve as mentors for freshman, to help them acclimate to high school. Students say they feel “part of a family here, teachers and administrators always listen and take us seriously,” according to the school’s most recent Quality Review.
Group work dominates in some classes while in others teacher-directed lessons remain the norm. To varying degrees, teachers are weaving in more time for student-led discussions and in some classes, students are encouraged to delve deeply into topics, according to the Quality Review. For instance, after studying political revolutions in a history class, a student wrote about how French Revolution was the result of people having little to no voice in society and the deplorable conditions for those living in the Third Estate (poor and working class). In a marine biology class, students learned how the salinity level of water impacts its density, and then discussed in groups what happens when fresh water from the Hudson River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Typical of many small schools, course offerings are limited. In addition to taking classes at Lehman College, students can choose from several Advanced Placement (AP) classes, which vary from year-to-year, depending on how many students qualify. There are some elective classes including the popular marine biology course, which covers college-level work but not for college credit. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.
For variety, students can participate in a range of extra-curricular activities run by the school. There are also PSAL sports teams and several orchestras open to students in all campus schools.
Most students attend college after graduation, and those who do stay in college at a rate that exceeds the citywide average. Most graduates attend CUNY and SUNY schools; some earn scholarships to attend private schools. The University of Vermont partners with several schools in the building including Pelham Prep. In addition to admitting and offering scholarships to a few graduates, Vermont sponsors student trips to its campus and support for seniors preparing for college interviews and completing applications.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.
ADMISSIONS: Priority to Bronx students. The school admits students according to the educational option formula, which aims to enroll a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. (Laura Zingmond, web reports, November 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Pelham Preparatory Academy
Our program allows students to experience the quality instruction that has been PPA's story since our inception. We engage, support, and challenge students as they participate in college-ready thinking, writing, and behaviors, such as reflection and persistence. For this, it takes a community working collaboratively to build common practices. Thereby, our program implements rigorous curricula that exceeds standards, while nurturing student potential in a caring and safe environment.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP World History: Modern, AP English Language and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP English Literature and Composition
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
Contact & Location
925 Astor Avenue
Bronx NY 10469
Trains: to Allerton Ave; to Pelham Parkway
Buses: Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx26, Bx39, Bx8, BxM11
This school shares the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus with four other schools