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Pelham Preparatory Academy

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed Noteworthy

Our Insights

What’s Special

Close-knit community; partnerships with Lehman College and University of Vermont

The Downside

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.

(Laura Zingmond, web reports, November 2018)


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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 599


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science



Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Pelham Preparatory Academy (X45A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

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.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Chemistry (Advanced Science), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Math (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


925 Astor Avenue
Bronx NY 10469

Trains: 2 Line to Allerton Av; 5 Line to Pelham Parkway

Buses: Bx12, Bx12-SBS, Bx25, Bx26, Bx30, Bx39, Bx8, BxM11


Principal: Benvenuto Ferron

Parent Coordinator: Julie Pozo


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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