Business, Computer Applications & Entrepreneurship High School
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School is being phased out because of poor academic performance
At Business, Computer Applications and Entrepreneurship High School (BCAE) students may participate in Virtual Enterprise and earn MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) certification, but have limited elective classes and few options for advanced courses. The school has struggled for years with low graduation rates and poor attendance. A high percentage of students arrive with weak academic skills.
In 2013, the Department of Education identified BCAE as one of 24 high schools that will be closed because of persistent low achievement. It will graduate its last class in 2016.
Parents say that school needs reduced class sizes, additional tutoring and time for new leadership and new teachers to have an impact, as reported in the Daily News. Lynne Callender became principal in September, 2012. A former teacher at The James Baldwin School, Callender also worked at the Academy for Finance Enterprise through New Leaders, a principal training program. She plans to replicate the crew or advisory program used at James Baldwin, where teachers act as advisors for a small group of students and follow them closely throughout their years at BCAE. Another goal is to increase the business-themed classes and extra-curricular activities, which have dwindled in recent years.
The school does not offer Advanced Placement classes and many students feel there is not enough variety in classes in to keep them interested in school, according to the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey. Motivated students can take college courses at Queens Borough Community College. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.
BCAE is one for four small schools that opened in the mid-1990s after the Andrew Jackson High School was shut down because of poor performance and renamed the Campus Magnet High School Building. The Campus Magnet building is located in a quiet, residential area. All four schools, which also include Humanities & Arts Magnet, Law, Government, and Community Service and Mathematics, Science Research and Technology, share use of the auditorium, gym, cafeteria, library, swimming pool and sports fields.
Safety concerns persisted in the building for years and in 2006 the entire campus was designated an Impact School, meaning extra security was needed. A year later the campus was removed from the Impact list and the building was reorganized so that each school had its own dedicated space as well as its own lunch and gym periods. Students in all schools wear uniforms and must enter the building through a single entrance in the cafeteria where they must pass through metal detectors.
Overall students say they feel safe at school, based on their answers to the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey (LES). However, the majority of student responses indicate that instances of fights and bullying persist.
The school is not located near any subway lines. Most Students take the E or F train to Parsons Boulevard and transfer to a bus.
Students can participate in campus-wide PSAL sports as well as extra-curricular activities such as yearbook, school newspaper, student government, and Future Business Leaders of America.
Special education: BCAE has the largest population students with special needs of any of the Campus Magnet schools. There are ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching classes). English language learners get extra help from campus-wide ESL instructors who serve students in all schools.
Admissions: Priority to Queens students or residents. Admissions follows the educational option formula designed to select a mix of low, average and high-scoring students based on their 7th grade English Language Arts (ELA) and math state exams. (Laura Zingmond, statistics, news reports and interviews, November, 2012)