Bushwick High School, renamed the Bushwick Educational Campus, houses four small schools. Inquiries about Bushwick High School records and history should now be directed to the Bushwick High School for Social Justice.
The Bushwick School for Social Justice has a cohesive staff committed to fostering students' social and emotional development as well as their academic progress. It is housed primarily in an air-conditioned annex of the Bushwick High School complex, set apart from the other small schools in the building.The school maintains a relationship with Make The Road, which supports the school's social justice curriculum.
The Brooklyn School for Math and Research (B-SMART), which opened in September 2011, offers a demanding academic program and good preparation for college. The school has a solid record of serving students with special needs who graduate at a rate that's well over the citywide average.
Two other schools have encountered some difficulties: Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering was supposed to explore its theme of urban planning and The Academy for Environmental Leadership was supposed to get kids involved in activities such as testing air and water quality. But the themes at both schools foundered when their community partner, the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment, went out of business in 2009. Both schools have made the effort to establish new program relationships. The Academy of Urban Planning has created an innovative urban farm on the campus grounds, in cooperation with GrowNYC and the Green Guerrillas, that has been incorporated into the earth science curriculum and provides students with internships and summer jobs through the Green Markets program. The Academy for Environmental Leadership has built relationships with Brooklyn College Community Partnerships. New York Technical College and the Summer Search program to broaden student experiences and help them prepare for college and careers.
The building has metal detectors and, while there are still concerns about discipline, the building is calmer than it was before the old Bushwick High School graduated its last class in 2006.
For many years, Bushwick, which first opened in 1914, suffered from violence, overcrowding and low academic achievement. At its most crowded, Bushwick had more than twice the number of students it was built for, and its two sessions were not enough to alleviate the overcrowding. In 1996, a student was raped in the basement, and a security guard was fired for being a member of a gang. Advocates for Children successfully sued the Department of Education over Bushwick's practice of illegally discharging students who were not making progress toward graduation. By the time the Department of Education decided to replace it with small high schools, the graduation rate hovered around 35 percent, just over half of the borough average.
As with any large school, there were a few bright spots. Bushwick's mock trial team came in third in the state in 1999, and the school had a thriving afternoon drama program and a solid technology program. (Philissa Cramer, August 2006, updated August 2018)
Contact & Location
400 Irving Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11237
Trains: , to Myrtle-Wyckoff Aves
Buses: B13, B26, B52, B54, Q55, Q58