Bushwick Leaders High School for Academic Excellence

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Dual language Spanish program

The Downside

Poor attendance

Bushwick Leaders High School is a tiny school that strives to give students who struggled in middle school the individual attention they need to catch up and graduate. Most students speak Spanish at home. The school opened a dual language Spanish program in 2018. 

The school serves primarily the Bushwick community where most of its students live, though some travel from East New York, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Cypress Hills, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan

Teachers schedule extra long periods of math and reading to boost the skills of incoming students who have fallen behind in middle school. Attendance is a struggle; more than half the students miss at least a month of school. 

Students are placed in small, gender-based advisory groups for extra support. Good Shepherd Services provides during- and after-school tutoring and instruction in small groups. They also offer gym, art, music, boxing and dance classes. 

Opened in 2003, Bushwick Leaders is affiliated with East Brooklyn Congregations, a consortium of churches and homeowners' associations that works to rebuild communities in Brownsville, East New York and Bushwick. Long-time principal Catherine Reilly has spent more than 30 years in the neighborhood as an educator, guidance counselor, advocate and principal.

The school is housed in a 19th century building that was once a home for the aged of the Roman Catholic Little Sisters of Sorrow. The building has renovated science labs and a library with a multimedia theater, wireless laptops and two lounge areas. The library is named after Frank J. Bisignano, the chief administrative officer at JPMorgan Chase who has helped raise money for the school. 

Admissions: Educational option. The school seeks students with a range of academic performance. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, December 2018)




School Stats


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 achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 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
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 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



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 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?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Bushwick Leaders High School for Academic Excellence

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Dual Language Spanish

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

Dual Language programs are designed to integrate English Language Learners with English-proficient students to receive content instruction in English and a target language.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Human Geography, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History, AP Environmental Science

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Handball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


797 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11221

Trains: J Line to Kosciusko St; M Line to Central Ave; Z Line to Myrtle Ave

Buses: B38, B46, B46-SBS, B47, B52, B54, B60, M Shuttle Bus, Q24


Principal: Catherine Reilly

Parent Coordinator: Melissa De Los Santos


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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