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 Urban Strategist

Top Public High Schools
Baruch College Campus High School
17 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010
Admissions Policy: Educational option
Grade levels: 9-12
Graduation rate: Not yet available
Enrollment: 386
Class size: 34
Ethnicity: 35% W, 9% B, 15% H, 41% A
Average SATs: Not yet available
Free lunch: 48%
Pairs of kids are sprawled on the floors of the classroom and hall, reading to one another from the Epic of Gilgamesh as part of their study of ancient history. This relaxed atmosphere, combined with hard work on classical texts, is typical of Baruch College Campus High School, a new school that has become one of the most popular in Manhattan even though it only graduated its first class in 2001.

Baruch is located on the tenth floor of a modern building on the campus of Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. (Students may take college classes too.) "The assignments we give are progressive, but the curriculum is traditional," says principal Jill Myers, who founded the school in 1997 with a group of teachers.

The school's strength has been in the humanities — kids read Greek classics such as Antigone and The Odyssey, Shakespeare's comedies, and Dante's Inferno as well as modern novels and non-Western works of literature from Africa and Asia — and writing is emphasized. But imaginative new chemistry and physics teachers promise to bolster the science departments. The school has embraced District 2's math curriculum, called arise, in which students must explain in writing how they reached their mathematical conclusions and solve what are called "real world" problems. (For example, they might use algebra to understand how codes were cracked during World War II.)

How hard is it to get in? As many as 2,000 kids apply for 100 spots, so children must list it as a first choice on the application. Preference is given to students living in District 2 or attending District 2 middle schools.

Downsides: Sharing space with the college can be inconvenient. The high-school offices are on the fifteenth floor, five floors away from the classrooms. The college uses the classrooms at night, so high-school teachers must lock up their supplies each day.

Guidance and college counseling: There are two guidance counselors and a part-time college adviser — an unusually advantageous ratio. Each student is assigned the same adviser for four years. Students meet with their advisers in groups of twenty every day for half an hour and write them weekly letters. The adviser is the main contact for parents.

Web Extras

Description from the Board of Education

1999-2000 School Report from Board of Education (pdf format)

• Hillary Clinton spoke at BCCHS's graduation this year and called Baruch "an example of what we need to do with all of our schools," noting its small size and its emphasis on rigorous academics and community building.

  • Baruch College Campus High School
  • Beacon School
  • New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies
  • The New York City Museum School
  • School of the Future
  • Young Women's Leadership School

  • brooklyn
  • Edward R. Murrow High School
  • The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences
  • Midwood High School
  • High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology

  • Benjamin Cardozo High School
  • Townsend Harris High School

    From the October 22, 2001 issue of New York Magazine.
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