September 28, 2017

Bronx high school where teen killed bully is dubbed ‘zoo school’ and has violent past

 It’s a jungle in there.

The Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, one of more than 200 small-themed high schools largely created under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, is nicknamed the “Zoo School.”

Its academic alias is tied to an animal-focused curriculum and a close proximity to the Bronx Zoo. But the 545-student school has struggled with disciplinary problems that give its nickname a darker meaning.

Only 19% of teachers said they would recommend the school to other families, compared to a citywide average of 82%.

The school occupies classrooms inside the Bronx Public School 67 building, and parents have complained about the arrangement for years. PS 67, operating at 117% capacity, is packed to the gills.

The School for Wildlife Conservation reported three sex offenses against students in 2016, plus two assaults with injuries and two incidents of harassment with weapons.

Its graduation rate of 73% in 2016 matched the city average that year, but its college readiness rate of 23% was less than half the city average of 47%.

Principal Astrid Jacobo didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.