District Planning

Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications (posted 1.7.2013)

Proposal Information

Fact Sheet: Proposed Phase-out and Replacement of Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications (09X414)

(to download a printable PDF of this website, please click here)


To read a transcript of this hearing, click here.



We want every community to have high quality school options for families. Every fall, the Department of Education (DOE) reviews the performance of all schools Citywide. Over the past several years, despite the best efforts of the community and the DOE to support Jonathan Levin High School for Media and Communications (“Jonathan Levin”), the school has struggled to meet basic requirements for student success.


On December 3, 2012, Bronx High School Superintendent Carron Staple held meetings at the school with the School Leadership Team, staff, and parents to discuss what is working at Jonathan Levin, what needs to be improved, and how the community can work together to better serve students.


Based on an extensive review of qualitative and quantitative data and community feedback, the DOE has determined that Jonathan Levin does not have the capacity to quickly improve and is proposing that the school be phased out. The DOE is also proposing that the school be replaced by a new school.


Proposing to phase out a school is the most difficult decision we make. We are proposing to phase out Jonathan Levin because it is the right action for current and future students in this community.  If the proposal to phase out Jonathan Levin is approved, the school would phase out gradually over the next several years. The school would close in June 2016 after its phase-out is complete.


We hope you share our view that we can—and must—do better for students. The DOE will continue to work closely with Jonathan Levin staff and families to ensure that all students receive the support they need to succeed.



Performance Summary


Graduation Rates

Progress Report Grades

Quality Review Rating

2011-2012 (4 year rate)

2011-2012 (6 year rate)












  • Graduation rates have remained below 54% for the last four years and declined steeply in 2011-2012. Jonathan Levin’s four-year graduation rate (including August graduates) was 31% in 2012—well below the most recent Citywide average of 65.5% (Citywide average is based on the 2011 New York State reported graduation results for NYCDOE students.)
  • First year credit accumulation is a key predictor of student success because students who fall behind early in high school often have trouble getting back on track to graduate. In 2011-2012, only 65% of first-year students at Jonathan Levin earned at least 10 credits with at least 6 of those credits earned across 3 of the 4 core subject areas. This rate of credit accumulation puts Jonathan Levin in the lowest 13% of schools Citywide.
  •  Jonathan Levin was identified by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a Priority school, defined by NYSED as one of the bottom 5% of schools in the state.
  • The Progress Report measures the progress and performance of students in a school, as well as the school environment, compared to other schools serving similar student populations. Jonathan Levin earned a D grade on its 2011-2012 annual Progress Report, including F grades for Student Progress, Student Performance, and College and Career Readiness  and a C grade for School Environment. Jonathan Levin has a history of low performance, including overall C grades on both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 Progress Reports.
  • Only 25% of students in the Class of 2011 (all students who entered high school four years earlier) enrolled in a two- or four-year college, vocational school, or public service program by December 31, 2011. This is significantly lower than the Citywide average of 49%.

Despite our best efforts, the school has struggled


We recognize that Jonathan Levin staff members have worked hard to improve the school, but even with support the school has not produced adequate outcomes for students. To help the school’s efforts to improve performance, the DOE has offered numerous supports to Jonathan Levin including:


Leadership Support:

  • Assisting school leadership in the development of instructional plans and goals for the school year, in support of the school’s Comprehensive Education Plan.
  • Supporting the principal and assistant principals in aligning curriculum to citywide instructional expectations to raise standards for teacher practice and student learning.
  • Coaching the principal and assistant principals in the use of classroom observations and feedback to enhance teacher effectiveness.


Instructional Support:

  • Facilitating training for school staff in research-based instructional practices aimed at increasing the academic achievement of students with disabilities.
  • Coaching and training teachers on utilizing student performance data to inform curriculum development and differentiate instruction for students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
  • Advising school staff on effective methods for integrating technology into the classroom to enhance student engagement.


Operational Support:

  • Supporting school staff in meeting compliance requirements for students with disabilities in order to ensure that students receive mandated services.
  • Advising the school on budgeting, grant opportunities, staffing and building management.
  • Training school staff in the use of student data systems to facilitate attendance tracking and the efficient preparation of students’ class schedules.


Student Support:

  • Facilitating a program placing college writing tutors in the classroom to provide direct support to students, as well as helping the school establish a tutoring center to foster the development of students’ literacy and writing skills.
  • Coaching the school in the development of strategies to increase student attendance.
  • Supporting the school in coordinating workshops for students and parents focused on college readiness, the college application process, college entrance requirements and applying for financial aid.


What would the proposal mean for current students?

If this proposal is approved by the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), Jonathan Levin would gradually phase out over the next several years.  Our top priority is ensuring that current Jonathan Levin students are supported through graduation.  Below are enrollment plans for current Jonathan Levin students if the school were to be phased out.


·         Current, first-time ninth grade students would have the option of completing high school at Jonathan Levin if they continue to earn credits on schedule and pass the required Regents exams.  They may also apply to attend a different high school by participating in the second round of the High School Admissions Process.  Students interested in applying to another school for September 2013, should meet with a guidance counselor.


To learn about schools that have tenth-grade seats available through the High Schools Admissions Process, review the Directory of the New York City Public High Schools 2012-2013. If you need a copy of the directory, ask your guidance counselor, visit an enrollment office, or access the online version at


·         Current, repeating ninth grade students would complete high school at Jonathan Levin as long as they earn credits on schedule and pass the required Regents exams. As the school becomes smaller, these students would receive more individualized attention to support them toward graduation and to help them prepare for post-secondary education and/or career plans. Students are encouraged to meet with their guidance counselor to review progress toward graduation.

·         Current 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students who are on track to graduate would complete high school at Jonathan Levin if they continue to earn credits on schedule. As the school becomes smaller, these students would receive more individualized attention to support them toward graduation and to help them prepare for post-secondary education and/or career plans. Students would also be encouraged to meet with their guidance counselor to review progress toward graduation.


·         Current 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students who are not on track to graduate should meet with their guidance counselors to review their progress toward graduation and to discuss their options. Make a plan to accumulate credits and pass Regents exams.  Students could complete high school at Leadership or consider applying to a transfer high school.  For information about these options, speak with your guidance counselor or visit


If the proposal to phase out Jonathan Levin is approved, the school would not admit new ninth-grade students after the end of this school year. Jonathan Levin would continue to serve students currently enrolled in the school.  The school would close in June 2016 after its phase-out is complete.



Supporting Current Students


The DOE remains focused on helping Jonathan Levin students succeed. If this proposal is approved, Jonathan Levin would be provided targeted, customized and intensive supports aimed at the unique needs of the school and its students. This support would be in the areas of budget, staffing, programming, community engagement, guidance and enrollment including, but not limited to: 


  • Helping the school provide students with options that support their advancement and fully prepare students for their next transition point,
  • Working with school staff to foster a positive culture, and
  • Supporting school leadership in efficiently and strategically allocating resources to ensure a consistent and coherent school environment focused on student outcomes.

Plans for a New School for the Jonathan Levin Community


The DOE has proposed to open and co-locate a new secondary school in the same building as Jonathan Levin.  If that co-location proposal is approved, the new school will begin serving students in grade 6 in the 2013-2014 school year and will add grades 7-12 over the course of the following years.


More information about this replacement school will be available shortly. We will work with the community to retain partnerships with community-based organizations that are offering valuable services to the school community.



Next Steps and What You Can Expect


In the next two months, the DOE will invite the Jonathan Levin community to participate in a joint public hearing co-hosted by the DOE, the District 9 Community Education Council, and Jonathan Levin’s School Leadership Team. As soon as the hearing has been scheduled, we will notify you of the date and also share with you the formal phase-out proposal. During the joint public hearing, community members, including parents and students, will be able to share their thoughts on the phase-out proposal.


The proposals to phase out and replace Jonathan Levin will be voted on by the Panel for Educational Policy (“PEP”), which is composed of members appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and the five Borough Presidents, during a public meeting scheduled for March 11, 2013. During this meeting, the public will have another opportunity to comment on the proposals. If the PEP approves the proposals, Jonathan Levin would not accept new students next school year. 





Sharing Your Concerns and Questions

The DOE is seeking your feedback on the proposals. We will record your comments and include them in our Analysis of Public Comments, which is presented to the PEP prior to the vote on the proposals. Please submit your comments to:


Phone: 212-374-5159





Opportunities for Feedback

  • Joint Public Hearing

    Date: 2/13/2013
    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: Jonathan Levin HS 240 East 172 Street Bronx, NY 10457
  • Panel for Educational Policy Meeting

    Date: 3/11/2013
    Time: 6:00 PM
    Location: Brooklyn Technical High School located at 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, NY 11217