John F. Kennedy High School (New York City)
|John F. Kennedy High School|
The Marble Hill Entrance to the JFK campus.
99 Terrace View Avenue|
Bronx, New York 10463
|Opened||September 11, 1972|
John F. Kennedy High School is a former four-year comprehensive New York City public high school, located at 99 Terrace View Avenue along the border of the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx and the Marble Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, near the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. The building currently operates as John F. Kennedy Educational Campus, housing four small public high schools and two charter high schools. The campus serves grades 9–12 and is operated by the New York City Department of Education.
The male sports teams' mascot is the Knight and the female's is the Flame. The school has won 37 Public Schools Athletic League championships as of 2011, including titles in basketball, football, volleyball, gymnastics, and track and field.
John F. Kennedy Campus is located along the north-south border of the Bronx and Manhattan, the eastern half of the campus within Marble Hill, and the western half in Spuyten Duyvil, with the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad and Spuyten Duyvil Creek to the south. Marble Hill is politically part of Manhattan, but geographically within the Bronx. The school was built as part of an "educational park" along with PS/MS 37 and In-Tech Academy (MS/HS 38) to the north. The high school building was built to serve 4,000 students and is eight-stories high, but is depressed from the surrounding neighborhoods in the former creek riverbed. Entrance to the building is via a pedestrian bridge at the fourth floor, leading east to Terrace View Avenue in Marble Hill. A second bridge on the west side of the school to Spuyten Duyvil was originally planned, but never built. The other access point is at West 230th Street and Tibbett Avenue at the north end of the park, leading to a first floor entrance. The building features a large 22,000-volume library, several gymnasiums, and numerous industrial arts shops. The building also features several escalators and elevator banks. The roof of the school features solar panels, which provide five percent of the structure's electricity. Several portable buildings are located at the north end of the building, used for security offices and extra classrooms. At the south end of the campus near the shore is the athletic complex, featuring a football field circumscribed by a .25-mile (0.40 km) running track, a baseball field, and eight tennis courts. The football field was originally AstroTurf, but now consists of modern artificial turf. The baseball field is dirt and grass.
The campus is served by the Marble Hill–225th Street subway station, and the Marble Hill Metro-North station, both located at West 225th Street and the foot of the Broadway Bridge. The school is also served by the Bx1, Bx7, Bx9, Bx10 and Bx20 bus routes, which run along either Broadway or West 231st Street near the campus.
Prior to the 20th Century, the site of John F. Kennedy High School was part of the course of Spuyten Duyvil Creek which separated Manhattan and the Bronx, while Marble Hill was geographically part of Manhattan. Tibbett Avenue was originally the right-of-way of Tibbetts Brook, which merged with the creek at approximately West 230th Street. In 1895, the Harlem River Ship Canal was dug between Marble Hill and the rest of Manhattan, and in 1914 the original creek routing was filled in. The land was later used as a freight spur called Kingsbridge Yard by the New York Central Railroad, as part of the Spuyten Duyvil and Port Morris Railroad.
In the mid-1960s, the city proposed to construct John F. Kennedy High School, as well as Harry S. Truman High School, Herbert H. Lehman High School and Adlai E. Stevenson High School in eastern Bronx, South Shore High School in Brooklyn, and August Martin High School in Queens. Both Kennedy and Truman High Schools were planned as "educational parks", containing multiple schools in park settings, and integrating students from multiple areas and backgrounds to stave off de facto segregation within the school system. The Kennedy park would include two middle schools and other academic institutions including a planetarium, museum, and weather station, as well as a community center. The high school and park were named after President John F. Kennedy, who resided in nearby Riverdale during his youth. The school was designed to serve students in the Northwest Bronx and Upper Manhattan, relieving overcrowding at DeWitt Clinton High School and George Washington High School. After several delays, the site was acquired by the city via condemnation in 1968, and construction began in 1969. The school opened on September 11, 1972, along with Lehman High School and Tottenville High School in Staten Island. The adjacent middle schools were completed at a later date.
In April 1982, Kennedy formed a joint arts program called "Urban Arts" with the private-Fieldston School in Riverdale. That year, a mural was created on the south side of the building facing the athletic fields. This mural has since been removed. Beginning in September 1982, Kennedy High School hosted the Phoenix House academy to educate former drug addicts. By this time the high school was overcrowded, housing nearly 5,500 students. In 1985, Kennedy was among 72 city public high schools whose performance was considered deficient. By 1995, less than 25 percent of seniors at the school graduated. The school also suffered increasing crime and gang-related activity. In 2002, the school began utilizing metal detectors, following a fatal stabbing outside the school in August of that year.
Beginning in fall 2002, smaller high schools were established within the JFK campus, co-existing with Kennedy High School. Marble Hill High School was opened in September 2002. The Bronx School of Law and Finance and Bronx Theatre High School were opened in September 2003. The Bronx School for Law & Finance was opened in September 2004. The enrollment of John F. Kennedy High School began shrinking in 2004 as the small schools grew, with a target cap of 2,500 students. Results from the 2010-11 NYC School Survey were abysmally low. Over half of students who took the survey reported that their peers did not respect teachers or other students; over 70 percent of teachers reported the same; meanwhile the school became increasingly plagued by crime and poor academic results. In late 2010, the Department of Education decided to shut John F. Kennedy by eliminating one grade per year until it graduated its last class in 2014. Crucial to the decision to close the school was the DOE’s assertion that the school was under performing, earning an overall D on its 2009-10 progress report, with a F grade for student performance. According to the DOE, four-year graduation rate at Kennedy High School was 46%, as opposed to a 63% average for the city. JFK High School graduated its final class in June 2014.
On August 20, 2015, a gas explosion occurred at 8:10 pm, damaging the 4th, 5th, and 6th floors and injuring 3 workers who were at the time repairing the science lab on the sixth floor.
Six specialty schools – four established in 2004 and two in 2011 – are co-located on the JFK campus:
- Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy
- Bronx School of Law and Finance
- Bronx Theatre High School
- Marble Hill High School for International Studies
- New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science
- New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities
- Bronx Style Bob, hip hop artist
- David Britton, former college basketball player
- Dwight Hardy, professional basketball player
- Angel Estrada, professional football player
- Stephfon Green, professional football player
- Joseline Peña-Melnyk, Maryland politician
- Kid Capri, Professional Dj and Hip Hop Artist.
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- "New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science".
- "New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities".