Nine High Schools, One Roof in NYC

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

When teachers heard footsteps thundering in the hallways at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the Bronx, they threw down iron gates to stop student gangs from rioting, even as other students tried to deconstruct literature behind locked classroom doors. A decade ago, Stevenson, in the borough’s Castle Hill section, was one of the city’s most dangerous, overcrowded schools, barely containing its 3,054 students — when they showed up for class.

Of course, the building was also a microcosm of the diverse, discordant Bronx life outside its beige-bricked walls, and it carried more than fear on its four floors: Stevenson also boasted a renowned gospel choir, an auto shop, a championship basketball team, a 65-piece marching band and a 30-teacher English department, and it offered a dozen Advanced Placement classes to students, some of whom went on to Ivy League schools.

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