• School for Wildlife Conservation Scores an “A"
  • Bronx Families Finally Seeing Achievement Gap Close Thanks to School for Wildlife Conservation

Bronx, N.Y. – October 8, 2009 – The School for Wildlife Conservation is proud to announce that after only two years of operation it has been given a grade of A, the highest score awarded by New York City’s Department of Education, on its first ever progress report.

“We are very proud of this progress after just two years,” says Don Lisowy, Director of Education for the Wildlife Conservation Society.  “The students and teachers are working very hard.  This grade is not easily achieved by a school in its second year.  We want to thank all who have supported this effort.”

Lisowy explained that each school is graded on three areas – School Environment, which is survey based, Student Performance (Levels on the ELA and Math State Exam) and, the most weighted section, Student Progress.  The final grade is then determined in comparison to schools in a Peer Group – those that share similar demographics (level of poverty, special education, ELL, etc.).

“Our school stands as a beacon of hope for the families in the Bronx – as a successful school where the achievement gap is finally closing,” says Lisowy.

The Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation (UASWC) opened in September 2007 in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), NYC Department of Education, and the Phipps Community Development Corporation to provide underserved Bronx youth with a middle school education focused on wildlife science and conservation.  Students have access to the Bronx Zoo as a living laboratory and WCS researchers as mentors, speakers and guests.  At UASWC, students learn how to ask questions within a scientific-inquiry method, conduct research, collect data and determine whether their answers are right or wrong.

In 1929, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo established the first and longest operating Education Department of any zoo in the country.  Today, WCS provides educational services to more than two million people in the New York metro area, trains 13,500 New York City teachers, and educates hundreds of thousands of students in 50 states and 14 countries.  WCS has won more Education Awards from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) than any other zoological institution and is the only informal science institution with comprehensive curricular programs that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for their outstanding educational merit.


Max Pulsinelli  718-220-5182, mpulsinelli@wcs.org

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.