John Philip Sousa Junior High School (Bronx)

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Coordinates: 40°53′09″N 73°50′26″W / 40.88583°N 73.84056°W / 40.88583; -73.84056

John Philip Sousa Junior High School
3750 Baychester Avenue


United States
School districtNew York City Geographical District 11
School number142
Teaching staff13
Grades6-8 (formerly 7-9)

John Philip Sousa Junior High School (also known as JHS 142, MS 142 and John Philip Sousa Middle School) was a middle school located on Baychester Avenue, across the street from Cardinal Spellman High School, in the Edenwald section of the borough of the Bronx in New York City, New York. The school was named after John Philip Sousa and opened its doors in 1958. The school celebrated its golden jubilee in December 2008.[1][2]

Academic standards[edit]

The school had the city's only Korean language class.[3]


In 1960, Gail Bartley, a student at the school received a letter from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev after she asked him to contribute something to the school's yearbook. Khrushchev was the only world leader to have replied to students (U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower never replied) after they started a letter-writing campaign asking for a written contribution to be included in the first yearbook at the school.[4] The contribution, which was delivered in person by a Soviet diplomatic officer based in New York, was rejected by the New York City Department of Education due to unknown reasons.[5]

In early 2005, a teacher at the school used a stand-in to pass his state certification test.[6]

In October 2008, singer Britney Spears stopped by the school to drop off a US$10,000 donation from cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden.[7]

In October 2010, it was announced that the school was on the New York City Department of Education's shortlist of schools potentially targeted for closing. It was one of five schools in the Bronx to be on the list, and the only middle school in the borough scheduled to be closed due to poor academic performance.[8] Should the school be closed, plans are to split the school into two smaller middle schools, Middle School 529 and Middle School 532.[9] On 26 April 2012, the city's Board of Election voted to close the school after the last graduating class graduates in June 2012.[10] On May 11, 2012, the city announced that school would be reopened in the Fall 2012 as the North Bronx Academy, bringing to an end Sousa's 54-year-old history.[11] However, on June 29, 2012, a ruling by a legal arbitrator announced that all 24 schools slated to close under the city's "Turn Around" program (which included Sousa) will remain open. The ruling halted a central element of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plans for closing and reopening the affected schools, saying its method for overhauling the staff at those institutions violated existing labor contracts.[12] The school closed its doors in June 2015.

School Song:

John Phillip Sousa Junior High School, that's the school we love.
Working hand in hand, playing hand in hand,
Our aim is to make it the best in the land.
Teamwork will keep our spirits high,
High as the sky above.
The blue and the gray will always mean fair play,
At the John Phillip Sousa Junior High School.

Citation from Len Rose, Class of 1963.

Notable alumni[edit]



External links[edit]