Historically and geographically, Brownstone Brooklyn begins here.
Fri Oct 24 2008
284 Baltic Street. Grades 6--12.
What's special: Students do not take Regents exams.
Downside: Classes could be more challenging.
Founded in 1995 as an alternative school, and a member of a consortium of schools permitted by the state to exempt students from taking Regents exams, the Brooklyn School for Global Studies had strayed from its progressive roots in recent years. Administrators required students to take all the Regents exams normally required of high school students and the focus shifted away from progressive teaching methods. However, the secondary school has begun bringing back its original features project-based learning, grades based not on tests but collections of work, and in-depth class discussions, and on our latest visit we met many students who are enthusiastically embracing them. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
317 Hoyt Street. Grades 6--8.
What's special: Children who are disabled and those who are not study together
Downside: Some disabled children need a smaller class
The New Horizons School is a middle school that serves as a continuation of the Children's School, the city's most ambitious experiment in integrating disabled children with general education children side by side, in the same classes, all day, every day. Each middle school class has 28 children, eight who receive special education services and 20 who do not. Two teachers -- one certified in special education and one in a subject such as math or science-- oversee every class, a "collaborative team-teaching" approach that allows kids to get more attention than they would in a conventional setting. Most classes have other grown-ups, too -- aides assigned to help particular children concentrate. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
209 York Street. Grades 6--8.
What's special: Small, safe school for kids eager to do well
Downside: Few arts or sports
One of several "satellite" middle schools in Brooklyn's District 13, known as such because they share space with elementary schools, Satellite West, or MS 313, provides a small, safe environment for adolescents from the surrounding Fort Greene Farragut housing projects. Originally designed as a selective program, since 2005 MS 313 has accepted students of all abilities, although students and their parents must be interviewed to make sure they understand the mission of the school. Housed on the third floor of PS 307, MS 313 has pleasant classrooms and a relatively small class size. Kids dress in white shirts, blue pants and black shoes, adhering willingly to the dress code. In this school of fewer than 300 students, everyone knows everyone and children caught wandering the halls can usually be taken under someone's wing. Students welcome the one-on-one attention. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
284 Baltic Street. Grades 6--12.
What's special: Dedicated, dynamic teachers; culinary program
Downside: Few advanced courses
For the first couple of years after the School for International Studies, observers wondered whether it would succeed or end up resembling the chaotic middle school it replaced. During our visit, we saw dynamic teachers, engaged students, and a mature school whose sense of identity seemed larger than its size. Bright young teachers are comfortable employing technology and current teaching practices in their classrooms. Read the full review from Insideschools.org
283 Adams Street. Grades 6--12.
What's special: Girls-only school with strong math, science focus.
Downside: Not all students committed to theme.
The only all-girls math and science middle school in the city, the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women (UAIMSYW) is a lively and homey place. Co-directors Kiri Soares and Kelly DeMonaco always have their office door open, and students seem to have warm relationships with their teachers and administrators. We saw lots of eager student participation in classes and lots of energetic teaching. There is a nice mix of young teachers and seasoned professionals. Read the full review from Insideschools.org