West Brooklyn Community High School

1053 41ST STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11219 Map
Phone: (718) 686-1444
Website: Click here
Admissions: Transfer alternative
Principal: Gloria Rosario
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
District: 15
Grade range: 10 thru 12

What's special:

Kids can make up credits quickly with lots of personal attention.

The downside:

Sports are sometimes non-existent and vary year to year.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

West Brooklyn Community High School helps disillusioned students reengage in high school and plan for graduation and beyond. By capping classes at 25 and pairing each family with an advocate counselor, the school tries to offer personal attention and motivation that most students can’t find at a mainstream school. 

Principal Gloria Rosario runs the school in tandem with Director Stephen Marcus of Good Shepherd Services, a nonprofit organization that lends support to the school. A former lead teacher in social studies and assistant principal at West Brooklyn, Rosario—a graduate of Bank Street College of Education—was on the original planning team for the school. She believes that safety and diversity distinguish West Brooklyn from its peers. “We work hard at safety by having lots of conversations with kids and letting students mediate potential problems. I think our racial diversity really makes that happen, because kids want to protect the unique environment we have.” 

The small, three-story building was formerly a parochial school run by the convent next door. All classes have SMART Boards and two stationary desktops; in addition, a cart of 25 laptops is available for each floor. The school library is open to all students and teachers and doubles as a classroom for English Language Arts. A well-kept science lab gives students of forensics, physics and biology a quiet place for hands on work.  

Preparation for Regents is intensive. Students take diagnostic exams in school before the real tests and can also take advantage of Monday and Thursday office hours specifically for Regents prep. Twelve Saturdays are set aside during the year for extra preparation.

Extracurricular choices fluctuate year-to-year says Rosario, but with the hiring of a new physical education teacher in 2013, she hopes to create an intramural sports league. Students seem particularly eager for volleyball and soccer, she says. Theater, dance, and drumming are available electives in the last period of the day and a partnership with WNYC enables kids to produce their own radio segments.

Through the school’s Learning to Work program, a youth internship coordinator works with students to outline interests and hobbies, career plans, and develop necessary job-related skills. Students are placed in internships all over New York City including car dealerships, daycare facilities and the Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Youth Leadership Board (YLB) also provides an opportunity for students to work together on school-wide issues, initiate community service projects, and develop a stronger relationship with school administration. Students must complete an application process and be recommended by a staff member. 

A majority of students apply to college, says Rosario, and most end up at nearby Kingsborough Community College with which West Brooklyn has a good working relationship. Some kids choose to work right away, and then come back after a few years when they want to try for college. “We have an open door policy for alumni,” she says. “We’ll help them with college applications even years after graduation.” 

Special education: The school offers SETSS.

Admissions: Interested students ages 16–20 must complete a reading assessment that demonstrates at least 6th-grade proficiency, followed by an interview with an academic counselor. A family interview is the final step in the application process along with a math exam that is purely for placement. (Aimee Sabo, phone interview, October 2013)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 215

Average Daily Attendance 71%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
9%

Black

  
15%

Hispanic

  
58%

White

  
18%

Free Lunch

  
76%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
4%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

16 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

84% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

94% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

95% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

94% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

77% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2012

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

4% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

62% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

10% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2004 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

74% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

21% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

0%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

NA

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

NA

Are students ready for college?

How many 2008 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

1% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

47%

SAT math scores

NA
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

91% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

0% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

0% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

94% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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