The Brooklyn Latin School

An Insideschools pick
223 GRAHAM AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11206 Map
Phone: (718) 366-0154
Website: Click here
Admissions: exam
Principal: Gina Mautschke
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
District: 14
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Diana Palma
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Screened

Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59

What's special:

Classical education with four years of Latin

The downside:

May intimidate teens who fear public speaking

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn Latin is an unapologetically work-hard kind of place, where assignments are closely critiqued and public speaking is fostered. Every child takes four years of Latin and laboratory science and writes an extended research essay. Top universities eagerly recruit Brooklyn Latin students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

One of the city’s nine specialized high schools, Brooklyn Latin was founded in 2006 and is modeled after Boston Latin, the nation’s oldest public high school. Brooklyn Latin is the only specialized school (and one of few in the city) to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a rigorous degree widely accepted at universities in more than 100 countries.

Brooklyn Latin has an English-boarding-school aesthetic. Students wear white shirts and khaki trousers or skirts. Boys wear neckties.

Public speaking is an important part of the school's culture. Students participate in Socratic seminars, in which they learn by communicating according to formal rules of discussion. In declamations, students must memorize a poem or speech to present to peers. “I’ve seen kids who want to be flies on the wall really develop their voices,” said art teacher Kathleen Busoni.

What impresses longtime assistant headmaster Alina Lewis is the way students stand and deliver, through tears and memory gaps, and how they improve over time. The public speaking we saw was impressive, from a recitation from "Antigone" by a visibly nervous sophomore, to a passionate debate in a senior seminar on the inequities of education.

The school also prides itself on its strong math and science program. In an atypical sequence, freshmen begin with physics, followed by chemistry and two years of IB biology. Juniors and seniors may elect to take IB chemistry or IB physics as well.  “These students spend about half their day immersed in college-level science work,” said Headmaster Gina Mautschke. Bridge design, solar cell efficiency and seed germination are some former student-designed lab topics culminating in 8-10 page papers.

Juniors and seniors also take English, history, math and theory of knowledge (a philosophy class unique to IB) and may choose among Spanish, visual arts or world religions as electives. Some subjects, like math, biology and Latin, are split into higher and lower levels of difficulty. [Note: The school does not offer advanced placement classes; IB classes are considered even more demanding.]

To help with freshmen year’s steep learning curve, students receive support in advisory groups. Those who need more are encouraged to meet with teachers during office hours. There are two college counselors and two guidance counselors.

Freshmen travel to the Princeton-Blairstown Center, affiliated with Princeton University, for an outdoor bonding adventure in the fall. In the spring they visit Boston Latin and area colleges. The Spanish department organizes home stays in Spanish-speaking countries; some seniors travel to Italy.

Brooklyn Latin moved in 2013 from the top floors of PS 147 to the IS 49 building, trading places with Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn. It gained a gym, an art studio and science labs; it also now shares space with two schools and is located at the heart of Williamsburg Houses.

Administrators say students have had no complaints about safety; nevertheless, students are advised to walk to and from the G or L train in groups, and an administrator is outside during arrival and dismissal times, which are staggered with the other schools. The schools share some sports and clubs, a full list of which can be found on the school’s website.

A former math teacher and assistant headmaster, Gina Mautschke became headmaster in 2013, replacing founding headmaster Jason Griffiths, who now serves as director of programs at the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education. 

One-third of graduates typically receive the IB diploma.

College: Students are encouraged to apply to colleges out of state as well as SUNYs and CUNYs. Recent college acceptances include Smith, Vassar, Amherst, Brown, Cornell and Emory.

Special education: The few children with special needs are incorporated into general classes. A special ed tutor provides assistance in a variety of ways, such as helping a student color code his work to stay organized, or offering a safe space for a student to practice a memorized speech until she feels comfortable doing it in front of a group.

Admissions: Specialized high school exam. The school loses about 25 9th-graders each year and accepts about 20 10th-graders. (Lydie Raschka, November 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and the Green School

Number of Students 664

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
40%

Black

  
17%

Hispanic

  
14%

White

  
14%

Free Lunch

  
56%

Special ed

  
2%

English Language Learners

  
0%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.59 2.39 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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

78% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

93% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

92% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

19% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

98% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

35% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

0% 9% 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?

91%

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

0%

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

98%

Are students ready for college?

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

98% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

588
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

98% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

625
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

Brooklyn Latin

Test

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their guidance counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.

Academics

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: The Latineer School Newspaper, Garden Club, Certamen (Latin Competition), Saltare (Dance), Drama, Global Awareness, Law Club, Legati, Math Team, Model UN, Moot Court, Muslim Student Association, National Honor Society, Outdoors Club, Peer Mediation, Photography, Public Declamation, Science Olympiad, Stoked Skateboarding, Student Senate, Studio Art, Viajeros, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Cross Country, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Co-ed Cross-Country, Boys Flag Football, Girls Volleyball, Co-ed Soccer, Boys Wrestling, Cheerleading

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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