Sunset Park High School

153 35TH STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11232 Map
Phone: (718) 840-1900
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 15 and 20 priority
Principal: Victoria Antonini
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
District: 15
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Lizette Lugo
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: B35, B63, B70

What's special:

Small school feel in bright new building

The downside:

No Regents chemistry or physics

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Sunset Park High School, housed in a bright new building, has the feel of a small school, even though it serves more than 1,300 students. The students are divided into three “learning communities” where students takes classes together for the first three years so teachers can get to know them well.

Sunset Park is committed to teaching students of all abilities in the same classes. Students with special needs as well as those learning English are integrated into regular college-prep classes, many of which have two teachers.

Principal Vicki Antonini acknowledges it’s challenging for teachers to reach children with different academic preparation in the same class, but she says the benefits are undeniable. Unlike many schools where weaker students only take three years of math and science, everyone at Sunset Park takes four years of math (including pre-calculus) and science (including classes such as forensics and environmental science). The school’s graduation rate for students receiving special education services is far above the citywide average.  

Antonini says the combination of extra time spent on each subject and extra teachers in the classroom helps everyone achieve. For example, all freshman take three hours of algebra, one hour of “applied algebra,” and three hours of statistics each week. On our visit, we saw a pre-calculus class—a required course for seniors—with three teachers. Students worked at their own pace, using a combination of face-to-face instruction and online learning at computers.

A downside: There are not a lot of high-level courses. The school doesn’t offer Regents-level physics or chemistry. The school's only Advanced Placement offering, Spanish, meets at "zero period" before the school day starts. However, students may take College Now classes on Saturdays through Brooklyn College.

Teachers use projects to spark students’ curiosity. For example, the environmental science teacher uses a "citizen science" approach focused on how students can use science to affect their community and daily lives, like an analysis of the ongoing oyster bed restoration project in Bay Ridge.

Advisory classes are co-led with staff from the Center for Family Life, the school's founding community partner, as well as 11th-graders enrolled in an advisory leadership elective. The goal of advisory, besides academic reflection and goal setting, is social-emotional development and building a safe, supportive environment throughout the school and community. We observed one technology-themed advisory that was preparing to teach lessons to a 6th-grade class at nearby MS 136 about the small robots they had built and the "trash basketball" hoops they had printed on Sunset Park's 3-D printers.

Student representatives of each grade on the Leadership Team run monthly activities like a Poetry Slam, Spirit Week or Cultural Day to engage students and build community.

The school offers a robust after-school program, including PSAL sports such as baseball, soccer, volleyball, badminton and one of the first girls’ wrestling teams in the city. In addition, teachers and students co-lead tutoring and clubs like yoga, movies, cooking, woodworking and Bollywood dancing. The students meet up for these activities in the welcoming, comfortable cafeteria, where they can get a hot meal after school before splitting off with their clubs. Dozens of Center for Family Life staff, counselors, teachers and students happily stay at school until 6 pm.

Family involvement is a high priority, and PTA meetings are tied to school events like College Nights, workshops on immigration and Multicultural Night. At Sunset Park, students lead their own teacher conferences and convey their strengths, weaknesses and goals for improvement to their parents along with their advisors.

Most graduates attend CUNYs or SUNYs, and have come back to tell their teachers they were well-prepared to write research papers and to meet deadlines, school leaders said.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Sunset Park is modeled on the Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences, which has successfully integrated students with special needs into general education classes, many of which have two teachers. Sunset Park has adopted the same approach for its many new immigrant students from Mexico and Central America, Yemen and China. Rather than segregating children into classes of English as a second language, Sunset Park newcomers share a class with students who are fluent in English and receive assistance from an ESL teacher.

ADMISSIONS: Priority goes to Districts 15 and 20 students, and then to Brooklyn students, who attend an information session. (Nicole Mader, April 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 1333

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
9%

Hispanic

  
77%

White

  
7%

Free Lunch

  
79%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
17%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.22 2.40 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

20 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

69% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

88% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

78% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

34% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

70% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

72% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

2% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

5% 10% 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?

7%

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

14%

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

1%

Are students ready for college?

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

11% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

376
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

385
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

80% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

68% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

93% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Districts 15 and 20 students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to Brooklyn students or residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  4. Then to Districts 15 and 20 students or residents
  5. Then to Brooklyn students or residents
  6. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Sunset Park High School

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: Spanish Language and Culture

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art, Clay Workshop, Creative Writing, Dance, Film, Homework Help, Internship Program, Knitting, National Honor Society, Photography, SAT Prep, Student Government, Theater, Tutoring, Vocal Troupe, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Wrestling

Other schools sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cheerleading, Fitness, Flag Football, Handball, Soccer, Softball, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

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