The School for Classics: An Academy of Thinkers, Writers and Performers

370 FOUNTAIN AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11208 Map
Phone: (718) 277-1069
Principal: Janice Ross
Neighborhood: East New York
District: 19
Grade range: 9-12
Performing Arts

Buses: B13, B14, B15, B20, Q7, Q8

What's special:

Small school uses performing arts to engage students

The downside:

Difficult neighborhood

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Like so many new small schools, the School for Classics: An Academy of Thinkers, Writers and Performers has a long name that may be a bit grandiose. But in a just a few years, the staff and faculty have created a school in the shadows of the Cypress Hill Houses that seems to nurture students, encouraging them academically in a safe, supportive environment.

Key to the school is the theater. First-year students take an introduction to theater class, culminating in a performance piece they create themselves. From there students can go on to focus in a particular aspect of theater choosing from majors in acting design, technical theater or stage management. Teaching artists from professional theater companies supplement the instruction. Students are required to participate in yearly dramatic productions, probably of a play by Shakespeare. Being involved in theater -- on or off stage -- is designed to pique student interest in literature and other subjects.

The school also features story telling classes, an emphasis on writing and dance classes that include ballroom and more contemporary styles, as well as some Advanced Placement classes.

The emphasis on drama, students says, does not mean the school works only for the stage struck. "I'm the stage fright one," a senior says, adding that she has enjoyed School for Classics. "Kids love it. It's a great learning experience," she says, crediting much of that to the school's small size.

Students give the school high marks for helping them achieve. In the Learning Environment Survey, 95 percent said their teachers encourage them to succeed and 93 percent said teachers provide extra help when they need it. Judging from student's comment on the survey, the School for Classics has been able to create security in one of the city's more difficult neighborhoods. The numbers citing discipline problems were relatively low, and the vast majority said they felt safe in school.The school shares a building with JHS 218.

The School for Classics does not offer any interscholastic sports.

College: The school has guidance counselors but no dedicated college counselor. Its first group of graduates went on to local schools -- mostly four-year colleges -- including Adelphi, Pace, LIU and various branches of SUNY.

Special education: The school offers both self-contained special education classes and in class supports for students with disabilities.

Admission: Schools for Classics is unscreened and so far has been able to admit all students who apply. (Gail Robinson, October 2012, based on interviews and information from the high school fair)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with JHS 218 and Invictus Preparatory Charter School

Number of Students 309

Average Daily Attendance 84%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
65%

Hispanic

  
24%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
86%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
10%

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

23 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

66% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

83% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

78% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

60% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

46% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

84% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

88% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

83% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

8% 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?

2%

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

2%

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?

8% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

377
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

63% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

356
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?

79% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

90% 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?

54% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

81% 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 New York City residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Performance

Limited Unscreened

In the Performance Program students will explore the art of acting or dancing. Students will engage in portraying complex characters, scene work, monologues, and improvisation. In dance classes, students will be introduced to the language of dance, develop improvisational skills and basic choreographic devies, as well as learn history and technique of major dance forms. These studies will culminate in performance projects that will prepare students for college auditions and contribute to their portfolios.

Production

Limited Unscreened

In the Production Program, students will gain artistic confidence, by engaging in, and learning about, technical theatre, stagecraft, designing and creating scenery, costume design, lighting, make-up and special effects, as well as basic drafting skills. Students will actively participate in preparing for the school's main stage productions.

Academics

AP COURSES: English Literature and Composition, Macroeconomics, Psychology, United States Government and Politics, United States History, World History

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: College Readiness, Ballroom Dance, Drama, Music, Girls Leadership, Homework Help, Cheerleading, Step Team, Math, Music, Open Gym, Peer Tutoring, School Leadership Team (SLT), Spoken Word, Student Government, Writer's and Artist's Club, Track, Girl's Volleyball, Basketball, Culinary Arts, N.Y.S.A.A. Sports

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Boys Basketball, Track, Girl's Volleyball, Cheerleading

Source: High school directory

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