Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts

101 PARK AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11205 Map
Phone: (718) 834-6760
Website: Click here
Admissions: audition
Principal: Michael Walker
Neighborhood: Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill
District: 13
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: Carmen Vargas
Performing Arts
Visual Art & Design

Buses: B38, B54, B57, B62, B67, B69

What's special:

Arts classes for every student

The downside:

Bullying in the middle school; low college readiness scores

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Tucked behind the Navy Yard in Fort Greene, Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts offers classes in drama, chorus, dance and visual arts to students in grades 6 to 12. The building is clean and quiet, with bright classrooms and student work on the walls. Students wear a yellow or white shirt and black, khaki or navy pants and high schoolers have lockers.

While the graduation rate is high, the academics still have a way to go: very few students leave prepared for college, according to the school’s Progress Report. Students in grades 10 to 12 have flexible schedules, with many seniors getting out of school early in the day, according to Principal Paula Holmes.

The day of our visit, many teachers were enthusiastic and kids were engaged, even though the coursework was not very demanding. For example, in a third-year Spanish class, students worked coloring country passports while the teacher spoke mainly in English.

Middle school students have four periods a week of art and high school students have five or more. The drama class we saw was strong, while some of the art classes were basic. In art, seniors colored “college boards” with magic markers.

Students who have an average of 80 or above may participate in afterschool activities like basketball, newspaper, marching band or an arts program. “Band is awesome. They get the kids excited. Kids will straighten up for you because they’re part of some club.” Jamie Desomeaux, a 9th grade math teacher.

Advanced students may take Advanced Placement English, Spanish or Art.

According to teachers, students sit in the cafeteria when a teacher is absent. “It’s hard,” said one math teacher. “They’re supervised but not doing work.”

In the 2010-11 NYC School Survey nearly half of teachers said that order and discipline were a problem and more than half of students said that students don’t respect teachers or their fellow students. “Disrespect of teachers is an everyday thing,” said one 6th grade student. “They act like teachers don’t exist and they curse,” added another.

Bullying is a problem among middle schoolers. On our visit a boy came into the principal’s office crying because another boy had stolen his glasses and a group of 6th grade girls told us that they were bullied to the point where they didn’t want to tell anyone because it would make it worse.

Around half of middle schoolers continue to high school at McKinney. The rest go to Oliver, Prep-for-Prep and some of the top students go to private schools.

Students take trips to Xavier College. All students apply to CUNY and most graduates go to CUNY or SUNY schools though some go to NYU, North Carolina or traditional black colleges like John Jay.

Special education: There are four special ed classes in the middle school and an inclusion model in high school. The school partners with a District 75 school to accommodate autistic 6th and 7th graders. “Children need to have exposure to diversity,” explained Holmes.

Admissions: Auditions in October for 6th and 9th graders. (Aryn Bloodworth, October 2011)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Success Academy Fort Greene Charter

Number of Students 503

Average Daily Attendance 84%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
72%

Hispanic

  
24%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
84%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
4%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.38 2.60 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Safety & vibe

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

50% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

56% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

74% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

44% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

69% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

63% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

44% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

23 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

45% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

8% 26% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

11% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

40% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

0% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

82% 87% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Success Academy Fort Greene Charter

Number of Students 503

Average Daily Attendance 84%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
72%

Hispanic

  
24%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
84%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
4%

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

Middle school students reading at grade level:

11% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

8% 28% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

24 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

50% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

63% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

71% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

69% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

57% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

66% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

87% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

63% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

11% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

85% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

1% 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?

0%

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?

11%

Are students ready for college?

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

3% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

392
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

59% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

363
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?

75% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

40% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

25% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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 continuing 8th graders
  2. Then to District 13 students or residents
  3. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Visual Arts

Audition

Painting, drawing, art of advertisement and design, dimensional design, art history, textile, photography, product promotion, cartoon design illustration, sculpture.

Vocal Music

Audition

Theory, history, ear and vocal training, performance and beginning keyboard, songwriting, Mass Chorus, Gospel Choir, Quartet Ensembles.

Dance

Audition

Foundations of ballet, jazz and modern dance techniques, dance history, choreography, costume design and African dance.

Drama

Audition

Acting, voice and diction, theatre history, dramatic literature, set design, improv.

Instrumental Music

Audition

Music theory and history, techniques and performance; music composition, music analysis; conducting, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Small Ensembles.

Academics

AP COURSES: Art History, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, Spanish Language and Culture, Studio Art: Drawing

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Cheerleading, Chess, Comedy Improv, Debate Team, Entrepreneurial Leadership, McK Marching Band, McK Steppers, McKinney Scribbers, MOUSE Squad, National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, Poetry and Writers Institute, Project Male, PSAT and Regents Preparation, Advanced Placement Class Support, Robotics, SAT, Sister-to-Sister, Student Government, Think Quest NYC, Young 'Womyns' Leadership Group

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Cross Country

Source: High school directory

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