Williamsburg Preparatory School

An Insideschools pick
257 NORTH 6 STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11211 Map
Phone: (718) 302-2306
Website: Click here
Admissions: citywide
Principal: Michael Shadrick
Neighborhood: Williamsburg/ Greenpoint
District:14
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: LISA STASZEWSKI
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Citywide

Buses: B24, B44, B46, B48, B60, B62, Q54, Q59

What's special:

High standards and built-in time for reading, writing and projects

The downside:

No lockers; metal detectors

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Williamsburg Prep is a cohesive school that continues to set higher goals. Students have good passing rates on Regent's exams, and the staff is determined to see that they succeed in college.

By many measures, Williamsburg is a successful school. It has a solid attendance rate, a Progress Report with all "As," and high marks on the Learning Environment Survey. Fortunately, the administration is not content to stop there. Rather than have kids end up in remedial classes in college the school requires them to take a small senior seminar devoted to writing 5- and 10-page research papers on topics like the Vietnam War.

A full-time community outreach person recruits heavily from the Williamsburg neighborhood, keeping in close contact with middle school principals who funnel brainy kids to Williamsburg Prep because of its reputation for rigor. More than half the students come from IS 318. Incoming students can take two periods of math and all students have double periods of English in their first and second years, one of which includes 20 minutes of quiet reading. Teachers also assign reading outside of class and we saw teens using simple logical worksheets to break long writing assignments into do-able chunks.

Students said there is not a lot of homework,instead they complete projects in class. We saw teachers lecturing, but mostly they roamed around supervising kids working on computers or in small groups. Physics students made roller coasters out of cardboard and K'Nex and planned to travel to Six Flags Great Adventure to experience physics firsthand.

Parents can stay on top of their child's progress online at a site where teachers post homework and grades. With this regular communication, "There is never an excuse," said a teacher. Although staff used to make lots of calls to follow-up on attendance they now put more energy into raising expectations and helping kids feel supported in their work so they want to come to school. There are advisory classes once a week which offer more personal attention to the teens.

The staff is committed to mixing kids of all abilities together including special needs students. And they have Patrick Drislane, a special education teacher who is reportedly "a whiz" at helping low scorers pass Regent's exams. "Almost all our kids with IEPs [Individualized Education Programs] are graduating with Regent's Diplomas," said Assistant Principal Greg Dutton.

Williamsburg Prep is located in the Harry Van Arsdale building, shared with Brooklyn Prep and Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design. Williamsburg Prep has more students but the same amount of space, a minor sore spot in otherwise good relations. Students must pass through metal detectors. Although few seemed to feel they were needed anymore, no one seemed inclined to expend the energy to get them removed.

Because there are no lockers, kids lug backpacks and coats from room to room although some have an arrangement with a teacher who will allow them to keep their belongings in a classroom.

Sports are campus-wide. Psychology, acting, and literature and counterculture are among the few electives. Yoga or weight lifting are offered in addition to gym class and we saw a refreshing number of boys in the yoga class.

A full-time college counselor helps kids apply to college. Parents get one-on-one assistance with financial aid forms. Students attend colleges like Cornell, Brandeis, CUNY Hunter, Gettysburg and SUNY Albany, with an occasional student getting a scholarship to attend a school like Middlebury or the University of Wisconsin.

Admissions: Limited unscreened. Priority to students who attend an information session. About 1800 apply for fewer than 200 seats. (Lydie Raschka, April 2012)


InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Harry Van Arsdale Educational Campus

Number of Students 671

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
20%

Hispanic

  
66%

White

  
10%

Free Lunch

  
81%

Special ed

  
15%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.90 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

24 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

71% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

98% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

93% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

98% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

29% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

89% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

94% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

91% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

20% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

89% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

3% 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?

17%

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

4%

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

35%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

41% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

421
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

82%

SAT math scores

429
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?

84% 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?

71% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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

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

Williamsburg Preparatory School

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Human Geography, Spanish Language, Statistics, United States History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art, Board Games, Cheerleading, Chess, Community Service, Cooking, Drama, Flag Football, Gardening, Greenpoint Youth Court, iMentor, Improv Comedy, International, Literary and Art Journal, National Honor Society, Readers are Leaders, Recruiting Ambassadors, Student Council, Technology, Urban Explorers, Video Gaming, Y Scholars program

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Double Dutch, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Intramural Basketball

Source: High school directory

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