School for International Studies

284 BALTIC STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11201 Map
Phone: (718) 330-9390
Website: Click here
Admissions: Educational option
Principal: Jillian Juman
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens
District: 15
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: MELINDA MONTESI
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Culinary Arts
Dual Language

Buses: B103, B41, B45, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67

What's special:

New programs aim to boost academics

The downside:

Too soon to know if students can handle the tougher curriculum

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Major changes are underway at the School for International Studies. The school, surrounded by Cobble Hill's lovely brownstones, has adopted the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for all students, increased academic and arts offerings, including Advanced Placement classes, and added a program in dance to the school's existing career and technical education offerings. International Studies obtained a grant to upgrade its library, and the outside space is set for improvement as well. A name change is in the works.

Principal Jillian Juman, who took over in 2012, hopes these and other changes will make the school, which has struggled to find applicants in the past, an attractive option for parents in District 15 and beyond.

Although the school still has a long way to go academically, Juman sees some progress. As she walks through the halls, she points out students who, she whispers, have made enormous strides at International Studies. The graduation rate has climbed from 47 in 2013 percent to 66 percent in 2014, almost the city average. Chancellor Carmen Fariña has praised the school. An increasing number of neighborhood parents are considering International Studies for their children, Juman says, and more of its middle schools students—about 85 percent—now  opt to stay at International Studies for high school.

The transition, however, has not been easy, Juman admits. Many long-time teachers and both assistant principals left the school after Juman took over, and by her third year, 70 percent of the teachers were new. Many students enter the school with low scores on state standardized tests, and middle school students at International Studies have done poorly on the exams.

International Studies has been caught up in one of the city's more high profile co-location controversies. Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School, moved into the school amid some community opposition in 2012 and reportedly hopes to expand. Juman, though, wants space for her school to grow as well. For now, a truce appears in effect at the building, which also houses the small School for Global Studies and a District 75 program for students with disabilities.

The IB program is at the heart of efforts to improve academics at International Studies. Every student will be in the program although not all will necessarily graduate with the IB diploma. As part of the program, all 10th-graders must complete a personal project—it  can be written, electronic, visual or oral—that they work on throughout the year, documenting their progress in a personal journal. A 12th-grade project also is required.

IB, with its emphasis on projects and students directing much of their own learning, has long been thought of as an elite program. Nevertheless, Juman said, "When we started rolling it out, it was clear it was good for everyone. There was no reason not to give it to everyone."

Middle school students take French and the school got federal funding to start a dual language French program beginning in 2015. Arts classes and other offerings, such as robotics, are embedded in regular classes or given after school. Those in high school can choose among dance, the culinary program, journalism and art and design. "We don’t expect kids to come in and have a major," Juman says, "but to come in and have many different experiences so they are excited about learning."

Classes remain relatively small—20 students currently in the middle grades and 23 in high school. Work is well-organized, and students usually get a written lesson plan about what the day’s tasks and goals might be. Teachers strive to engage the students, with interesting issues and questions. A 9th-grade science class on digestion, for example, included a 25-minute activity in which the children observed and predicted how their bodies digest a cracker. In an AP U.S. history class, students read and annotated a discussion of Shays’ Rebellion and considered George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson's views of the uprising. Seniors read a passage from Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe as a prelude to a discussion about Western stereotypes of Africa.

Most students paid attention and stayed on task whether working individually, in groups or listening to the teacher, although some seemed to struggle with more demanding vocabulary and concepts.

International Studies has a college counselor, and students begin thinking about college choice in 9th grade. In their senior year, they take a college class, and Juman says all apply to at least six colleges. According to Department of Education figures, 45 percent of International Studies students graduate and then go on to a college or other post-secondary program—below the citywide average of 51 percent.

Although students expressed concern on their learning environment survey about safety, the school seemed calm and orderly on our visit. Two 6th-graders in an art class said they loved the school. "They're very nice here, " a boy said. Another praised his math class.

Juman says International Studies may not be right for children who prefer a traditional setting and that the IB approach may clash with what some parents think school should be. But she thinks her school is a good choice for children "who don’t want to do the same thing everyone else does," and "who wants to think for themselves."

Special education: The school has a number of team-teaching (ICT) classes and a self-contained class for middle school students.

Admission: International Studies accepts students for 6th and 9th grade. Although it is a screened school, a relatively small number of applicants means that most students who want to attend get in. (Gail Robinson, October 2014; updated dual language information January 2015)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Brooklyn School for Global Studies and Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School

Number of Students 486

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
43%

Hispanic

  
34%

White

  
16%

Free Lunch

  
68%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.31 2.59 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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

41% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

26% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

36% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

49% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

15% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

16% hi 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA 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% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA NA 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% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 9% 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:

22% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the Brooklyn School for Global Studies and Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School

Number of Students 486

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
43%

Hispanic

  
34%

White

  
16%

Free Lunch

  
68%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.31 2.39 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:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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?

58% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

36% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

77% 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?

49% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

66% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

7% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

70% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

8% 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?

5%

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?

10%

Are students ready for college?

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

21% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

406
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

59% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

417
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

International Baccalaureate

Screened

Within the International Baccalaureate framework, students will complete core and interdisciplinary classes as they prepare for AP courses in their 10th through 12th grades. Four years of math and science, and three years of a second language required. Completion of a research/dissertation project is required during the 10th grade. Completion of a Community Action Service project required during 11th & 12th grade years.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 60-100) , Math (Scores 60-100) , Science (Scores 65-100) , Social Studies (Scores 63-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.7-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.4-4.5

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

College, Career & Culinary

Screened

College, Career & Culinary is a four-year, rigorous sequence of courses designed to train future chefs, small business entrepreneurs, and managers. Entering freshmen are programmed for introductory kitchen skills and entrepreneurship. Wiithin the International Baccalaureate framework and our partnership with C-CAP, students complete internships working under local area restaurant chefs.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 55-100) , Math (Scores 55-100) , Science (Scores 55-100) , Social Studies (Scores 55-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.7-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.7-4.5

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Academics

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Cheerleading, Culinary Arts, Drama, Gaming, Visual Arts, Handball, Hip-Hop Dance, Horticulture/Gardening, Instrumental Music, Chess, Ping-Pong, Dance, Photography, Film Appreciation, Literary Magazine, National Honor Society, Newspaper, Open Art Studio, Peer to Peer Tutoring, PrincipalŒÍs Book Club, Robotics, Test Prep, Study Hall, Student Council, Yearbook, Fitness

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Flag Football, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Our school athletes join with students from Brooklyn School for Global Studies to compete in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL). We also offer Flag Football, Handball, Soccer, Softball, Track.

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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