Cobble Hill School of American Studies

347 BALTIC STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11201 Map
Phone: (718) 403-9544
Website: Click here
Admissions: Ed opt
Principal: Annamaria Mule
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights/Downtown
District: 15
Grade range: 09 thru 12

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

What's special:

Attractive building; focus on law and history

The downside:

While on the upswing, school has a way to go

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

In the heart of brownstone Brooklyn, Cobble Hill School of American Studies offers students a choice of two programs: one focused on history and one on law.

In the history program, students may create their own exhibits on the history of the borough at the Brooklyn Historical Society. In the law program, they make take part in mock trial competitions at Kings County Civil Court. [See article and photos from The Brooklyn Eagle.]

The school is housed in a pretty, well-kept building with an inviting courtyard and gracious, airy classrooms. The building was originally an elementary school and hallways and stairwells were built for younger children's much smaller bodies. A tiny cafeteria means that the school must offer multiple lunch periods, beginning mid-morning. The gym, too, is very small and not suitable for team sports. The school has metal detectors.

Cobble Hill has had its share of struggles over the years, and the Department of Education threatened to close it for poor performance in 2012. However, the DOE ultimately decided to keep it open because it had demonstrated significant improvement since Annamarie Mule became principal in 2010.

“The school is definitely on the upswing,” said Kathy Pelles, an official with New Visions for Public Schools, the non-profit organization that provides support to Cobble Hill. “The teaching is getting stronger and they are offering higher-level classes.” Teachers help students develop “perseverance and resiliency,” she said. If, for example, a student gets a bad grade, he is encouraged to keep trying--rather than skip class the next day.

Pelles said the low attendance and graduation rates are at least partly a function of the large number of students with long-term absences who are assigned to the school. “Kids are put on the register who never show up,” she said.

Founded in 1998, Cobble Hill was one of several city schools sponsored by the non-profit Gilder Lehrman Institute, which promotes the teaching of U.S. history. However, the school is no longer affiliated with Gilder Lehrman.

Special education: The school has a large special ed population and offers both self-contained classes and team-teaching classes (that integrate special-needs and general education students). The administration is moving away from keeping students in self-contained classes and integrating them where possible. For example, a special needs child who is strong in math may be assigned to a general education math class, even if he has most of his classes in a self-contained room.

Admissions: Students are admitted via the educational option formula, designed to ensure a mix of high- and low-achieving students. (Clara Hemphill, interviews, news reports, August 2012)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 571

Average Daily Attendance 84%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
69%

Hispanic

  
22%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
87%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
7%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.60 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

33 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

75% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

69% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

92% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

81% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

43% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

79% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

62% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

72% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

10% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

70% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

10% 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?

2%

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

16%

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

10%

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?

17% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

385
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

41%

SAT math scores

399
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?

81% 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?

58% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

48% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

87% 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 Brooklyn students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session

Source: High school directory

American Studies

Limited Unscreened

Students have the opportunity to explore living history through the arts, the environment, literacy and technology. Partnerships with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Weeksville Heritage Center enhance these expeditionary learning experiences.

Pre-Law Institute

Limited Unscreened

Students are introduced to topics and professional opportunities in the fields of criminal, constitutional, family and civil law. Students engage in legal research as they study current legal issues.

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, United States History, World History

Online: Biology, Calculus AB

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Advanced Placement Classes Tutorials, AVID Tutorials, Cheerleading, Chess, Chorus, College Summit Peer Leaders, Crochet, Dance, Drama-Opening Act, Fashion Club, Fitness, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, HOSA, Keyboard, Knitting, Leadership Council, Literary Magazine, Mock Trial at New York Law School, National Honor Society, Peer Mediation, PM school, Saturday Programs: High School Law Institute at New York University and Columbia University, School Yearbook, Senior Committee, Spoken Word Club, "The Stallions" School Newspaper, Step Team, Student Court, Video, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Softball

Other schools sports: Girls Track Club, Cheerleading Team, Step Team, Football Club

Source: High school directory

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