High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
350 67 STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11220 Map
Phone: (718) 759-3400
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option
Principal: Xhenete Shepard
Neighborhood: Bay Ridge
District: 20
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: BARBARA YARSHEVITZ
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: B4, B63, B70, B9

What's special:

Big school that feels like a small one; a software engineering program

The downside:

Large class size in the upper grades

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The High School for Telecommunication Arts and Technology (HSTAT) is a big school that acts like a small one. Located in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, HSTAT is a friendly and supportive place that attracts students of different abilities and backgrounds. It’s also a bustling place with roughly 1300 students and a nice array of courses and activities to ensure that there’s something for everyone.

Xhenete Shepard became the school’s principal in January 2014. A former teacher and assistant principal at the school, Shepard took over after HSTAT’s longtime principal, Phil Weinberg, left to serve as the deputy chancellor for teaching and learning under Chancellor Carmen Fariña at the Department of Education.

While the school delivers on its name with courses in arts, photography and computer programming, it is the human touch that students and staff say makes the school special. “I was surprised by how accepting everyone is,” said a student who transferred into HSTAT at the start of 11th grade. “I made friends quickly here.” In addition to guidance counselors, each student has an academic advisor—a teacher who keeps tabs on students’ academic scheduling and progress.

Peer support is emphasized too. Older students help out as tutors and take on the role of mentor to younger students. Seniors show freshmen around the building on the first day of school and the two grades take a field a trip together in October on the day that sophomores and juniors take the PSAT at school.

The staff is committed to helping students of all abilities reach their potential—whether they receive special education services, take regular or honors classes or a mix of all three. For instance, a student who performs poorly in his math class often moves on to the next level, while also receiving extra support, rather than repeating coursework. As one math teacher explained, remediation doesn’t work if it’s simply “doing the same thing again, but this time louder and slower.” Freshmen arriving with weak math skills take an extra class in numeracy to bolster their mental math and fluency in foundational skills. Another class—math lab—targets juniors and seniors who need extra help.

In many classes we visited, teachers kept kids engaged through a mix of class-wide discussions, group work and independent work. Teachers also collaborate to develop the curriculum in each subject. In classrooms, they customize lessons to address their students’ strengths and weaknesses rather than rely heavily on scripted lessons and worksheets. Most 9th-grade classes are kept to roughly 28 students. In the upper grades class sizes increase to 30 to 35 students.

In English and history classes, students are expected to write a lot. In 9th grade, the emphasis is on slowing down the process to make sure students have a solid grasp of structure. “You have to know the rules before you can break them, so we start with writing a good sentence and increase complexity from there,” said Shepard. As part of their 10th-grade history requirement students take a research class, which lays the foundation for a big social science research project that all 12th-graders complete before graduation.

Stronger students, and those seeking greater challenges, have plenty of options. In addition to honors classes in select courses, the school offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses: English, Spanish, world history, American history, statistics, calculus, biology, physics and chemistry. Students can also take College Now courses on-site through a partnership with Kingsborough Community College. A software engineering program introduced in 2013, which will expand to a four-year sequence of courses, is popular with students.

There are plenty of elective classes, clubs, and sports. Some 250 students take part in the chorus. Fashion design, drama, musical theater and dance are offered either as electives or as after-school programs.

A summer bridge program helps roughly 120 incoming 9th-graders boost their math and English skills before starting high school.

The college office is staffed with two full-time counselors. Many graduates attend CUNY and SUNY colleges, and each year some attend private colleges including Ivy League and other highly competitive schools.

Special education: More than 250 students receive services including physical and occupational therapy, speech, counseling, integrated co-teaching (ICT) and self-contained classes. The ICT classes we visited had energetic teachers and engaged students. The school has an ASD Nest program that gives extra supports to a small group of students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD Nest students have a dedicated period each day for support services, but otherwise are fully integrated into HSTAT classes.

Admissions: Priority to Brooklyn students or residents. Admission is based on the educational option formula that is designed to ensure a mix of low, average and high achieving students attend the school. (Laura Zingmond, October 2014)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 1313

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
17%

Black

  
9%

Hispanic

  
56%

White

  
17%

Free Lunch

  
80%

Special ed

  
24%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.00 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

22 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?

88% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

93% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

18% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

83% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

83% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

84% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

38% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

86% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

4% 11% 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?

26%

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

50%

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

55%

Are students ready for college?

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

58% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

442
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

77% 62% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

484
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?

78% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

67% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

55% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

85% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

99% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Brooklyn students or residents
  2. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Telecommunication Arts and Technology

Ed. Opt.

A college preparatory institution offering a wide range of very challenging academic courses; computers used as a tool to enhance the academic lives of our students.

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, Physics B, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, United States History, World History

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Arista National Honors Society, LINK, Model UN, Science League, Spirit Squad, Student Government; Clubs: Animal, A/V, Blueprint Leadership, Book, Culinary, Dance/Step, Debate, Explore Your City, French, Knitting, Latin, Math, Red Cross

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Soccer, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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