BROOKLYN NY 11210 Map
MS 381—renamed the Middle School for the New Millennium in 2007—draws children from across District 22 to its strong science program. Housed on the top two floors of PS 197’s eye-catching 100-year-old redbrick school building, the small school serves children who live in the zone as well as those who are admitted to a gifted program. However, zoned children and those admitted to the gifted program are taught in the same classrooms. Principal Mary Harrington, who founded the school in 1999, says the school offers enrichment to all students, and academic standards are high throughout the school.
Originally a magnet school for biological sciences, MS 381 has a high school-quality science lab. Eighth graders use the lab for weekly projects and may take both living environment and math Regents exams. In recent years, 100 percent of students who took the exam have passed.
Class sizes are small, 25 at the largest, with smaller classes available when students need extra help. All classes meet for double periods so that students have ample time with the material. Teaching staff includes both veterans and new teachers, and the teaching we observed was strong. Many facilities, like the auditorium and cafeteria, are shared with PS 197. MS 381 does have its own gym, but both students and staff complain that it’s too small.
In the 2010–11 school year, MS 381 adopted a schoolwide “enrichment clusters” program, in which students choose from more than 25 different activities, including martial arts, mosaics, Russian, cooking, and peer mediation. Each cluster meets on Friday mornings and includes students from 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Clusters run for a semester, and students produce a project at the end of that period.
Graduates attend a wide range of high schools, though many choose to attend the smaller ones. According to parent coordinator Michelle Turner, because of the school’s small student body it can provide assistance in navigating the high school application and selection process to every student and family. In recent years, a number of students have been accepted into the specialized high schools.
Harrington says that MS 381 treats college attendance as an expectation. Students begin to explore higher-education options and go on visits to local universities, and current college students are invited to speak to middle-school students about college life.
Special Education: The principal is a former special education teacher, and she calls the special ed program “as seamless as possible.” The school offers Collaborative Team Teaching and self-contained classrooms. Students are in general education classrooms whenever possible.
Admissions: Priority goes to students who live in the zone. In addition, District 22 students with strong academic records, good attendance and a teacher recommendation may apply. The school also accepts students from other districts and boroughs. Admission to the gifted program is determined by a combination of factors making up a "composite score"—the final 4th grade report card counts for 40 percent, state tests 40 percent, attendance ten percent and student performance measures ten percent. (Tom Jacobs, February 2011; admissions updated January 2015)
At a glance
Number of Students 310
Average Daily Attendance 95%
INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 2.59 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
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?32% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?86% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?90% 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 classNA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?14% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE