Eagle Academy for Young Men II
BROOKLYN NY 11233 Map
Eagle Academy for Young Men II
Like its namesake in the Bronx, the all-boys Eagle Academy at Ocean Hill is designed to give boys of color an academically challenging education in an environment that’s warm, structured, purposeful and calm. Classes are held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including the entire month of July and an orientation week in August. Saturday classes are devoted to sports as well as academics. [The YouTube video at on this page was produced by the school.]
There is a warm but respectful relationship between the children and the adults, many of whom are male and African-American. Students wear blue button-down shirts and ties with their school logo; some wear shiny silver bars on the collars of their shirts, to show their rank as captains and sergeants in the school's six "houses." Houses eat together in the lunchroom and earn points for good behavior, resulting in pizza parties and trips to Prospect Park. Older students model positive choices for the younger students, who win the older kids’ respect by their own good behavior.
Classes range in size from eight to 20. In classes that we visited, eager students were actively engaged in their work, with hands high in the air. Most rooms had desks in rows, with the teacher up front. Many had two teachers, either as collaborating teachers (one general-education teacher and one special-education teacher) or as a new teacher/mentor pair. There was little student work was on display and some rooms seemed thinly supplied with books and other materials.
Eagle offers an unusual number of sports to it middle school students, including lacrosse, football, basketball and track. Physical education classes are three to four times a week, and boys may play on the playground every day after lunch. There is plenty of equipment for recreation after school and on Saturdays, including 30 new iPads, Xbox and other video games, and huge screens for playing.
Many students are below grade level in reading when they arrive, according to Principal Rashad Meade, who taught at the original Eagle Academy High School in the Bronx and at Satellite West in Brooklyn. His goal is to raise each child’s reading level two years in a single academic year, by providing customized extra help for every student. All teachers include literacy and reading instruction in every subject, to help prepare students for the three high-school Regents exams they take in eighth grade, in algebra, biology and US history. Eighth graders also study Mandarin. Opened with a sixth grade in 2008, Eagle is adding a grade each year until it serves students in grades 6 to 12.
Special education: Collaborative-team teaching (CTT) and push-in extra support for students with special needs in all three grades; students grouped by reading ability in eighth grade, ahead of Regents exams, to permit the most proficient students greater acceleration and provide extra support for struggling learners.
Admissions: Preference is given to students who attend an open house. The school is becoming increasingly popular, with some 1,800 students applying for 80 seats. (Helen Zelon, October 2010)