George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School

Phone: (718) 625-6130
Website: Click here
Admissions: Selective technology programs
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights/Downtown
District: 13
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: CAROLETT ROUSE

What's special:

Courses with real skills that lead to jobs

The downside:

Some concerns about discipline and safety

The InsideStats


Our review

George Westinghouse High School in downtown Brooklyn offers classes that lead to jobs in food preparation, computer maintenance, electrical installation, and Web design. The school has gleaming science labs and lots of computers.

Unfortunately, the school’s graduation rates and attendance rates have declined in recent years. Enrollment has shrunk as new small schools have drawn students away. In 2009, City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology opened in the building. In 2012, PS 8, a popular nearby elementary school, expanded to add middle school grades in the Westinghouse building.

While most students feel safe in class, they complain of fights, and nearly one-third said they don’t feel safe in the corridors, bathrooms and locker rooms, according to the Learning Environment Survey. The school made headlines when a teacher was videotaped beating up a student. The building has metal detectors.

Students may apply to four programs: culinary arts, multimedia internet technology, electrical installation and practice, and computer repair. They may receive industry certifications and Career and Technical Education diplomas. Some tracks culminate in internships and even union jobs.

“They have real skills when they leave,” said Kathy Pelles, an official for New Visions for Public Schools, the non-profit organization that provide support to the school.

Special education: The school has resource room, self-contained classes, and Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT) classes with two teachers, one trained in special education. In recent years, the school has issued more regular diplomas for special education students (and fewer so-called IEP diplomas, which are essentially certificates of attendance.)

College admissions: A highly-trained college counselor helps students choose appropriate schools and apply for scholarships.

Admissions: Varied by program. Most require grades of 75 in core subjects. Culinary arts admits by educational option formula designed to ensure a mix of students of different abilities. (Clara Hemphill, interviews, statistics, August 2012)

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