High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology

350 67 STREET
Phone: (718) 759-3400
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option
Wheelchair accessible
Noteworthy Special Education
Principal: Xhenete Shepard
Neighborhood: Sunset Park
District: 20
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: BARBARA YARSHEVITZ

What's special:

Personal touch, students of all ability levels welcomed.

The downside:

Large class size

The InsideStats



Our review

JANUARY 2014 UPDATEPrincipal Phil Weinberg, who served as the principal of the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology since 2001, left the school after being appointed by Chancellor Carmen Fariña to the position of deputy chancellor for teaching and learning for the Department of Education. Former Assistant Principal of Organization and Technology Xhenete Shepard became the school's Interim Acting Principal.

NOVEMBER 2011 REVIEW: Occupying a Gothic-style building in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology combines the varied offerings of a large high school with the personal attention that is a characteristic of small schools. Students are consistently engaged in their classes and the quality of teaching is high.

The renovated building has airy, brightly lit hallways with spotless floors where students pass easily from class to class. Teachers lean out of doorways here and there, keeping everything flowing with a smile and a nod. In the classes we visited, teachers sought out students who seemed hesitant or confused, offering individual attention even before they asked for help. The staff is committed to helping students of all abilities reach their potential. Whether they receive special education services or take honors classes, teachers push students to excel. Unlike some schools that offer seniors only a few courses, Telecommunication requires all students to take a full schedule every year and to take the most rigorous classes they can pass.

The school lives up to its name, offering electives such as photography (both digital and darkroom), computer graphics, and a course in JavaScript. But it is the human touch that is central to the school’s culture. Principal Philip Weinberg has been a teacher or administrator atTelecommunications since the 1980's. He sees the school as a place for students of different abilities and backgrounds to come together and grow as both individuals and as part of the school community, where they can develop the habit of being successful at tasks they have never been successful at before.

Incoming freshman are invited to attend a three-week Bridge Program that introduces them to staff, helps them become familiar with the layout of the building, and offers some basic skills on how to be successful in high school. Honors courses are first offered in the sophomore year. The delay offers a chance for all students to put their junior high school years behind them and start afresh. The sole requirement for taking honors classes are a final grade of 90 or above in the previous class.

The school offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses: English, Spanish, World History, American History, Statistics, Calculus, Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Kingsborough College Now courses are also offered, including Humanities, Criminal Justice, Psychology and Sociology. There are plenty of electives, 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 downside: class size for academic classes is typically 30 to 35 students.

Special education: Teachers have high standards for special education pupils. More than 200 students receive services including physical and occupational therapy, speech, counseling, collaborative team teaching (CTT) and self-contained classes. The CTT classes we visited had energetic teachers and engaged students.

College admissions: In preparation for selecting and applying to colleges, students begin taking trips to college campuses in the freshman year. The school have two dedicated college counselors who meets with students beginning in their junior year. In addition, all juniors are assigned a college essay to write, which can be used as a basis for their final college essay. The school has a college fair every September and hosts visits from college representatives throughout the year. A college workshop for parents on navigating the application process is also offered. Seniors participate in "application day," the Friday before Thanksgiving when they are required to bring in application packets for all schools they are applying to and meet with the college advisors.  They each get a "Hooray! I applied!" sticker and they write the names of the colleges to which they applied on a large sign outside the college office. Students have been accepted to Wesleyan University, Stanford University, SUNY Binghamton, Fordham University and various CUNY colleges.

Admissions: Educational option: half of the incoming class is randomly assigned by the DOE and the other half is selected on the basis of seventh grade final report card grades, attendance, and guidance recommendations. The educational option formula is designed to ensure a mix of low- average and high achieving students. (Eliana Mascio, November 2011)


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