Abraham Lincoln High School
BROOKLYN NY 11235 Map
Abraham Lincoln High School
Abraham Lincoln High School, just blocks from the Coney Island beach, offers special programs in animal science and photography as well as selective programs in science and American history. It has a wide range of sports teams, including basketball, football, cricket, bowling, soccer, track and swimming.
This large neighborhood school has a nice racial balance of white, black, Latino and Asian students. Many are immigrants from Russia, Uzbekistan, China and Latin America, and more than 400 are still learning English. Students praise teachers for helping them through school. "We have a whole bunch of adults here who can guide us," one said.
On our visit, the building was orderly and kids told us they felt safe, even though they must pass through scanners at the entrance. Although class changes were very crowded, the cafeteria was relatively calm.
Students seemed happy and engaged. We saw a lively physics class where students measured force, a history class studying the role of government, and an English class where students discussed why teenagers like to use slang.
At times, the size of the school seems overwhelming, and some kids get lost in the shuffle. "When you first come in at 9th grade, it's a lot," one student told us. But another added, "It gets smaller and smaller as you go on."
To better keep track of kids’ progress, Principal Ari Hoogenboom created a “9th grade academy” and a “10th grade academy” so groups of students stay together for all their classes. The hope is that students will complete the five Regents exams needed for graduation by the end of 10th grade. Hoogenboom says it’s similar to a college in which students take general education requirements in their first two years and then concentrate on their major.
Students write one essay every semester in every class and read and discuss a work of non-fiction once a week in every class. "Literacy is too important to leave to English teachers," said Hoogenboom, who has been principal since 2004.
Lincoln offers five specialized programs. Two--the Institute for Professions in Science and the smaller Honors Institute for American Studies--feature Advanced Placement classes as well as creative projects. The highly regarded photography program, which includes digital and darkroom work, is headed by Carlos Molina, who graduated from the program himself in 1995. Veterinary Sciences stresses hands-on skills and may be a good fit for students not focused on academics. The Virtual Enterprise program focuses on business, with students running an imaginary company.
Any student may take photography--not just those in the photography program. A few electives are reserved for students in the particular programs. Only animal Science students may a veterinary class. Students in the American Studies program may take a Civil War election and students in the science program may take a research elective, for example. But most English, math, science and social studies classes mix students from different programs.
College: Lincoln has a college counselor but some students say she simply cannot serve all the students who need help. To improve the process, the school plans to begin introducing students to the Naviance on line counseling system as early as 9th grade. About 70 percent of Lincoln graduates go on to college, mostly to CUNY and SUNY two and four-year schools.
Special education: A District 75 programs shares space in the school and some of its students take classes with Lincoln students. The school also offers its own team teaching and self-contained classes as well as counseling, speech and occupational and physical therapy.
Admission: Zoned school. Brooklyn students outside the attendance zone may apply to the specialized programs. For the history and science programs, students are screened based on their middle school grades and test scores. Those applying to photography must submit a portfolio and a letter but do not have to have had extensive photography experience. The Veterinary Sciences and Virtual Enterprise programs use the educational option admissions formula and admit with a range of abilities. (Gail Robinson, November 2012)