Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences

Phone: (718) 368-8500
Website: Click here
Admissions: selective
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: Scott Hughes
Neighborhood: Sheepshead Bay
District: 22
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: DEBRA ENG

What's special:

Emphasis on becoming caring, productive citizens; beautiful campus setting

The downside:

Remote location a long walk from the subway.

The InsideStats



Our review

Nestled in the spacious parklike campus of Kingsborough Community College, Leon Goldstein High School for the Sciences boasts waterside views, plenty of light, and a relaxed atmosphere. Built in 2002, the stand-alone building is well equipped with modern facilities, including science labs, a spacious gym, a ceramics studio with a working kiln, a photography studio complete with a darkroom, a library and a media room. The school has use of the Kingsborough swimming pool and auditorium.

Principal Joseph Zaza, who has been with the school since 2001, says he wants to “produce active, caring and productive citizens with a good sense of community” who will contribute to the world. [UPDATE: Scott Hughes replaced Zaza after our visit.] Students must complete 40 hours of community service each year either inside or outside the school. Several of its many clubs focus on community service like People to People, which seeks to improve the circumstances of peoples around the world, the Key Club and Project Hope. Other club options include the Math Honors Society, the Science Honors Society and an ARISTA chapter. Some students help the school community by becoming peer tutors for students who need academic help or for autistic students.

The school participates in both the national Science Olympiad and an in-school version of the Olympiad, as well as the Intel competition. Students can also join the school’s basketball, bowling, golf, handball, soccer, swimming, tennis and wrestling teams.

Seniors work with incoming freshmen to prepare for the annual SING! Competition, fostering a sense of community and helping the new students adjust to high school. (Because the school shares the auditorium with the college and is not always available, one year the SING! performance was delayed.)

Students are required to take a full four years of science and math and three years of Spanish or Italian. They also take a full year of art and a full year of music. Goldstein has a jazz band and a chorus and offers piano classes. Other electives in the arts include drama, ceramics, painting, and photography. Electives include 11 Advanced Placement courses, including chemistry, physics, AB calculus, BC calculus and statistics. All students are required to take college courses through Kingsborough Community College in 11th and 12th grades, and some earn up to 17 college credits. Sociology, general science and English literature are some of the options, plus two recent additions: criminology and film.

In addition to peer tutoring, an after-school program is open to all students who need help with their classes or are looking for a place to work on class projects. The Child First Initiative focuses on the lowest-performing third of students by giving those students extra tutoring as well as emotional support.

The 55–45 ratio of girls to boys can be a deterrent for some potential applicants. Though the data seem outwardly insignificant, the disparity seems to go beyond numbers. Girls often have the strongest voice in the school, whether it is starting and running most of the clubs, fielding the two winning PSAL teams, or dominating student government which has 15 female and two male members.

Special education: The school and the campus that surrounds it are both handicapped-accessible and barrier-free. Along with several physically handicapped students, the school has high-performing Asperger’s autism spectrum students and is in its third year as an ASD support school. Though most of the Asperger’s students come into the school through the regular high school process, there are some students who are admitted through District 75. A caring and devoted staff and a cheerfully decorated, spacious, quiet resource room where students work either individually with paraprofessionals or in groups of eight, help to accommodate students with IEPs. A recreation room especially for autistic students provides a place to play games while interacting with peer volunteers. There are ten Integrated Co-Teaching classes, with two teachers, one of whom is trained in special ed.

College Admissions: Most of Goldstein High School’s graduates go on to college and are accepted into public, private and elite schools such as the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, SUNY Purchase, the Pratt Institute, Philadelphia School of Architecture, and CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College and the Macaulay Honors program. The graduating class of 2010 was awarded a total of $16 million in scholarships.

Admissions: Goldstein is a screened high school. Admission is based on the final 7th-grade report card, attendance and punctuality. The minimum required grade for English and social studies is 80; for math and science, 85. Prospective students with standardized test scores of 2 to 4 in math and English language arts are considered. Applicants will find that the beautiful campus location is rather far from the subway. (Eliana Mascio, October 2011)

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