Brooklyn College Academy

350 CONEY ISLAND AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11218 Map
Phone: (718) 853-6184
Website: Click here
Admissions: Screened (HS)
unzoned
Noteworthy
Principal: NICHOLAS MAZZARELLA
Neighborhood: Midwood
District: 15
Grade range: 08 thru 12
Parent coordinator: KAREN MCKIE

What's special:

Students study on Brooklyn College campus

The downside:

Two different school locations; small gym at annex

Middle School Stats

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High School Stats

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Our review

At Brooklyn College Academy/Bridges to Brooklyn students get personal attention from an attentive staff, and they enjoy the freedom of the college setting during their junior and senior years. The school’s two sites are located about a mile apart from each other. The 9th-10th graders attend classes at Bridges to Brooklyn or "the annex," a renovated warehouse near Prospect Park; before moving to the Brooklyn College campus for their last two years. [Note: The school was founded as a 7-12 school but the middle school grades were phased out. As of 2014, the school will have grades 9-12.]

The school is noted for a small inclusion program for District 75 students with autism. They take regular classes and receive extra help with academics and social skills.

Our visit to the clean and well-lit halls of the annex revealed classrooms filled with quiet students focused on the lesson. In an Earth Science class, a teacher turned to his students in the middle of a lesson on constellations and asked them to theorize a connection between the stars and measuring latitude and longitude on the Earth; in a neighboring history class, students dug deeply into the underlying causes of the American Revolution.

Principal Nicholas Mazzarella gently admonished a student who forgot to remove his hat, and a few moments later congratulated another child on how much he had improved since the previous year. There is a settled feeling about the school that carries over to the Brooklyn College site where the same studious, respectful quiet reigns among the students.

Founded in 1986 in collaboration with the City University of New York, the Brooklyn College Academy/Bridges to Brooklyn serves about 560 students, mostly of Caribbean origin. It has become popular for its academics and its focus on college readiness. One downside of the annex location is its small gym. However, the school has use of Prospect Park across the street in good weather, and a gym at Brooklyn College.

Students take a pre-college class in the 9th grade to gradually introduce them to the rigors of college work. The first college credit-bearing course, Introduction to Theater Arts, is given in-house to every student in the 10th grade. The college instructors give three weekly lessons that are supplemented by two weekly review classes with a high school teacher. By the time they are ready to graduate, seniors will have earned anywhere from three to 30 college credits, along with their high school diploma.

Students at the annex wear a uniform but 11th and 12th graders do not, allowing them to blend in easily with the college students on campus. They share many of the privileges of college students, such as access to the college library. The majority of the school’s students remain in the school until high school graduation.

Special education: Brooklyn College Academy has a 1:3 ratio of paraprofessionals to autistic special education students from District 75 in its three inclusion classes - two in the annex and one on campus. On campus, 11th and 12th grade autistic students meet in advisory sessions and trade advice on how to deal with social situations. The school is creating a peer support program at the annex to help children become more engaged in classroom social activities.

College admissions: A scholarship advisor to help students with the college application process, including writing essays. Most graduates go to college, although most do not attend Brooklyn College because they have already spent two years on that campus. Popular choices include CUNYs and SUNYs, in particular SUNY Binghamton.

Admissions: The school admits students in 9th and 10th grades. Eligibility is based on standardized state test scores of 3 or 4, report card grades of 85 or above in science and English, and 80 or above in math and social studies. Attendance and lateness also count and students must submit a writing sample. Open houses are held every October for interested students and their parents. (Eliana Mascio, October 2011; updated with new grade configuration 2013)

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