Brooklyn Collegiate: A College Board School

Phone: (718) 922-1145
Website: Click here
Admissions: Brooklyn
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: AMOTE SIAS
Neighborhood: Brownsville
District: 23
Grade range: 08 thru 12

What's special:

School backs its college-readiness goal through a partnership with the College Board; championship basketball teams

The downside:

Many students still need remediation once they get to college; low attendance

The InsideStats


Our review

At Brooklyn Collegiate, a small secondary school, students dress in tidy uniforms with blazers or polo shirts sporting a badge proclaiming the school motto: "Home of the Urban Scholars." Founding Principal Amote Sias -- a confident and personable woman with a long history of teaching at one of the city's top high schools, Brooklyn Tech -- attempts to make college-ready scholars of all her students in a sleepy and somewhat gray section of Ocean Hill/Brownsville.

This is a challenge because many Brooklyn Collegiate students enter high school with reading and math scores that are below grade-level. The school works to bring up their achievement levels by offering tutoring during the school day, instead of after school, Sias said. College readiness programs aimed at mid-level students try to make sure everyone has access to college and not just high-achievers.

The school's partner, the College Board, provides test prep services and students begin practicing for college admissions tests freshman year, when everyone takes the PSAT. Sias said that in 2012, Brooklyn Collegiate students scored in the nation's top ten percent of African American males taking the PSAT.

More than half of Brooklyn Collegiate's graduates enroll in college after high school, according to Education Department statistics. Some top students go on to prestigious private colleges like Howard and St. John's, said Sias. But, unfortunately, most students do not leave the school with college-level skills – four in five 2008 graduates will need remediation in college, according to the DOE. The school also has low attendance rates -- only 83% of students were in school on any given day of the year in 2012, according to DOE statistics.

Sias says the school is "big on technology," and has more than 200 laptops. The computers allow students to take online courses and have blended in-person and online instruction for courses that are not in high demand at the small school. Calculus is one such course. In the past, there have not been enough students ready for calculus to offer the class but now, Sias says, advanced math students take calculus online. The school has a new science lab and offers visual arts, music and graphic arts, said Sias.

Brooklyn Collegiate sports teams have strong records. Both boys and girls basketball teams were champs in 2012: girls won their PSAL division and the boys clinched the citywide PSAL class A title and placed 2nd in the state basketball tournament. Step and dance teams from the school perform at Radio City Music Hall and the school's drumline is "second to none in the city," she said. Students may also play on the rugby team or run track.

Brooklyn Collegiate opened in 2004 with a middle school and a high school but, in 2012, the city decided to phase out the middle school due to its poor performance. Achievement First Brownsville Charter School, a 6-12 charter school, moved in to the former middle school space and shares the building.

College: More than half of Brooklyn Collegiate's graduates enroll in college after high school, according to Education Department statistics, many in CUNY schools. Some top students go to prestigious private colleges like Howard and St. John's, said Sias, and one 2013 grad won a full-ride POSSE scholarship to Lafayette College. 

Admissions: Open citywide. (Catherine Man, visit April 2005; updated by Anna Schneider via interviews & DOE statistics, May 2013)

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