I.S. 96 Seth Low

Phone: (718) 236-1344
Website: Click here
Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school; accepts some out-of-zone students
specialized arts
Principal: Erin Lynch
Neighborhood: Bensonhurst
District: 21
Grade range: 06 thru 08
Parent coordinator: DENISE MCLAIN

What's special:

Access to a large yard for gym and sports

The downside:

Declining enrollment and discipline problems

The InsideStats



Our review

IS 96 is a zoned neighborhood middle school with a “magnet” program that offers special classes in art, music, computers, science and music to students who take a “talent” exam or audition. Erin Lynch, formerly the school’s assistant principal, was named principal in 2013.

All students are assigned to the “exploratory academy” in 6th grade. In 7th grade, students choose between two academies—Health Careers and Sports Management or Math, Engineering, Technology and Architecture, according to the middle school directory.

IS 96 has a history of offering a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports teams with access to a large yard and a girls' gym and boys' gym.

As part of the Urban Advantage program, families get free admission to the Bronx Zoo, the Staten Island Zoo and the Queens Hall of Science. Children must complete special science projects before they graduate from 8th grade.

The school’s enrollment has steadily declined in recent years. About one-third of teachers complain about discipline problems and many children complain about bullying, according to the Learning Environment Survey.

In 2013 parents fought to prevent Success Academy, a charter school, from sharing the building with IS 96 students. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, parents were concerned that IS 96 students would not get the same privileges as the charter school. Assemblyman Peter Abbate said, “I’ve seen instances where they paint a charter school portion of the building and leave the public school part alone.” However. the Department of Education went ahead with plans to allow the new school to open, Chalkbeat reported.

Admissions: Zoned neighborhood school. Magnet program open to children district-wide. Sign up for the magnet test in October. (Sabrina Alli, DOE data and news reports, February 2014)

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