J.H.S. 78 Roy H. Mann
BROOKLYN NY 11234 Map
J.H.S. 78 Roy H. Mann
2012 PRINCIPAL UPDATE: Anthony Cusumano, formerly a social studies teacher and assistant principal at the school, became interim acting principal in December 2012.
2003 REVIEW: In the past, many parents in this Bergen Beach community overlooked their neighborhood middle school and chose to send their children to private, parochial or the all-gifted schools in Brooklyn. But our visit made us think neighborhood parents who haven't considered IS 78 should give it a second look.
Students who attend IS 78, also known as the Roy Mann School, get a solid education in a neatly kept, modern building. Located in a neighborhood where American flags fly from front porches and yellow ribbons are tied 'round lampposts, the school is traditional in many respects. Unlike many middle school officials elsewhere, for example, administrators here have resisted the trend to divide the school into "houses" with a specialized academic theme.
The school offers interesting electives and specialty classes, including courses in video; a strong music program featuring a band and a chorus; and the only cooking class left in the district. (Unfortunately, such specialties are no longer offered every day, because the citywide curriculum is so time consuming.)
About half the school's students are enrolled in the mainstream "Gateway" program, where 6th graders remain in the classroom of one teacher for most academic courses, giving the teacher more time to get to know the kids. The rest of the students are enrolled in one of three programs for high academic achievers. The Center for the Intellectually Gifted (CIG) is the most accelerated, followed by the Excelsior and SPE (Special Progress Enrichment). Kids generally test into the CIG and Excelsior programs which operate at a faster pace than SPE. CIG students take a self-taught math program in which they work independently with teachers as guides. Many students graduate from 8th grade having passed several high school level Regents courses in math and science.
Eighth grade Earth Science students we saw were engrossed in learning how Pacific Ocean volcanoes form Hawaiian islands. They used a graph to plot where the next isle would likely appear. We were also impressed by one class in which students were excited by -- of all things -- grammar. "It's describing a verb, but it's not a verb -- it's an adverb," one boy said during a lively discussion centered on an exercise to identify parts of speech. "Prove it," said the teacher.
IS 78 forbids hallway loitering and class cutting, and we heard a few raised voices enforcing the rules. Every grade has a team-taught "inclusion" class, in which special needs and general education children learn side-by-side. The school also has four "self-contained" classes for special education children only. An active after school program offers sports, music and academics. Madison, Midwood and Leon Goldstein high schools are popular choices for graduates.
Admissions: The Center for the Intellectually Gifted bases admission on students' scores on a district exam; the other honors programs require teacher recommendations and students' transcripts. (Pamela Wheaton, December 2003)