BROOKLYN NY 11210 Map
A large, traditional neighborhood school, the Andries Hudde School has three gifted programs that attract some of the brightest kids in District 22. The gifted programs offer accelerated classes in math and science as well as "majors" in drama, orchestra, band, dance, fine arts, and chorus. About half the children enrolled are in the gifted program; the rest are assigned to Hudde because they live in the school zone.
The school serves children of immigrants from Jamaica, Trinidad, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt as well as many African-American children and what Principal Elena O'Sullivan calls "a few red-headed Irish kids." (The surrounding Midwood neighborhood has many Orthodox Jewish families, most of whom send their children to private religious schools.)
The tone of the school is serious. Kids follow a dress code of black or blue trousers and yellow, white or blue shirts and move quietly from class to class. The staff is senior, and most teachers rely on traditional methods of instruction; many of the classrooms have desks in rows. At the same time, some classes have interesting projects: one social studies class made a documentary of the history of their school, weaving in topics such as demographic changes in the neighborhood, and how students in the 1960s reacted to the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. In a science class, students made posters and PowerPoint demonstrations on great natural disasters in history. Other students described how the Greeks and Romans used simple machines in their architecture.
Children in the gifted programs take part in the Johns Hopkins math program, in which students work independently, at their own pace. That means some students may move ahead of their peers, while those who are struggling get the help they need. Some children finish high school algebra in 8th grade. Advanced students may also take Regents Earth Science and Living Environment courses.
The school is best known for its arts programs. Children in the gifted programs may choose an art or music "major," which they study once a day for three years. On our visit, we saw a dance class in which the students choreographed their own hip hop number; and an art class in which students painted with acrylics and learned perspective. The drama department puts on ambitious musical productions including "Annie," "Oklahoma," and "Into the Woods." Students in the music program not only learn to play instruments, they also attend performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The school isn't as crowded as it was a few years ago, when enrollment approached 2,000. Still, the three-story brick building, constructed in the mid-1950s, shows signs of wear. Desks are scratched, and antique lab tables are scarred with graffiti. The cafeteria is crowded and noisy, with four lunch periods starting at 10:30 a.m., and staff members shout through bullhorns to keep order. Bathrooms are locked.
The school has a "family movie night" to encourage parents to spend a relaxed evening at the school with their children. Other events, such as a high school fair, are well-attended a sign that Hudde parents care a lot about their children's education. The most popular high school choices for graduates are nearby Midwood, Madison and Murrow, but many students are admitted to the specialized high schools as well.
Special education: There are five self-contained special education classes and five collaborative team-teaching classes that place children with special needs and children in general education classes together with two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education.
After school: Programs include soccer, a girls' step team and girls' track. Basketball teams play on Saturday.
Admissions: There are tours in November and January. Children who are zoned for the school are automatically admitted. Children in districts 17, 18 and 22 may apply to the gifted programs. Students with 4th grade test scores of 680 in English Language Arts and 700 in math are eligible to take the test for admission, called the Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test. Call the borough enrollment center for details. The three gifted programs are the Center for the Intellectually Gifted (CIG), the magnet program, and the NOVA program for children who just miss the cut off for CIG and magnet. (NOVA students don't take courses for high school credit.) For further information, contact the gifted coordinator, Madeline Louison, at 718-758-1362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This school is included in New York City's Best Public Middle Schools. (Clara Hemphill, January 2008)