Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts

Grades 6-12
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What’s Special

Arts classes for every student

The Downside

Bullying in the middle school; low college readiness scores

Our Review

Tucked behind the Navy Yard in Fort Greene, Susan McKinney Secondary School of the Arts offers classes in drama, chorus, dance and visual arts to students in grades 6 to 12. The building is clean and quiet, with bright classrooms and student work on the walls. Students wear a yellow or white shirt and black, khaki or navy pants and high schoolers have lockers.

While the graduation rate is high, the academics still have a way to go: very few students leave prepared for college, according to the schools Progress Report. Students in grades 10 to 12 have flexible schedules, with many seniors getting out of school early in the day, according to Principal Paula Holmes.

The day of our visit, many teachers were enthusiastic and kids were engaged, even though the coursework was not very demanding. For example, in a third-year Spanish class, students worked coloring country passports while the teacher spoke mainly in English.

Middle school students have four periods a week of art and high school students have five or more. The drama class we saw was strong, while some of the art classes were basic. In art, seniors colored college boards with magic markers.

Students who have an average of 80 or above may participate in afterschool activities like basketball, newspaper, marching band or an arts program. Band is awesome. They get the kids excited. Kids will straighten up for you because theyre part of some club. Jamie Desomeaux, a 9th grade math teacher.

Advanced students may take Advanced Placement English, Spanish or Art.

According to teachers, students sit in the cafeteria when a teacher is absent. Its hard, said one math teacher. Theyre supervised but not doing work.

In the 2010-11 NYC School Survey nearly half of teachers said that order and discipline were a problem and more than half of students said that students dont respect teachers or their fellow students. Disrespect of teachers is an everyday thing, said one 6th grade student. They act like teachers dont exist and they curse, added another.

Bullying is a problem among middle schoolers. On our visit a boy came into the principals office crying because another boy had stolen his glasses and a group of 6th grade girls told us that they were bullied to the point where they didnt want to tell anyone because it would make it worse.

Around half of middle schoolers continue to high school at McKinney. The rest go to Oliver, Prep-for-Prep and some of the top students go to private schools.

Students take trips to Xavier College. All students apply to CUNY and most graduates go to CUNY or SUNY schools though some go to NYU, North Carolina or traditional black colleges like John Jay.

Special education: There are four special ed classes in the middle school and an inclusion model in high school. The school partners with a District 75 school to accommodate autistic 6th and 7th graders. Children need to have exposure to diversity, explained Holmes.

Admissions: Auditions in October for 6th and 9th graders. (Aryn Bloodworth, October 2011)

About the students

Enrollment
401
Asian
1.8%
Black
69.8%
Hispanic
24.4%
White
0.8%
Other
3.2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
22%
English language learners
3%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Success Academy Fort Greene Charter
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
63%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
84%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
59%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
69%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
52%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
40%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.8
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
86%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
87%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
94%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
76%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
93%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
4%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
19%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Dance, Music, Theater and Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
74%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
80%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
14%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
74%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
69%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
9%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
6%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
47%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
59%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
17%
3% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
25%
43% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.74
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.88
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.88
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.24
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
79%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
88%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
94%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
47%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Painting, drawing, art of advertisement and design, dimensional design, art history, textile, photography, product promotion, cartoon design illustration, and sculpture.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Theory, history, ear and vocal training, performance and beginning keyboard, songwriting, Mass Chorus, Gospel Choir, Quartet Ensembles.

Dance
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Foundations of ballet, jazz, and modern dance techniques, dance history, choreography, costume design and African dance.

Drama
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Acting, voice and diction, theatre history, dramatic literature, set design, and improvisation.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Music theory and history, techniques and performance; music composition, music analysis; conducting, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Small Ensembles.

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch, Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

101 Park Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11205
Fort Greene (District 13)
Trains: B, Q, R to DeKalb Ave
Buses: B38, B54, B57, B62, B67, B69

Contact

Phone
718-834-6760
Principal
Michael Walker
Parent Coordinator
Carmen Vargas