Brooklyn Latin School, The

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Classical education with four years of Latin

The Downside

May intimidate teens who fear public speaking

Our Review

Brooklyn Latin is an unapologetically work-hard kind of place, where assignments are closely critiqued and public speaking is fostered. Every child takes four years of Latin and laboratory science and writes an extended research essay. Top universities eagerly recruit Brooklyn Latin students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

One of the citys nine specialized high schools, Brooklyn Latin was founded in 2006 and is modeled after Boston Latin, the nations oldest public high school. Brooklyn Latin is the only specialized school (and one of few in the city) to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a rigorous degree widely accepted at universities in more than 100 countries.

Brooklyn Latin has an English-boarding-school aesthetic. Students wear white shirts and khaki trousers or skirts. Boys wear neckties.

Public speaking is an important part of the school's culture. Students participate in Socratic seminars, in which they learn by communicating according to formal rules of discussion. In declamations, students must memorize a poem or speech to present to peers. Ive seen kids who want to be flies on the wall really develop their voices, said art teacher Kathleen Busoni.

What impresses longtime assistant headmaster Alina Lewis is the way students stand and deliver, through tears and memory gaps, and how they improve over time. The public speaking we saw was impressive, from a recitation from "Antigone" by a visibly nervous sophomore, to a passionate debate in a senior seminar on the inequities of education.

The school also prides itself on its strong math and science program. In an atypical sequence, freshmen begin with physics, followed by chemistry and two years of IB biology. Juniors and seniors may elect to take IB chemistry or IB physics as well. These students spend about half their day immersed in college-level science work, said Headmaster Gina Mautschke. Bridge design, solar cell efficiency and seed germination are some former student-designed lab topics culminating in 8-10 page papers.

Juniors and seniors also take English, history, math and theory of knowledge (a philosophy class unique to IB) and may choose among Spanish, visual arts or world religions as electives. Some subjects, like math, biology and Latin, are split into higher and lower levels of difficulty. [Note: The school does not offer advanced placement classes; IB classes are considered even more demanding.]

To help with freshmen years steep learning curve, students receive support in advisory groups. Those who need more are encouraged to meet with teachers during office hours. There are two college counselors and two guidance counselors.

Freshmen travel to the Princeton-Blairstown Center, affiliated with Princeton University, for an outdoor bonding adventure in the fall. In the spring they visit Boston Latin and area colleges. The Spanish department organizes home stays in Spanish-speaking countries; some seniors travel to Italy.

Brooklyn Latin moved in 2013 from the top floors of PS 147 to the IS 49 building, trading places with Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn. It gained a gym, an art studio and science labs; it also now shares space with two schools and is located at the heart of Williamsburg Houses.

Administrators say students have had no complaints about safety; nevertheless, students are advised to walk to and from the G or L train in groups, and an administrator is outside during arrival and dismissal times, which are staggered with the other schools. The schools share some sports and clubs, a full list of which can be found on the schools website.

A former math teacher and assistant headmaster, Gina Mautschke became headmaster in 2013, replacing founding headmaster Jason Griffiths, who now serves as director of programs at the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education.

One-third of graduates typically receive the IB diploma.

College: Students are encouraged to apply to colleges out of state as well as SUNYs and CUNYs. Recent college acceptances include Smith, Vassar, Amherst, Brown, Cornell and Emory.

Special education: The few children with special needs are incorporated into general classes. A special ed tutor provides assistance in a variety of ways, such as helping a student color code his work to stay organized, or offering a safe space for a student to practice a memorized speech until she feels comfortable doing it in front of a group.

Admissions: Specialized high school exam. The school loses about 25 9th-graders each year and accepts about 20 10th-graders. (Lydie Raschka, November 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
724
Asian
45.7%
Black
14.6%
Hispanic
13.3%
White
13.5%
Other
12.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
56%
Students with disabilities
3%
English language learners
0%
Male
56%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and the Green School
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
100%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
19%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
5%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
92%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
83%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
92%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
93%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
98%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
56%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
97%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for an Auditorium
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
77%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
80%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
79%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
96%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
35%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
0%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
96%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
99%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
95%
63% 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 former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
60%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
60%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Brooklyn Latin
Admissions Method: Test
Program Description

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their guidance counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.

Academics

Language Courses

Greek, Latin, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Cross Country, Volleyball

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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