Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School
Brooklyn NY 11201
Dynamic classes, interesting science electives
High teacher turnover; struggle to change its poor reputation
After years on the citys list of low-performance schools, the Brooklyn School for Global Studies is trying hard to improve its image and attract new students. Former Principal Joseph OBrien left abruptly in October 2013 and was replaced by Assistant Principal Dawn Meconi. Despite recent improvements includinga MAC lab, and iPads for teachers funded by a $2.7 million transformation school grant, the school and its principal face some serious hurdles.
[In September 2016, Principal Meconi led an effort to rename the school Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School, citing a closer alignment with the school's mission. The new direction will include a phase-out of middle school by 2017-18, amendments to screening requirements, stronger focus on the digital technology courses already offered, and internship opportunities for seniors, according to a DNAinfo interview.]
Attendance, while increasing, is below average. Courses offerings are limited. Spanish is the only foreign language offered (although students may study others on their own time with the Rosetta Stone program.) Few middle school students stay for high school (choosing schools like Westinghouse and Brooklyn Lab instead.) On the 2010-11 NYC School Survey, only 60 percent of teachers agreed that order and discipline were maintained. Changes caused tension between some staff and the administration, and many teachers left.
Still, scores on the ELA Regents exam improved more than 25 percentage points in 2011. The school was clean and orderly the day of our visit and many classrooms were plastered with student work. Classes were lively and students seemed interested in their lessons, though talkative. In a 12thgrade government class students formed political groups, chose their beliefs and proposed them to the class. A 7thgrade science class gathered in the lab as the teacher demonstrated how to test for acids and bases. Though students clustered to see the experiment, teaching stopped them in an attempt to control excess talking.
Middle school students have double periods of English and music and 9thgraders take double periods of global history. Advanced students may take Advanced Placement biology, statistics and English. Genetics and forensics electives make four years of science possible. To encourage participation in gym, a male and a female teacher run class at the same time. Classes may also make use of a blackbox theatre and a greenhouse. The school hired a music teacher.
All students have lockers and wear a uniform of black or khaki pants and a light blue or white polo for middle schoolers and navy or gray polo for kids in high school. From 3 to 6 pm students may accumulate additional credits. They may also learn culinary arts in a program shared with the other 6-12 school in the building, School for International Studies.
Special education: Self-contained and Integrated Co-Teaching classes do the same work as general education students at a slower pace and with more individual attention.
Admissions: District 15 preference. Many students come from the Wyckoff and Red Hook housing. (Aryn Bloodworth, October 2011; updated 2013; Seaira Christian-Daniels, October 2016)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
Are students prepared for high school?
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve English Language Learners?
How does this school serve students with disabilities?
Programs and Admissions
Students choose between a four year sequence in either Digital Cinema Production or Digital Arts. In Digital Cinema Production, students are immersed in the art and craft of digital filmmaking through a balance of classroom instruction and hands on production experience. This program instills the skills needed for students to write, produce, direct and edit their own films. The Digital Arts curriculum blends art and computer science.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Art History, AP English
Boys PSAL teams
Girls PSAL teams
Flag Football, Volleyball