Cobble Hill School of American Studies

Grades 9-12

What’s Special

Attractive building; focus on law and history

The Downside

While on the upswing, school has a way to go

Our Review

In the heart of brownstone Brooklyn, Cobble Hill School of American Studies offers students a choice of two programs: one focused on history and one on law.

In the history program, students may create their own exhibits on the history of the borough at the Brooklyn Historical Society. In the law program, they make take part in mock trial competitions at Kings County Civil Court. [See article and photos from The Brooklyn Eagle.]

The school is housed in a pretty, well-kept building with an inviting courtyard and gracious, airy classrooms. The building was originally an elementary school and hallways and stairwells were built for younger children's much smaller bodies. A tiny cafeteria means that the school must offer multiple lunch periods, beginning mid-morning. The gym, too, is very small and not suitable for team sports. The school has metal detectors.

Cobble Hill has had its share of struggles over the years, and the Department of Education threatened to close it for poor performance in 2012. However, the DOE ultimately decided to keep it open because it had demonstrated significant improvement since Annamarie Mule became principal in 2010.

The school is definitely on the upswing, said Kathy Pelles, an official with New Visions for Public Schools, the non-profit organization that provides support to Cobble Hill. The teaching is getting stronger and they are offering higher-level classes. Teachers help students develop perseverance and resiliency, she said. If, for example, a student gets a bad grade, he is encouraged to keep trying--rather than skip class the next day.

Pelles said the low attendance and graduation rates are at least partly a function of the large number of students with long-term absences who are assigned to the school. Kids are put on the register who never show up, she said.

Founded in 1998, Cobble Hill was one of several city schools sponsored by the non-profit Gilder Lehrman Institute, which promotes the teaching of U.S. history. However, the school is no longer affiliated with Gilder Lehrman.

Special education: The school has a large special ed population and offers both self-contained classes and team-teaching classes (that integrate special-needs and general education students). The administration is moving away from keeping students in self-contained classes and integrating them where possible. For example, a special needs child who is strong in math may be assigned to a general education math class, even if he has most of his classes in a self-contained room.

Admissions: Students are admitted via the educational option formula, designed to ensure a mix of high- and low-achieving students. (Clara Hemphill, interviews, news reports, August 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
598
Asian
3.0%
Black
63.7%
Hispanic
26.6%
White
2.8%
Other
3.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
84%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
8%
Male
48%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
71%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
83%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
49%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
63%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
43%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
45%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
63%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
66%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
72%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
56%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
66%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
75%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
53%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
49%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
52%
71% 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?
81%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
4%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
6%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
16%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
54%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
52%
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 English language learners graduate in 4 years?
64%
65% 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?
71%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
100%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
69%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

American Studies
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students have the opportunity to explore living history through the arts, the environment, literacy, and technology. Partnerships with the Brooklyn Historical Society and Weeksville Heritage Center enhance these expeditionary learning experiences.

Pre-Law Institute
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students are introduced to topics and professional opportunities in the fields of criminal, constitutional, family, and civil law. Students engage in legal research as they study current legal issues.

Academics

Language Courses

Italian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball

Girls PSAL teams

Indoor Track

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

347 Baltic Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
Carroll Gardens (District 15)
Trains: 2, 3 to Hoyt St-Fulton Mall; A, C to Hoyt & Schermerhorn; F, G to Bergen St
Buses: B103, B37, B41, B45, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67

Contact

Phone
718-403-9544
Principal
Annamaria Mule
Parent Coordinator
Wanda Sheffield