J.H.S. 201 The Dyker Heights
Brooklyn NY 11228
Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.
Stable leadership; longtime principal replaced by assistant principal who attended the school himself
Kids say some teachers are too strict
The first middle school to introduce District 20's gifted education program, IS 201 now has a sizable number of gifted, or "superintendent's" classes. The program at IS 201, which emphasizes math and science, attracts a number of kids from beyond the neighborhood. Students, who are admitted based on test scores, take Regents (high school) level math and earth science classes, often going on to pass the Math A Regents in 8th grade -- two years ahead of usual. Kids also study architecture, if the models of bridges adorning classrooms are any indication, and a small instrumental music program is available as well.
In addition to the gifted classes, IS 201 offers a magnet program in law. We watched social studies students engaged in lawyerly debate at "trials" in the mock courtrooms set up in classrooms.
IS 201 takes pains to spread around teacher talent in order that kids throughout the school may benefit. Therefore, all teachers are responsible for a range of classes in and out of the superintendent's program. The idea is that through teacher movement, creative ideas from one program may be cross-fertilized to another. Also, English as a Second Language and special education classes are scattered throughout the building, in the hope that students will not feel segregated from each other. (Whether the kids, in fact, feel that way is difficult to know.)
Principal Madeleine Brennan, who has been at IS 201 for more than 40 years, takes a no-nonsense attitude toward education and discipline, saying she requires "academic excellence of every student." As a measure of its success, the school boasts that a large group of students enter the specialized high schools every year. In 2003, more than 100 graduates went on to Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science.
Unfortunately, the school's popularity has led to a problem in recent years -- overcrowding. There are so many students that computer labs are used for conducting regular academic classes. One thing we would have liked to see in the school was a richer display of student work. Halls were pretty bare.
Admissions: In addition to the superintendent's program, students from outside the neighborhood may apply to the magnet program, which aims to build a diverse student body. (Catherine Man, November 2003)