We’ve been visiting middle schools in central Brooklyn. Here are some of our favorites. In addition to this list, be sure to see our list of schools that accept children from throughout the borough of Brooklyn and anywhere in the city.

Applications are due Dec. 1.

District 13 (Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy, downtown Brooklyn & DUMBO)

Academy for Arts & Letters (Grades K-8). Clinton Hill
Why we picked it: Community-minded schools with an emphasis on class discussions and portfolio presentations. Lots of field trips.
Who gets in: It's tough if you don't currently attend the school. After current 5th-graders are admitted, there are just a handful of seats for District 13 students who are admitted on the basis of a group interview, writing sample and 4th grade report card.

Dock Street School for S.T.E.A.M. Studies (Grades 6-8), DUMBO
Why we picked it: Sparkling new building; dual emphasis on arts and science.
Who gets in: District 13 applicants who score well on state exams and have good grades. There is an on-site science and writing activity

PS/MS 8, Robert Fulton, (Grades K-8) Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn
Why we picked it: The continuation of one of the district’s best-performing elementary schools offers explorations projects that last two weeks.
Who gets in: Continuing 5th graders get priority but MS 8 has space for a couple dozen more District 13 pupils.

District 15 (Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens)

Boerum Hill School for International Studies (grades 6-8) Cobble Hill
Why we picked it: French dual language and challenging International Baccalaureate curriculum.
Who gets in: Open District 15 and beyond for screened French language program. Some seats reserved for low-income students.

District 16 (Bedford Stuyvesant)

MS 267 Math, Science & Technology (grades 6-8) Bedford Stuyvesant
Why we picked it: Award-winning debate team and committed staff.
Who gets in: Plenty of space for District 16 students.

District 17 (Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Flatbush)

MS 2 Parkside Preparatory Academy (grades 6-8) Prospect/Lefferts Gardens
Why we picked it: Well-rounded school with lots of structure for diverse group of students.
Who gets in: Zoned school but there is space for other District 17 students

PS/IS 138 (pre-k-8) Crown Heights
Why we picked it: More than half the 8th-graders earn high school credit.
Who gets in: Zoned students and others in district.

PS/IS 189 (grades K-8) Flatbush
Why we picked it: Accelerated courses and good acceptance record to competitive high schools
Who gets in: Some spaces from outside the zone and even from neighboring District 23.

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School (grades 6-12) Crown Heights/District 17
Why we picked it: Fast paced academics for hard-working kids; every student learns to speak Mandarin
Who gets in: Boroughwide (includes some Queens students too) based on state tests, report card, special talent, interview, attendance and punctuality. Apply to the school directly.

MS 354 The School of Integrated Learning (grades 6-8) Crown Heights
Why we picked it: Consistent leadership, extended school day & plenty of arts & sports
Who gets in: Lots of space for District 17 students; screened program for top students.

Science, Technology and Research Early College School (STAR) at Erasmus (grades 6-12), Flatbush/District 17
Why we picked it: Students are on an academic fast track and may take courses at Brooklyn College
Who gets in: Open to District 17 and Brooklyn, based on 4th grade report card, interview & entrance exam, attendance, punctuality & test scores

District 19 (East New York)

FDA VIII (grades 6-8) East New York
Why we picked it: Orderly school with strong arts and academics
Who gets in: District 19 students who do well on an entrance exam.

Liberty Avenue Middle School (grades 6-8) East New York
Why we picked it: Up and coming warm, caring school; dual language Spanish-English program.
Who gets in: District 19 (zoned students get priority).

Vista Academy (grades 6-8) East New York
Why we picked it: Students feel challenged, respected and safe in a building that is improving.
Who gets in: Lots of space for District 19.

District 23 (Brownsville)

Brooklyn Environmental Exploration School (BEES) (grades 6-8)
Why we picked it: Lots of trips and lively class debates
Who gets in: District 23. Room for all who apply.

Eagle Academy for Young Men II (grades 6-12) Ocean Hill/District 23
Why we picked it: Warm, respectful environment in an engaging all-boys school. Most students stay for high school and graduate on time.
Who gets in: Limited unscreened with priority going to students who sign in at an information session or tour the school.

Mott Hall Bridges Academy (grades 6-8) Brownsville
Why we picked it: Science and math camp; visionary leader.
Who gets in: Lottery.

District 32 (Bushwick)

All City Leadership Secondary School (grades 6-12), Bushwick, District 32
Why we picked it: Students are cadets; safe, respectful environment; high test scores – and everyone graduates.
Who gets in: Queens and Brooklyn students based on their behavior, attendance, test scores and grades and an interview.

IS 383 Philippa Schuyler (grades 5–8), Bushwick, District 32
Why we picked it: Several Regents offerings, a hydroponic science lab and lots of arts courses and electives, including dance and steel band.
Who gets in: Queens and Brooklyn resident applying to enter 5th or 6th grade based on attendance and punctuality, report card grades, standardized test scores and an interview.