Brooklyn Latin School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Classical education with Latin instruction

The Downside

May intimidate teens who fear public speaking

Brooklyn Latin is an unapologetically work-hard kind of place, where every child takes four years of Latin and laboratory science and writes a lengthy research paper. Public speaking and debate are fostered, and students lead their own parent-teacher conferences. Top universities recruit Brooklyn Latin students, some of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

Students are called “discipuli,” Latin for “student.” They wear white shirts and khaki trousers or skirts, and boys wear neckties, giving the school an English-boarding-school aesthetic.

Founded in 2006, Brooklyn Latin is modeled after Boston Latin, the nation’s oldest public high school. The Brooklyn school is one of New York City’s nine specialized high schools and the only one to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a rigorous degree widely accepted at universities in more than 100 countries. More demanding than a standard Regents prep curriculum, the IB program requires students to write a 15- to 20-page research essay on a topic of their choice, make an oral presentation and pass various subject exams.

Public speaking is an important part of the school's culture. Students participate in Socratic seminars, in which they communicate according to formal rules of discussion. In declamations, students must memorize a poem or speech to present to peers. Students stand and deliver, through tears and memory gaps, but improve over time, according to an administrator. The public speaking we saw on our visit was impressive—a recitation from Antigone by a visibly nervous sophomore, and a passionate debate in a senior seminar on the inequities of education.

The school prides itself on its strong math and science program. In an atypical sequence, freshmen begin with a conceptual physics class, 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, says Gina Mautschke-Mitchell, a former math teacher who became headmaster in 2013. Bridge design, solar cell efficiency and seed germination are some former student-designed lab topics culminating in eight- to 10-page papers.

Juniors and seniors also take English, history, math and theory of knowledge (a philosophy class unique to IB) and may choose to study intensive 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 the steep learning curve freshman year, students receive support in advisory groups. Those who need more assistance are encouraged to meet with teachers during office hours like in college. There are four guidance counselors, according to the budget summary.

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 shares a building with Lyons Community School and the Williamsburg High School of Arts and Technology (formerly the Green School). 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 school website.

Roughly 40 percent of all students earn the IB Diploma, according to the school website. Students are encouraged to apply to colleges out of state as well as SUNY and CUNY schools. 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 education 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 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; updated April 2018)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
98%
Average daily attendance
 
95%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
14%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
67%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

808
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
65%
Students with disabilities
 
2%
Multilingual learners
 
0%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
92%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
28%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
23%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
100%
2.2
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
126
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
84%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

 
33%

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

 
32%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
43%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
100%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
71%

Music

Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
97%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
99%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
81%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
48%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Brooklyn Latin School

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 school counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Greek, Latin, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

223 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206

Trains: G Line to Broadway; L Line to Grand St

Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59


Contact

Principal: Katrina Billy Wilkinson

Parent Coordinator: Diana Palma Cheng

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and Williamsburg High School of Art and Technology

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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