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Brooklyn Latin School, The

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
223 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206
Phone: 718-366-0154
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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)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
20%
36% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
72%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
81% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
68%
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
4.0

How do students perform academically?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
99%
77% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
99%
37% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
99%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
94%
64% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
43%
13% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
678
Asian
52%
Black
13%
Hispanic
11%
White
14%
Other
11%
Free or reduced priced lunch
62%
Students with disabilities
2%
English language learners
0%

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
24%
37% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
100%
59% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

Brooklyn Latin
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.

Academics

Language Courses

Greek, Latin, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Cross Country, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

Contact & Location

Location

Williamsburg (District 14)
Trains: G Line to Broadway; L Line to Grand St
Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59

Contact

Principal
Gina Mautschke
Parent Coordinator
DIANA PALMA

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and the Green School
Metal detectors?
No

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