Four-year computer science program; students get lots of attention and support
Shared space in older facilities, though the school occupies its own dedicated section of the building.
The Williamsburg High School of Arts and Technology (WHSAT) is a small, nurturing place that offers lots of student support, thoughtful instruction and a four-year sequence in computer science. Students may earn college credit by taking courses at Medgar Evers College and Long Island University. The school has a partnership with St. Nicks Alliance, which provides comprehensive services for students and their families.
Formerly known as the Green School, WHSAT is gaining momentum under the leadership of Principal Cara Tait who oversaw the school’s transition to a technology theme. The school’s overall graduation and college readiness rates are climbing steadily. Notably, the graduation rate for English language learners already exceeds the citywide average.
Though students enter via one of three programs: computer science, liberal arts or bilingual Spanish, in practice all students benefit from an array of computer science and technology offerings and there is some opportunity to change programs. During our visit, students were thoroughly engaged in the tech classes whether it was an introductory lesson to html code, learning some advance programming techniques or working on some computer graphics.
Teachers also weave art into academic lessons. For instance in an Algebra 2 class, students use digital design software to create colorful patterns that help them visualize numerical functions.
Students in the computer science and technology program take an array courses in that cover programming and graphic design. Those not taking the full computer science sequence still participate in technology classes and programs such as ScriptEd, where they learn web development and related skills from professionals who work in the tech industry. Some technology and programming courses are taught in Spanish to ensure English language learners do not miss out.
There also some elective courses such as studio art, photography and creative movement.
Students arrive with a broad range of skill levels and teachers are adept and crafting lessons that cater to diverse needs in the classroom. They develop lessons together and assist their colleagues in classrooms so they can work with students in small groups to ensure everyone tackles assignments at the appropriate pace and level.
In all subjects, teachers use a “mastery-based” approach to instruction. Rather than getting a traditional numerical grade on a test or assignment, students are given feedback on a range of skills they’re required to learn that year. The idea is that students get multiple chances to learn skills and they get full credit for each one they master, whether they do so in October or January.
St. Nicks Alliance has a strong presence in the school. A massive community room is staffed with social workers, social work interns from local colleges and a youth advocate. In addition to providing counseling services, St Nicks Alliance runs English classes for parents and family members, coordinates housing assistance for families in need and runs summer programs for students.
WHSAT shares the old IS 49 building, including its gym, cafeteria and outdoor playground, with Lyons Community School and Brooklyn Latin. Students from all three schools may participate in campus-wide sports.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Teachers in all subjects work plan lessons in teams that include special education and English-as-new-language instructors that make sure students with special needs are supported. There are ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes and dedicated bilingual instruction courses as well.
ADMISSIONS: The liberal arts program admits students according to the educational option formula, which aims for a mix of low-, middle- and high-performing students. The transitional bilingual program has screened language admissions for Spanish speakers. The computer science program accepts students who meet admissions criteria. (Laura Zingmond, October 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
MusicNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Digital Media and Web Design
Introduction to design and coding for the web. Students have opportunities for paid internships, instruction directly from industry professionals and access to college level coursework.
Liberal Arts and Technology
This screened program offers web, digital media and college-credit bearing coursework. 9th grade students learn video game engineering and web design in addition to the traditional liberal arts. Students continue their computer science classes and take college-level courses. Upperclassmen can continue their CS training at tech company offices such as Google, Major League Baseball and Disney. Students also participate in internships facilitated by our partner St. Nicks Alliance.
Spanish Bilingual Computer Science and Technology
Students develop English and Spanish language skills through courses taught by native speakers and a technology-based interdisciplinary program emphasizing bilingual speaking and writing.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Biology, AP English Language and Composition, AP Statistics
Boys PSAL teams
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Cross Country, Volleyball
Contact & Location
223 Graham Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206
Trains: to Broadway; to Grand St; , , to Lorimer St
Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59
This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and the Brooklyn Latin School