Brooklyn Preparatory High School

Grades 9-12
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What’s Special

Two well-equipped art studios and lots of course offerings

The Downside

Some concerns about order and discipline; high suspension rate

Our Review

Brooklyn Prep is a small high school with a strong arts program, supportive advisory groups, and lots of classes to choose from such as drama, psychology, sign language, guitar, chorus, and robotics - in addition to academics.

Students present and defend their best work through a portfolio process at the end of each semester. Writing is a focus in every subject, and the portfolios, kept in binders, include written reflections, projects, papers and tests.

Ninth graders take two English classes - one in literature, one in writing. We saw teens writing books about their neighborhoods at computer terminals. The writing was lively, with titles like, "Unwritten rules for a Puerto Rican." Art instruction is a strength. Two teachers oversee two well-equipped studios and offer a good selection of classes including printmaking, drawing, multimedia, studio art, street art, digital portfolio and experiences in 3-D.

The staff is committed to mixing kids of all abilities while supporting high and low end learners. Advanced 9th graders meet at lunch to do extra work to get honors credit for Global History and AP classes are offered. One said teachers, "try to push us beyond our limit and get us ready for college."

A 12th grade transfer student said she liked the individual attention she gets compared to her former school. "The teachers are more helpful," she said. "They ask you what's going on at home." This personal attention starts with advisory groups of about 15 students who gather three times a week to bond and prepare for college. The school day ends early every Wednesday giving teachers time to plan together.

The transition to new leadership was somewhat bumpy after the founding principal left in 2010, according to the Learning Environment Survey which showed a decrease in satisfaction in all areas, particularly discipline and school management. Seven teachers left the school, a not-uncommon occurrence when a new administrator comes in says Principal Noah Lansner. He hired a mix of veteran and new teachers to replace them and feels he has a "good fit" going forward. Six teachers have been with the school since it opened in 2004.

Teachers we met had good things to say about the leadership: "You really feel like you have a voice," said one.

Lansner taught high school science for nine years, at John Jay High School and Medgar Evers, before attending the Leadership Academy, the city's training ground for principals. Under his leadership the staff has added electives and created a more flexible schedule: kids no longer stay with the same group all day.

As for discipline, there were 121 suspensions in 2010-11, higher than at the other two schools in the building. To improve the atmosphere and communication, the school has adopted an online program called Skedula which helps teachers and parents track progress and behavior. Some kids attend lunchtime clubs, reducing the sometimes rambunctious behavior in the cafeteria. Special attention in advisory has been given to reducing tension before it escalates, the principal said. To boost attendance, a team of eight adults works closely with teens, offering support and incentives. Kids were chatty and moved around a lot in class during our mid-day visit, but we saw some skilled teaching and no classrooms were out of control.

The school shares the Harry Van Arsdale building with Williamsburg Preparatory High School and the Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design. Sports are campus-wide, and one student attends an AP Calculus class at Williamsburg Prep, otherwise there is little interaction between the schools.

The neighborhood and the school are quite safe but the building still has metal detectors. Cell phones are removed and given back at the end of the day.

There is a full-time college advisor. Students take two college trips a year. The majority of the graduates attend CUNY and SUNY schools.

Special Education: Four special education teachers work with about 80 kids who have Individual Educational Plans. Special needs kids are incorporated into general ed classes.

Admissions: Limited unscreened. Priority given to students who attend an information session. About 1200 applied for 115 spots in fall 2011. (Lydie Raschka, April 2012)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares the Harry Van Arsdale Educational Campus with two other schools
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 3 licensed arts teacher in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Brooklyn Preparatory High School
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

We develop the Habits of Mind (Perspective, Analysis, Connections and Expression), Work (Resourcefulness, Organization, Perseverance, Eagerness and Self-Awareness), and Heart (Flexibility, Insight, Role and Empathy) that students need to succeed in a challenging college program and fulfilling career.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP Psychology, AP Spanish, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, AP U.S. History


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

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

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257 North 6th Street
Brooklyn NY 11211
Williamsburg (District 14)
Trains: G to Metropolitan Ave-Lorimer St; J, M, Z to Marcy Ave; L to Bedford Ave
Buses: B24, B32, B39, B44, B44-SBS, B46, B48, B60, B62, Q54, Q59


Noah Lansner
Parent Coordinator
Ja'Net Hall Nelson

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