Williamsburg Preparatory School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

High standards and built-in time for reading, writing and projects

The Downside

No lockers; metal detectors

Our Review

Williamsburg Prep is a cohesive school that continues to set higher goals. Students have good passing rates on Regent's exams, and the staff is determined to see that they succeed in college.

By many measures, Williamsburg is a successful school. It has a solid attendance rate, a Progress Report with all "As," and high marks on the Learning Environment Survey. Fortunately, the administration is not content to stop there. Rather than have kids end up in remedial classes in college the school requires them to take a small senior seminar devoted to writing 5- and 10-page research papers on topics like the Vietnam War.

A full-time community outreach person recruits heavily from the Williamsburg neighborhood, keeping in close contact with middle school principals who funnel brainy kids to Williamsburg Prep because of its reputation for rigor. More than half the students come from IS 318. Incoming students can take two periods of math and all students have double periods of English in their first and second years, one of which includes 20 minutes of quiet reading. Teachers also assign reading outside of class and we saw teens using simple logical worksheets to break long writing assignments into do-able chunks.

Students said there is not a lot of homework,instead they complete projects in class. We saw teachers lecturing, but mostly they roamed around supervising kids working on computers or in small groups. Physics students made roller coasters out of cardboard and K'Nex and planned to travel to Six Flags Great Adventure to experience physics firsthand.

Parents can stay on top of their child's progress online at a site where teachers post homework and grades. With this regular communication, "There is never an excuse," said a teacher. Although staff used to make lots of calls to follow-up on attendance they now put more energy into raising expectations and helping kids feel supported in their work so they want to come to school. There are advisory classes once a week which offer more personal attention to the teens.

The staff is committed to mixing kids of all abilities together including special needs students. And they have Patrick Drislane, a special education teacher who is reportedly "a whiz" at helping low scorers pass Regent's exams. "Almost all our kids with IEPs [Individualized Education Programs] are graduating with Regent's Diplomas," said Assistant Principal Greg Dutton.

Williamsburg Prep is located in the Harry Van Arsdale building, shared with Brooklyn Prep and Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design. Williamsburg Prep has more students but the same amount of space, a minor sore spot in otherwise good relations. Students must pass through metal detectors. Although few seemed to feel they were needed anymore, no one seemed inclined to expend the energy to get them removed.

Because there are no lockers, kids lug backpacks and coats from room to room although some have an arrangement with a teacher who will allow them to keep their belongings in a classroom.

Sports are campus-wide. Psychology, acting, and literature and counterculture are among the few electives. Yoga or weight lifting are offered in addition to gym class and we saw a refreshing number of boys in the yoga class.

A full-time college counselor helps kids apply to college. Parents get one-on-one assistance with financial aid forms. Students attend colleges like Cornell, Brandeis, CUNY Hunter, Gettysburg and SUNY Albany, with an occasional student getting a scholarship to attend a school like Middlebury or the University of Wisconsin.

Admissions: Limited unscreened. Priority to students who attend an information session. About 1800 apply for fewer than 200 seats. (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
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
42% 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
5.3 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?
73% 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 2 dedicated spaces for Dance and Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Dance

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?
11% 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?
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
65% 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?
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Williamsburg Preparatory School
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description


Language Courses

American Sign Language, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish, 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


Michael Shadrick
Parent Coordinator
Lisa Staszewski

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