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M.S. 88 Peter Rouget

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
544 7th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11215
Phone: 718-788-4482
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong STEM instruction, lots of interesting programs, School of One math approach

The Downside

Large size may not appeal to everyone

MS 88 is a large middle school with strong leadership, good instruction and a generous selection of activities and programs. Despite its size, its a welcoming and cheery place with dedicated teachers and staff. It offers many kinds of supports and class-settings to serve the wide-ranging needs of its diverse student body, including accelerated courses for strong students, classes for English language learners and plenty of extra help for children with disabilities.

Students are admitted to one of three programs or houses: School for Integrated Studies through the Arts (SISTA), the School for Medical & Health Careers (Medical), and School of Media Arts and Technology (SMART). Each house has its own floor of the building and selection of themed elective classes and activities. Students in SISTA may attend plays and choose from art-themed offerings like drama and visual arts. In the Medical house students have opportunities to conduct research with medical students, learn first aid, tour hospitals and volunteer in nursing homes.

SMART focuses on media and technology and is home to the School of One math program, which tailors instruction to each students skill level and learning style through a combination of computer-based and traditional, teacher-led lessons. Each day students are assigned to groups and complete work based on their skill sets and performance during the prior days lesson. I cant think of any other program that offers a 100 percent differentiation, said Ailene Altman-Mitchell, the schools longtime principal.

Throughout the school the vibe is calm, collaborative and friendly. Teachers meet daily in grade-level teams to plan lessons, coordinate projects and discuss their students progress. Even when theyre not leading a class or meeting with their team, many teachers open their rooms to colleagues and students seeking help, friendly conversation or a place to hangout. Many arrive early to offer extra help and stay late to run afterschool activities.

Teachers create many of their own lessons and dont rely heavily on worksheets or a scripted curriculum. We saw hands-on, creative projects in all subjects. For instance, art, social studies and math all intersected in a 6th-grade assignment asking students to calculate the area of their irregular shaped drawings of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi. Students in a 7th-grade Spanish class demonstrated their vocabulary and art skills by creating Wanted posters complete with detailed descriptions of their fugitives, written in Spanish.

Over the years the school has amassed an impressive roster of programs and partnerships with outside organizations that help support everything from arts, science and technology to social-emotional learning, teacher training and family engagement. Free, onsite medical and dental care for students is sponsored by The Lutheran Medical Center; and field trips to museums, zoos, science centers and botanical gardens are offered through a partnership with the Urban Advantage Program at the American Museum of Natural History.

The STEM offerings at MS 88 are unusually strong for a middle school. In addition to computer coding and robotics instruction, there is a design-thinking program where students brainstorm and design prototypes of useful products for kids, and a class in biomimicry (the study of natures designs to help solve complex human problems) led by doctoral candidates from the NYU Polytechnic Institute of Engineering.

Teachers train at the Earth Institute at Columbia University to develop an ecology-based science curriculum with interesting projects and lessons such as oyster bed farming and research in the schools onsite greenhouse. In 2013, MS 88 was one of five schools nationwide to win the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition for their submission: a plan developed by 7th-graders to decontaminate the Gowanus Canal.

The school offers Spanish and dual-language French instruction. High school-level courses in algebra, earth science and biology are offered to 8th-graders who excel in math and science.

After school activities include offerings such as LEGO robotics, vocal performance, school play, New York Road Runners, a rock band, visual arts, chess and sports.

Popular high schools for MS 88 graduates are High School of Telecommunications Arts and Technology, Midwood High School, Edward R. Murrow, Leon M. Goldstein and Sunset Park High School, all in the neighborhood. Some go on to specialized high schools.

English as a second language: English language learners are concentrated in SISTA so that they can take classes with extra language supports built into daily instruction. With the encouragement of math teacher Aaron Kaswell one ELL student expressed his math talents at school through KenKen puzzles and, before completing 8th grade, became the youngest person in the world to solve the hardest of KenKen puzzles, the Miyamoto Challenge.

Special education: The school has integrated co-teaching (ICT), SETSS and self-contained classes.

Admissions: District 15 residents and students. Applicants must be interviewed to be eligible for admission. (Laura Zingmond, May, 2014)

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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?
79% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
50% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
83% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% 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?
72% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
36% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
44% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Sunset Park High School, New Utrecht High School, and High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I, Living Environment

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
27% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
22% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
This school offers Dual Language classes in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
18% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
8% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Sunset Park (District 15)
Trains: F Line, G Line to 15th St-Prospect Park ; R Line to Prospect Ave
Buses: B37, B61, B63, B67, B68


Ailene Mitchell
Parent Coordinator

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with a District 75 program, K053
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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