The Boerum Hill School for International Studies

Grades 6-12
Noteworthy
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What’s Special

French dual-language instruction; International Baccalaureate program

The Downside

High school International Baccalaureate program still too new to tell

Our Review

Boerum Hill School for International Studies is undergoing dramatic change thanks to strong leadership, dual-language French instruction and the challenging International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Students enjoy a lot of arts offerings, field trips and a culinary program where they work in a professionally equipped kitchen and intern at restaurants and caterers.

Once an overlooked school in District 15, Boerum Hill is becoming a sought-after choice among local families. Middle school enrollment is skyrocketing—up from 50 6th-graders in 2014 to 180 in 2017—and parent involvement is on the rise. Both middle school test scores and the college readiness rate (percent of graduates who don’t need to remedial courses at CUNY) have risen sharply.

The vibe throughout the school is relaxed and friendly. Parents told us they’re impressed with how quickly their children are learning French and by the creative and collaborative class work.

Principal Nicole Lanzillotto, who headed Boerum Hill’s middle grades before taking the helm in 2017, encourages kids to have a say in their school. For instance, a group of students successfully argued to allow hats to be worn at school after studying the behavior code, reading and discussing the book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood with staff and then drafting a thoughtful petition. 

Students have French language instruction every day. In addition, science is taught in both French and English. Students participate in an after-school French immersion program where they develop their conversational fluency.

The IB program offers rich class discussions, thoughtful research papers and imaginative courses. For instance, instead of traditional English and social studies classes, students take courses such as “Individual and Societies,” “Language Acquisition” and “Language and Literature.”

Lessons in all grades emphasize skills such as communication, social and self-management as well as research and analytical thinking. In a high school math class we observed, students were discussing the importance of using graphs and charts to explain findings. Among their conclusions, visual representations transcend language barriers. In a senior English class, students were writing blog posts on topics they researched.  “I like this kind of writing because I can express myself,” said a student writing about Eric Gardner, the Staten Island man who died in 2014 during an arrest by police for selling loose cigarettes.

In the “middle years program” (grades 6-10) each year focuses on a theme that’s reinforced across subjects. For instance in 6th grade, students focus on identities and exploration, studying topics such as globalization, sustainability and relationships across the humanities classes; in 8th grade math, a survey in functions is part of the grade-wide theme of how an idea becomes a movement. Tenth grade is a year of reflecting on how all themes connect, with studies on constitutional foundations, three-dimensional math modeling and writing for different audiences.  

The IB diploma program is a challenging two years beginning in 11th grade culminating in completion of a year-long service project, a lengthy research paper and series of exams. Since the curriculum was rolled out in the middle school first and then expanded to the high school, the graduation class of 2019 (11th-graders when we visited) will be the first group to be eligible for an IB diploma.

Culinary arts is offered in high school, though 8th-graders are given an introduction to it. Students get hands-on training in the school’s professionally equipped kitchen as well as through internships shadowing chefs and catering events for the Department of Education and at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Students enjoy day and overnight trips as well as a nice range of arts, elective classes and after-school activities including sports. arts, chess, music, dance, theater and technology. Partnerships with an impressive range of organizations, such as the French Embassy, 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center, Brooklyn Historical Society and Urban Advantage help expand learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

The school is housed in a large building it shares with the Digital Arts and Cinema Technology High School and Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School. Students may leave the building for lunch or enjoy recess in the expansive schoolyard with teen size climbing equipment, multiple fields and a basketball court.

There is a busy college office lead by a fulltime college counselor. Juniors and seniors get additional support from a guidance counselor dedicated for those grades. Most graduates go on to CUNY and SUNY schools and some attend private and out-of-state colleges.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT (Integrated collaborative teaching) classes on all grades plus SETSS.

ADMISSIONS: The middle school screens for academics (looking at grades, test scores and attendance record) and is open to District 15 students except for those screened for French language fluency who are admitted from across Brooklyn. The high school is open to students citywide with top priority to continuing 8th-graders and then to all of District 15. Admissions is based on an interview as well as a review of students’ grades, test scores and attendance record.

Boerum Hill’s demographics are shifting as more middle class District 15 families choose the school. In an effort to maintain an integrated student community, the school reserves 40% of it seats for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. (Laura Zingmond, October 2017)

 

 

 

 

About the students

Enrollment
563
Asian
5.1%
Black
39.8%
Hispanic
28.4%
White
21.7%
Other
5.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
64%
Students with disabilities
22%
English language learners
13%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with the Brooklyn School for Global Studies and Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
78%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
85%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
49%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
79%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
43%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
48%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.8
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
89%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
76%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
54%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
88%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
92%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
32%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
28%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 4 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Dance, and Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
74%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
55%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
67%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
English, Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
7%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
81%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
School for International Studies
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
69%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
7%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
8%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
21%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
8%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
64%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

This school offers Dual Language classes in French.
How many English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
14%
3% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
38%
43% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
42%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.77
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.87
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.73
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.93
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
79%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
82%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
82%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
86%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

International Baccalaureate
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Within the IB framework, students will complete core and interdisciplinary classes as they prepare for IB courses in their 10th-12th grades.

College, Career & Culinary
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Under our IB program, the College, Career & Culinary concentration is a four-year, rigorous sequence of courses designed to train future chefs and small business entrepreneurs. Entering freshmen are programmed for introductory kitchen skills and entrepreneurship. All students entering are required to fulfill IB requirements and coursework. Our partnership with C-CAP prepares students to complete internships with local area restaurant chefs.

Academics

Language Courses

French, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, 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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Location

284 Baltic Street
Brooklyn NY 11201
Carroll Gardens (District 15)
Trains: A, C to Hoyt & Schermerhorn; F, G to Bergen St
Buses: B103, B41, B45, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67

Contact

Phone
718-330-9390
Principal
Nicole Lanzillotto
Parent Coordinator
Jacqueline Carrier

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