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Brooklyn High School of the Arts

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed Noteworthy
345 Dean Street
Brooklyn NY
Phone: 718-855-2412

Our Insights

What’s Special

Talented students; great support from arts organizations & doors open to the community

The Downside

Still working to make academics as engaging for students as the arts

There is a well-deserved buzz about Brooklyn High School of Arts (“Brooklyn Arts”), a conservatory-style arts school, which offers solid academics on top of exciting opportunities for students to learn and perform outside their classrooms. Enrollment is up significantly in recent years, attendance is good and the graduation rate is high, including for students with special needs. An ambitious administration is eager to bring the school on par with the city's premiere art high schools.

Brooklyn Arts takes advantage of its location in downtown Brooklyn to offer frequent field trips to the nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music and other theaters and museums. One group performed for the cast of the hit Broadway show Hamilton. Drama students were chosen to participate in the Shubert Foundation High School Theatre Festival; the jazz band and choir have been award-winners in state competitions. A visual arts student's work was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum; her teacher was recognized as one of the five best art teachers in city schools.

Students may major in vocal music, instrumental music, dance, drama, or visual arts. Unlike some other arts-focused high schools, students may take classes outside their majors. For example, all students are invited to audition for the school’s musical and those who are selected take a musical theater class in addition to attending rehearsals after school. All students take at least two arts classes a day; by senior year some students may take as many as four.

Impressive student artwork lines the hallway gallery, contrasting with 1930's WPA murals in the handsome, historic building. A "gallery" class helps students prepare a portfolio to present for admission to arts colleges.  

Daniel Vecchiano, a former assistant principal at Brooklyn Arts, became principal of the school in 2016 after longtime leader Margaret Lacey-Berman left.

In response to students' complaints that their classes aren’t challenging, Vechhiano and staff have worked to strengthen academic offerings. To increase student engagement, most classrooms are now set up for students to work collaboratively and take part in class discussions. There are honors classes in all academic subjects and the school offers over 10 Advanced Placement courses, some as early as 10th grade.

Teachers also weave in arts with academics. In dance classes students learn anatomy and kinesiology, the study of physical of activity. Drama students read the Greek play Medea in English class at the same time that they perform it in their theater class. They created a historical play based on videos they filmed and edited of family and neighbors discussing their memories of key events from the 1960s.

An internship program offers learning opportunities at a range of companies such as architectural, construction and engineering firms. Students conduct science experiments and learn about the environment during the school’s annual overnight trip to Frost Valley YMCA.

Singer Tony Bennett's foundation, Exploring the Arts offers paid student internships and donates professional lighting. The school also gets support from the Carnegie Hall Foundation, Cooper Union, and Parsons School of Design.

Brooklyn Arts welcomes the surrounding community: The public is invited to free live-in-HD Met opera screenings in the elegant auditorium. There is a monthly lecture series that features a range of speakers including professional actors, dancers, musicians, journalists and scientists.

Students who maintain good grades and attendance earn perks through the school’s VIP program, such as being allowed to leave the building for lunch. 

Some graduates attend a range of arts schools such as Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology and Berklee College of Music. Others go to CUNY and SUNY schools as well as a broad range of private colleges including some highly competitive schools such as Columbia, Barnard, NYU and Rice University.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The graduation rate for students with special needs far outpaces the citywide averages. Brooklyn Arts offers self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.

ADMISSIONS: Admissions is based on an audition and review of academic records. Open to students citywide; priority for 50 percent of seats goes to Brooklyn students and residents. (Via interviews and DOE reports, Pamela Wheaton, January 2017; updated November 2019, Laura Zingmond)

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

The Visual Arts Studio is a rigorous four year curriculum that develops the student's technical abilities, critical-thinking skills and personal voice. Students have received honors like the Scholastic Art Awards, exhibition awards at the MOMA, admission to pre-college programs at local schools and scholarships for college. Courses include Foundational Art, Advanced Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Advanced Gallery, and Senior Portfolio Preparation, as well as Digital Art and Design.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

Students pursue a rigorous program of solo and ensemble playing as well as studying basic music theory and music history. Students have the opportunity to work closely with top professional musicians in the New York scene through our various partnerships. Classical, contemporary and "pop" literature, as well as world music, is studied and performed. Offerings include String Orchestra, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Guitar, and Digital Music, as well as Music Theory and Composition courses.

Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

The studio offers dance students the opportunity to develop skills in professional venues with professional teaching artists. Students gain performance skills and understanding of the techniques of Lester Horton and Martha Graham. Students develop their talents in classical ballet, contemporary and modern dance. Technique classes include ballet, modern, and jazz. Two years of specialty classes in choreography, composition, pointe, college portfolio, and audition classes are offered as well.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

The Vocal Studio is an intensive study of music theory, vocal production and performance, and utilizes a repertoire that includes classical, jazz, gospel, contemporary, and folk. We offer multiple levels of choir, exploring all styles from traditional choral greats to pop music of today. Choirs perform regularly at professional venues throughout New York City. The Select Choir studies and performs NYSSMA level five or six pieces, and participates annually in the NYSSMA competition.

Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description:

The studio provides theater students with rigorous, differentiated and sequential high quality theater training in order to reach their full potential in college and careers in theater and other fields. Daily classes are provided by professional theater artists. Students have the opportunity to explore a vast spectrum of theater work, including acting, voice and diction, movement, theater history, set design, directing and creating original work. Students perform on Broadway stages citywide.


Language Courses

French, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Seminar, AP English Language and Composition, AP Biology, AP Human Geography, AP Research, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Literature and Composition, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, AP Psychology


Boys PSAL teams


Girls PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


Downtown Brooklyn (District 15)
Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line, B Line, D Line, N Line, Q Line, R Line to Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center; A Line to Hoyt & Schermerhorn; C Line to Lafayette Ave; G Line to Fulton St
Buses: B103, B25, B26, B37, B38, B41, B45, B52, B63, B65, B67


Daniel Vecchiano
Parent Coordinator
Anthony Gonzalez

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with MS 447
Metal detectors?

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