M.S. 340 North Star Academy
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Clarinet; good class discussions
Cramped quarters with no full-size gymnasium
North Star Academy is tiny school in a snug red brick building in Prospect Heights that draws many students from Caribbean-American families living in Crown Heights and East Flatbush.
The school offers Spanish, recorder, clarinet and visual art. Dance, step and theater are some of the extended day offerings. Eighth graders may take Regents (high school-level) courses in science, history and math.
The school is equipped with laptops and Smart Boards and has a computer lab. The Quality Review praises teachers for leading high quality discussions and eliciting good participation in classes.
The guidance counselor helps students stay informed of deadlines for taking exams and applying to high schools. The school hosts a college and career day with more than 30 professionals, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP).
A downside: There is no dedicated gymnasium. Physical education takes place in the low-ceilinged basement.
Some students are accepted into performing arts high schools or specialized high schools, according to the CEP, but most opt for high schools closer to home like Brooklyn College Academy, Medgar Evers College Prep and Benjamin Banneker Academy.
Admissions: District 17. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, May 2019)