J.H.S. 062 Ditmas
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Multi-ethnic school with a rich arts program
Working to improve academic achievement of new immigrants
Anchoring a full block in multi-ethnic, working class Ditmas Park, IS 62 boasts wide hallways, airy classrooms and a formal auditorium for its performing arts program. Many students are from immigrant families who hail from about 40 different countries, including Russia, Korea, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Pakistan and nations throughout Central America and Africa.
The school is divided into three academies: Sixth grade Exploratory Academy (SEA); Academics, Performing and Visual Arts (APVA); and Law and Community Service (LCS). Arts students choose a concentration from among visual arts, dance, keyboard or band. Law academy students participate in mock trials in the school's wooden "courtroom" and do internships working with kindergartners or for local assemblymen. [photo of law students from the school website]
Test scores, while average, are steadily improving. A significant number of immigrant students have had inconsistent formal education, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). In addition to offering tutoring to struggling readers, the school's library boasts a media center that teens may use during lunch and students are required to have a novel on them at all times. The newest student immigrants join a class that has a special phonics-based curriculum. Top students may take advanced classes in science and math to earn high school credits. All students may study computer programming.
The school has three deans, three guidance counselors, and three family workers, who help implement an anti-bullying campaign, connect with parents, and support children academically and socially.
The school won a violence prevention grant so teens can attend school on Saturdays, where they enjoy Lego robotics, software engineering, exercise, crocheting, cheerleading, cooking, and the Ditmas News Network, which produces videos on current events, among other options.
Admissions: The school is zoned. Admission to the selective "Superintendent's Program" is determined by a combination of factors including grades, state tests and attendance. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, February 2019)