High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology
Big school that feels like a small one, a software engineering program
Large class sizes in the upper grades
The High School for Telecommunication Arts and Technology (HSTAT) is a big school that acts like a small one. Located in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, HSTAT is a friendly and supportive place that attracts students of different abilities and backgrounds. Its also a bustling place with roughly 1300 students and a nice array of courses and activities to ensure that theres something for everyone .
Xhenete Shepard became the schools principal in January 2014. A former teacher and assistant principal at the school, Shepard took over after HSTATs longtime principal, Phil Weinberg, left to serve as the deputy chancellor for teaching and learning under Chancellor Carmen Faria at the Department of Education.
While the school delivers on its name with courses in arts, photography and computer programming, it is the human touch that students and staff say makes the school special. I was surprised by how accepting everyone is, said a student who transferred into HSTAT at the start of 11th grade. I made friends quickly here. In addition to guidance counselors, each student has an academic advisora teacher who keeps tabs on students academic scheduling and progress.
Peer support is emphasized too. Older students help out as tutors and take on the role of mentor to younger students. Seniors show freshmen around the building on the first day of school and the two grades take a field a trip together in October on the day that sophomores and juniors take the PSAT at school.
The staff is committed to helping students of all abilities reach their potentialwhether they receive special education services, take regular or honors classes or a mix of all three. For instance, a student who performs poorly in his math class often moves on to the next level, while also receiving extra support, rather than repeating coursework. As one math teacher explained, remediation doesnt work if its simply doing the same thing again, but this time louder and slower. Freshmen arriving with weak math skills take an extra class in numeracy to bolster their mental math and fluency in foundational skills. Another classmath labtargets juniors and seniors who need extra help.
In many classes we visited, teachers kept kids engaged through a mix of class-wide discussions, group work and independent work. Teachers also collaborate to develop the curriculum in each subject. In classrooms, they customize lessons to address their students strengths and weaknesses rather than rely heavily on scripted lessons and worksheets. Most 9th-grade classes are kept to roughly 28 students. In the upper grades class sizes increase to 30 to 35 students.
In English and history classes, students are expected to write a lot. In 9th grade, the emphasis is on slowing down the process to make sure students have a solid grasp of structure. You have to know the rules before you can break them, so we start with writing a good sentence and increase complexity from there, said Shepard. As part of their 10th-grade history requirement, students take a research class that lays the foundation for a big social science research project that all 12th-graders complete before graduation.
Stronger students, and those seeking greater challenges, have plenty of options. In addition to honors classes in select courses, the school offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses: English, Spanish, world history, American history, statistics, calculus, biology, physics and chemistry. Students can also take College Now courses on-site through a partnership with Kingsborough Community College. A software engineering program introduced in 2013, which will expand to a four-year sequence of courses, is popular with students.
There are plenty of elective classes, clubs and sports. Some 250 students take part in the chorus. Fashion design, drama, musical theater and dance are offered either as electives or as after-school programs.
A summer bridge program helps roughly 120 incoming 9th-graders boost their math and English skills before starting high school.
The college office is staffed with two fulltime counselors. Many graduates attend CUNY and SUNY colleges, and each year some attend private colleges including Ivy League and other highly competitive schools.
Special education: More than 250 students receive services including physical and occupational therapy, speech, counseling, integrated co-teaching (ICT) and self-contained classes. The ICT classes we visited had energetic teachers and engaged students. The school has an ASD Nest program that gives extra supports to a small group of students with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD Nest students have a dedicated period each day for support services, but otherwise are fully integrated into HSTAT classes.
Admissions: Priority to Brooklyn students or residents. Admission is based on the educational option formula that is designed to ensure a mix of low, average and high achieving students attend the school. (Laura Zingmond, October 2014 )
About the students
About the school
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Programs and Admissions
A college preparatory institution offering a wide range of challenging academic courses. Computers are used as a tool to enhance the academic lives of our students.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. History, AP World History
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball
Brooklyn NY 11220