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J.H.S. 278 Marine Park

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
1925 Stuart Street
Brooklyn NY 11229
Phone: 718-375-3523

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong arts programs

The Downside

Large size may not be to everyones liking

Located next to a big but slightly frayed city park, JHS 278 is a large, smoothly operating middle school that provides a diverse mix of students from the surrounding neighborhood with solid academics and extensive arts offerings.

Students choose among visual art, instrumental music, choral music and drama. The school has several bands, some of which have won national recognition, and stages two theatrical productions a yeara musical and a play. Brightly colored art, created by students working together, hang in the auditorium and some hallways.

After a period when the school suffered from declining enrollment, JHS 278 is growing, with more students applying from outside the zone, says longtime Principal Debra Garofalo. It had 16 6th grade classes in 2016-17 and plans to add classes in 7th and 8th grade as well.

High-achieving students can apply for the Center for the Intellectually Gifted (CIG) classes and are selected based on their 4th grade attendance, test scores and grades. In general, the differences between the CIG and regular classes appear slight. Eighth-graders chosen by the school take the Living Environment, American History and Algebra Regents tests, and have additional class time to prepare for the exams. These classes are also open to students who are not in CIG.

In general, the quality of instruction seems high, while not flashy. Teachers seem to engage most students and are willing to confront difficult topics, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and President Franklin Roosevelts decision not to admit Jews fleeing Nazism to the United States. In an English class, 7th-graders discussed whether they favored the poet Emma Lazaruss approach of welcoming immigrants or President Donald Trumps approach to restrict immigration. An 8th grade class preparing for the Regents adeptly analyzed a political cartoon from the 1930s about the New Deal, while a Living Environment class engaged in a detailed discussion of selective breeding, without much, if any, adolescent snickering.

To keep students from feeling lost in a school that expects to grow to 1,300 students, JHS 278 offers a meet up day before school starts in September. The grades are separated by floor. Each grade has an assistant principal and counselor who move up with the students.

The school feels orderly without being oppressive. It has a suspension rate of around 1 percent, low for a middle school, and its attendance rate is better than average. Garofalo is a stickler for details, picking up stray pieces of paper in the hall, and establishing a series of systems to keep the crowded cafeteria relatively clean and orderly. And she took up the alto sax so she can play with a school band

A former physical education teacher, Garofalo insists the children change for physical education to prepare them for high school. Boys and girls are separated in the gym. Girls are not going to play as effectively when guys are watching them, she says.

The school is in the attendance zone for James Madison High School so many students go there after 278. Edward R. Murrow and Leon Goldstein also are popular choices. JHS 278 has started a program to prepare students for the Specialized High School Admission Test, and students will be able to take the test at 278 during the school week in the hopes that this will reduce stress and enable more students to qualify for the selective schools.

Tucked away in a largely residential corner of Brooklyn, the school is not reachable by subway although there are several bus routes including some designated for JHS 278 students.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: JHS 278 offers ICT and self-contained classes. It also has an ASD NEST program aimed at high functioning students on the autism spectrum, with two NEST classes in each grade.

ADMISSIONS: JHS 278 is a zoned middle school for much of the Marine Park area. It also accepts some students from parts of District 22 outside the zone. District 22 students may apply to the schools CIG program as part of the middle school application process. (Gail Robinson, February 2017)

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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
58% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Bergen Beach (District 22)
Buses: B100, B2, B3, B31, B36, B41, B44, B44-SBS, BM4


Kerri Moser
Parent Coordinator
Melissa Barr

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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