Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Enviable setting, articulate students, many AP courses and computer electives

The Downside

Far from the subway

Our Review

Situated on the spacious but remote campus of Kingsborough Community College, Leon Goldstein High School for the Sciences boasts waterside views, a relaxed atmosphere and top-notch academics. The 2002 building has computer and science labs, a ceramics studio with a working kiln, a library and media room, and a cafeteria with a wall of windows. It is connected to Kingsborough's full-size gymnasium and a beautiful swimming pool.

Goldstein attracts some of the best and brightest students in Brooklyn who want a school that's smaller than popular giants like Brooklyn Tech. Its the kind of place where a girl carries around a novel that she is reading for fun, not for English class. Students are treated respectfully, much like the college students they are soon to become.

Academic rigor has stepped up since Principal Scott Hughes came in 2012. A former computer science teacher at Mark Twain middle school, Hughes doubled the number of AP courses--some begin as early as 9th grade--and mandated a longer school day for all four years. "We maximize the 4th year to get them ready for college and career," he said. The number of graduates prepared for college far exceeds the city's average. College Now courses are offered through Kingsborough Community College, allowing students to earn college credits.

Actions that would be problematic in other schools, such as wearing a hat or hoodie, or eating a sandwich in a classroom, are not at Goldstein. Because of the demanding class schedule--each student has four 54-minute academic periods each day--students bring in food to eat at their desks on the days they don't get an official lunch period.

Students are required to take four years of math and science and three years of either Spanish or Italian. There are many math and science offerings, including three sections of calculus, organic chemistry and AP chemistry. Many kids participate in city and school Science Olympiads.

Every freshman and sophomore must take two semesters of computer science to learn digital logic, computer architecture, programming and other sophisticated skills. "We're trying to teach them the Latin of computer science as opposed to learning a particular program," said Hughes. Some teens are getting hands-on entrepreneurial skills, developing a mobile app for youth hostels with Young & Rubicam advertising company.

Despite an emphasis on math, science and computer studies, the English department is arguably the strongest at Goldstein. "If you can't read and write, you cant do science and math," Hughes said. In one class, students reading Animal Farm were making parallels with the Soviet Union. Small groups had created information stations with students traveling from one to another, taking notes and learning from everyones research

Literature and social studies lessons are frequently intertwined. In a global history class, students studied the Chinese Cultural Revolution by examining Mao Tse Tung's quotations, and photographs from the time.

Arts flourish too. There is a jazz band and a chorus and piano classes. Other electives include drama, ceramics, and painting. Seniors work with incoming freshman to prepare for the annual SING! competition.

In addition to peer tutoring, an after-school program is open to all students who need help or are looking for a place to work on class projects. The Child First initiative focuses on the lowest-performing one-third of students by giving those students extra tutoring, mentoring and emotional support.

Girls have a strong voice in the school, making up 55 percent of the population. They field winning PSAL teams, especially in volleyball, tennis and swimming.

In senior year, students are allowed to go out to lunch, on or off campus. Not everyone can handle the freedom--we saw a student being escorted to the dean's office by two adults for cutting class.

Goldstein is a long walk from the closest subway line and many students are driven to school by their parents.

COLLEGE: The majority of graduates go to SUNYs and CUNYs, with a high number enrolling in the prestigious Macauley Honors program, as well as selective private colleges and Ivies, including UPenn, Columbia, Cornell and Princeton.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: About 15 percent of students have IEPs (Individualized Education Plans); some meet the schools stringent academic screen for admission, but many do not. There are ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes on most grades but by the later years, there is a move to integrate all students. There are some students on the autism spectrum but Goldstein is no longer an ASD support school. The building is shared with a District 75 program for autistic students and about 10-12 of them are included in some Goldstein classes.

ADMISSIONS: Admission is based on the 7th grade report card, attendance and punctuality. Minimum required grade for English and social studies is 80; for math and science, 85. There are far more applicants (nearly 5,000 in 2015) than the 250 seats. A detailed breakdown is on the school's website. "It's an authentic, cold-hearted mathematical process," said the principal, who fields many calls from parents wondering why their child wasn't accepted. The largest number of students come from nearby Bay Academy and PS/IS 207. (Pamela Wheaton, April 2015)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

An enriching and challenging curriculum in the sciences and humanities that exceeds city and state requirements.


Language Courses

Italian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Human Geography, AP Microeconomics, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP U.S. History, AP World History


Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

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1830 Shore Boulevard
Brooklyn NY 11235
Sheepshead Bay (District 22)
Trains: N/A
Buses: B1, B49


Scott Hughes
Parent Coordinator
Debra Eng

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