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Brooklyn College Academy

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
350 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11218
Phone: 718-853-6184

Our Insights

What’s Special

Students study on the Brooklyn College campus

The Downside

Two different school locations; not many sports

Brooklyn College Academy is a small high school with a long history of preparing kids for college. In fact, it was one of the first schools in the city to allow students to take college courses on a college campus, combining two years of high school with two years of college.

In 9th grade, students take a pre-college class to gradually introduce them to the rigors of college work. One of the first college-credit-bearing courses is Introduction to Theater Arts, given in-house to 10th graders, along with other choices such as speech or music. By the time seniors are ready to graduate, they will have earned anywhere from six to 45 college credits along with their high school diploma. The wide range of college courses offered includes calculus, sociology, physiology, psychology, business and forensics.

Established in February 1986 by the New York City Board of Education in collaboration with the City University of New York, the Academy started as a middle and high school for teens at risk of dropping out. It has evolved into a screened high school for high achievers. Today, only roughly half of the students are from low-income families, says parent coordinator Suhadie Lajara-Rivas. 

The Academy is housed at two locations and admits students from throughout Brooklyn who meet the criteria. The Lower and High School (grades 9-10) is located in a renovated warehouse at 350 Coney Island Ave. The Upper Institute (grades 11-12) is at Brooklyn College.

In addition to the perks of a college campus, the Academy has unique homegrown features, such as a mindfulness room with mood lighting and cushioned seats. Girls, who make up the majority of students, may join a mentoring program called SmHEARTGirls!. A respected and well-known world music ensemble is run by a passionate and innovative teacher. “It gives kids an outlet,” says Lajara-Rivas, because the school is “so academically driven.” Although the school does not offer much in the way of sports or clubs, teens may sing in a gospel choir, join student government, or play basketball or volleyball, she adds.

Longtime principal Nicholas Mazzarella is a respected and trusted leader. On school surveys, teachers report he has a clear vision, and most of them would recommend the school to other families.

Students at the Lower and High School annex wear a uniform, but 11th and 12th graders do not, allowing them to blend in more easily with the college students on campus. They share many of the privileges of college students, such as access to the college library, but they are not allowed to access the pool or anyplace college students must pay extra to use.

One downside of the annex location is its small auditorium/gym. However, the school has use of Prospect Park across the street in good weather, as well as a gym at Brooklyn College.

The school is noted for a small inclusion program for District 75 called PS 77 (there are four sites under this name), for high school students with autism. They take classes with Academy students and receive extra help with academics and social skills. On campus, 11th- and 12th-grade autistic students meet in advisory sessions and trade advice on how to deal with social situations. The school has a peer support program at the annex to help children become more engaged in classroom social activities.

The Academy is “very hands-on” with the college application process, says Lajara-Rivas. Most graduates go to college, although most do not attend Brooklyn College because they have already spent two years on that campus. Popular choices include City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) schools, in addition to top-tier schools like Harvard and Cornell.

ADMISSIONS: The school admits students in 9th and 10th grades, based on standardized state test scores, report card grades, attendance and lateness. Students who attend an open house, which is recommended by the parent coordinator, take an optional assessment on math and reading, and write an essay about themselves. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data, interview, February 2018)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Brooklyn College Academy
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

Brooklyn College Academy High School is an Early College School that provides a challenging high school curriculum in addition to a rigorous college program at Brooklyn College. Brooklyn College Academy students receive a substantial head start when applying to college, by graduating with a minimum of 12 to 50 college credits. This opportunity is maximized by students spending their last two years of high school on Brooklyn College Campus where they enjoy an actual college experience.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP United States History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP World History: Modern


Boys PSAL teams


Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location


Windsor Terrace (District 15)
Trains: B Line, Q Line to Church Ave; F Line, G Line to Fort Hamilton Parkway
Buses: B103, B16, B35, B67, B68, B69, BM3, BM4


Shernell Thomas Daley
Parent Coordinator
Suhadie Lajara

Other Details

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

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