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School for gifted children in area with few strong schools
Some students may balk at rules
Located in bright award-winning building in Brownsville, IS 392 stands out with a demanding academic program for high-achieving students. The small, selective school offers an array of opportunities including interesting partnerships, rugby and frequent trips.
Test scores are consistently high, and teachers give the school and longtime Principal Ingrid Joseph high marks. Many students take the integrated algebra and living environment Regents exams in 8th grade. The school offers a creative writing program and has launched a coding class for all 7th and 8th graders, according to its Comprehensive Educational Plan.
Students take visual art through their three years at IS 392, with 6th graders also taking dance and 8th graders, theater. The arts focus goes beyond that, the school’s arts report for 2015-16 indicates, as students attend various arts performance both on and off campus.
The school has high attendance and virtually no suspensions. Rules are strict and the uniform policy is enforced. Some students grumble about the rules: On the survey, more than a third of students said they did not think discipline was applied fairly.
Although children come in with generally strong academic backgrounds, there is a range of abilities, and many students face challenges at home. A significant number live in temporary housing. "This is a haven for a lot of kids. It’s a place for them to forget their troubles," Joseph said.
IS 392 offers after school and Saturday classes for those who may be struggling. Successful role models from the community serve as mentors to at-risk males. There is also a weekly program to help girls with behavior and other issues.
For years, IS 392 has fielded one of the few rugby teams in the city, and the co-ed squad has won a number of championships.
Admissions: Applicants must take an admission test. The school screens students using a variety of factors: an entrance exam, writing sample, interview, going to an open house or tour, and the student’s 4th grade academic record and tests scores as well as behavior. (Gail Robinson, May 2014, updated with web reports, October 2017)