New York City’s Gifted and Talented program is an excellent option for students who will thrive in an accelerated, specialized learning environment with similarly gifted peers. Most of the city’s districts have at least one such program, and today we’ll explore the best gifted and talented schools in Brooklyn.
First, it’s helpful to understand the difference between citywide and district-wide G&T programs. At the 100 district-wide programs, students share a school with non-G&T students as well. Classes like gym and art may have mixed ability students, but Gifted and Talented students take academic classes with other students enrolled in the same program. These schools offer an “enriched” curriculum, which can vary according to school and teacher.
The five citywide programs are the most selective, and these schools are exclusively for Gifted and Talented students. Instead of an enriched curriculum, the citywide schools have an accelerated curriculum, meaning students study a curriculum that is advanced by one year. These schools accept the best students from all boroughs.
To qualify for admission to a district-wide program, students need to score in the 90th percentile on the Gifted and Talented entrance exam. A score in the 97th percentile is required for admission to a citywide program. However, these numbers can be misleading: Due to a limited amount of seats, many of the best district programs require a score in the 99th percentile, and so do most of the citywide programs. In some cases, even students with these high scores do not win one of the coveted citywide seats. A lottery is used to determine which qualifying students are awarded a seat.
Brooklyn School Of Inquiry
Brooklyn’s only citywide gifted and talented school, the Brooklyn School of Inquiry sets the standard for rigorous, progressive education. Teachers are certified in G&T education, and most classrooms have two teachers and 25 students.
The curriculum mixes direct instruction with plenty of hands-on projects and labs, along with extensive opportunities to use technology. The school emphasizes the arts as well, offering violin lessons, theater, journalism, and even programs like documentary film-making.
Homework doesn’t begin in earnest until around third grade, and students can call for Town Halls if they feel a concern needs to be addressed. The school’s welcoming, collaborative, and creative atmosphere fosters exploration and growth in the gifted minds of its students.
P.S. 9 Teunis G. Bergen
Teunis G. Bergen is a warm, engaging school that celebrates the diversity of its student body.
Teachers engage students in imaginative projects that require extensive inquiry and research, providing pupils with opportunities to take ownership of hands-on learning.
The school takes its academics seriously and has high expectations for all of its students. Teachers utilize a math program called “Math in Focus” that is based on techniques developed in Singapore, one of the world’s highest-ranking countries for math instruction.
When it comes to literacy, teachers are trained by the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, which emphasizes writing in one’s own voice and taking a project through multiple drafts via proofreading and editing.
The school is in Prospect Heights, but students from all of district 13 can apply for the gifted and talented program
P.S. 56 Lewis H. Latimer
At Lewis H. Latimer, the halls are decorated with student artwork, and students are responsible for tending to an outdoor garden. Projects like these contribute to the school’s welcoming atmosphere and the sense of pride and ownership cultivated among the students.
The stable faculty is another benefit offered by the school, with most of the teachers on staff having taught at Lewis H. Latimer for fifteen years or more. The satisfaction of the teachers may be due in part to the principal’s open door policy, which is extended to teachers and students alike.
The school is lauded for its healthy food and emphasis on the arts, with a fulltime art teacher and chorus and band programs. Lewis H. Latimer is also notable for its consistently above average test scores.
(Suggested Image 2: Picture of one of the schools described here)
P.S. 132 The Conseyla School
This progressive and diverse school is noted for its strong, structured leadership and extensive class offerings.
Students can enroll in programs like film, digital photography, robotics, video, and Cookshop. The school also gets students involved in meaningful service projects that teach important life skills and values.
Teachers plan lessons together, providing consistency and opportunities for interdisciplinary study. They teach an engaging and enriched curriculum designed to broaden and challenge gifted minds.
P.S. 38 The Pacific School
One of the key selling points for The Pacific School is its small class sizes, with gifted classes typically averaging around 15-16 students, a difficult feat to accomplish in NYC.
The school excels in literacy instruction, giving students opportunities to explore texts in-depth using inquiry and evidence-based reasoning. Students are encouraged to perform close reading of texts, then discuss literature using the Socratic Method, which involves sharing thoughts about the text supported with textual evidence.
The school even has a Lego room dedicated to exploring math concepts through the building of Lego structures, a creative and effective technique that students find engaging.
P.S. 102 The Bayview School
The Bayview School emphasizes consistent instruction in phonics, grammar, word study, and comprehension, largely due to the expertise of the principal, a former reading coach.
Teachers are also trained to implement choice into the curriculum in order to get students more engaged and involved in hands-on projects, a staple of instruction at the Bayview School.
Although the school is large, the staff strives to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere by greeting students and parents at the door. Parents are also invited to participate in a variety of projects around the school, including beautification efforts.
P.S. 215 Morris H. Weiss
At Morris H. Weiss, the low staff turnover and joint teacher planning creates a consistent and stable curriculum that challenges and engages students.
The school has particularly strong programs in music and especially science, which is woefully ignored by many elementary schools.
Students work on hands-on, engaging projects that require independent inquiry and experimentation.
OTHER STRONG GIFTED AND TALENTED SCHOOLS IN BROOKLYN
-P.S. 282 Park Slope (PK-8, District 13), known for a software engineering program that teaches computer coding.
-P.S. 32 Samuel Mills Sprole (PK-5, District 15), notable for its superb school-community relations.
-P.S. 230 Doris L. Cohen (PK-5, District 15), which keeps gifted students in the same classes K-5, fostering a close-knit environment.
-P.S. 229 Dyker (PK-8, District 20), best known for interdisciplinary projects, high test scores, and a small school atmosphere.
-P.S. 52 Sheepshead Bay (PK-5, District 22), which prioritizes language and math instruction delivered by experienced teachers.
-P.S. 193 Gil Hodges (PK-5, District 22), known for its emphasis on reading and writing instruction and its school motto: “Be respectful and be nice.”
-P.S. 236 Mill Basin (PK-5, District 22), recognized for its high academic standards, above average test scores, and satisfied faculty.
How To Qualify For G&T Schools In Brooklyn
Now that you know about some of the best gifted and talented programs Brooklyn has to offer, how can your child qualify for one of the hotly contested seats?
You can access some free practice questions from this by clicking the button below.
For pre-K students, the test is administered one-on-one by trained early childhood educators. Questions are read aloud once and cannot be repeated, and children indicate a correct answer by pointing at one of a series of choices.
Don’t overemphasize the test to a pre-K aged child, but do feel free to practice test concepts, as well as listening skills and concentration. You can access practice questions by clicking the button below.
How Can We Help?
At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the NYC Gifted and Talented test does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation provide a foundation that can last throughout a student’s school career.
Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the NYC Gifted and Talented test, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus.
Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.
Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the NYC Gifted and Talented test.
A bit of preparation, building your child’s confidence, and plenty of loving encouragement can go a long way toward helping your child qualify for one of the gifted and talented schools in Brooklyn!