A previous version of this story ran in October 2019. It has been updated with new information for October 2020. While the Department of Education has yet to finalize policies for the Fall 2020 admissions cycle, schools that typically screen for academic performance may have different admissions criteria this year because of COVID-19
Here are some good middle school options that typically accept students from all over Brooklyn and, in a few cases, Queens. Also consider schools that are open to children citywide. This list does not include charter schools, which have a separate admissions process.
MS 50 John D. Wells, (grades 6-8), Williamsburg/District 14
Why we picked it: Strong leadership; top-notch debate program; longer school day
Who gets in: District 14 and Brooklyn students. The Spanish Dual-Language Program is open to students across Brooklyn who attend an elementary Spanish dual lanugage or bilingual education program or who are proficient in both Spanish and English.
Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn (grades 6-12), Williamsburg/District 14
Why we picked it: An ambitious yet supportive program for girls.
Who gets in: The school typically screens students based on academic performance.
Boerum Hill School for International Studies (grades 6-8), Cobble Hill/District 15
__Why we picked it: French dual language and challenging International Baccalaureate curriculum.
Who gets in: While most students who attend live in District 15, the French Dual-Language Program is open to students across Brooklyn.
Science, Technology and Research Early College School (STAR) at Erasmus (grades 6-12), Flatbush/District 17
Why we picked it: Students are on an academic fast track and may take courses at Brooklyn College
Who gets in: Open to District 17 and Brooklyn. The school typically screens students based on academic performance.
Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice (grades 6-12) Borough Park/District 20
Why we picked it: Supportive, all-girls school offers plenty of writing; diversity thrives (but the criminal justice part is really a misnomer)
Who gets in: Lottery, it’s the luck of the draw for Brooklyn residents
David A. Boody IS 228 (grades 6-8) Bensonhurst/District 21
Why we picked it: Dual Language instruction in four languages open to Brooklyn students; pervasive & innovative use of technology
Who gets in: The dual-language programs are open to students across Brooklyn who attend an elementary dual lanugage or bilingual education program in the respective language (Chinese, Russian, Spanish or Hebrew) or who are proficient in both English and Chinese, Russian, Spanish or Hebrew.
IS 392 (grades 6-8) Brownsville/District 23
Why we picked it: Small, demanding academic program for high-achievers with interesting arts and athletics
Who gets in: Entrance exam, interview, report card, state tests and attendance
Eagle Academy for Young Men II (grades 6-12) Ocean Hill/District 23
Why we picked it: Warm, respectful environment in an engaging all-boys school. Most students stay for high school and graduate on time.
Who gets in: Limited unscreened with priority going to students who sign in at an information session or tour the school.
Philippa Schuyler JHS 383 (grades 5-8) Bushwick, District 32
Why we picked it: School begins in 5th grade and offers vibrant music program along with topnotch academics.
Who gets in: Brooklyn and Queens residents, based on report card, state tests, onsite reading, writing and math assessment
All City Leadership Secondary School (grades 6-12), Bushwick/District 32
Why we picked it: Longtime respected principal; courtesy and respect are prized, sky high test scores and graduation rate.
Who gets in: Open to Brooklyn and Queens students, based on 4th grade report card, interview, attendance, punctuality & test scores