Located where Bushwick, hip Williamsburg and Hasidic Williamsburg meet, IS 318 Eugenio Maria De Hostos has a championship chess team–the subject of a documentary film called Brooklyn Castle–and a range of electives including robotics, cooking, sports, art classes and almost 50 after-school programs.
The school has won praise for offering advanced and enrichment classes for high-achieving children, but also for including all students in activities such as the school science fair, according to the Quality Review, an evaluation by a trained educator. The school has honors and general education classes. Students may take up to four Regents classes. The school offers classes to prepare students for the Specialized High School Admissions test and usually has a number who are admitted.
The school has a somewhat old-fashioned, traditional feel and approach to instruction. Families in a Department of Education survey said they would like to see smaller classes and more hands-on learning.
Principal Leander Windley has been with IS 318 for many years, first as a basketball coach and teacher of robotics and then as assistant principal. He gets high marks from teachers who see IS 318 as a supportive and collegial place to work. In a DOE survey, almost all said they look forward to coming in in the morning and would recommend IS 318 to other teachers and to families looking for a middle school. Students, though, said in the survey that they do not always get the academic or emotional support they need.
Rapper and media mogul Jay-Z attended IS 318 in the early 1980s and has credited a teacher there with giving him a love of language.
Special education: IS 318 provides a range of settings including team teaching classes that combine general education students and students with disabilities in one room, and small “self-contained” classes. A fairly high percentage of students with special needs are in self-contained classes
Admissions: IS 318’s general program is open to children in District 14, while students from throughout Brooklyn may apply to the chess program. Both programs screen students on the basis of their 4th grade scores and grades, while the chess program also has an entrance assessment and is more selective. (Gail Robinson, March 2019, from web reports)