Middle Schools?


    We currently live in PS and our son goes to The Children’s School. We are house hunting, and currently considering Ditmas Park. Can anyone tell me about the middle school situation there? I’ve looked on Inside Schools but it isn’t shedding much light on it for me. I believe it is District 17. Would my children hve to go to a zoned middle school? Or have the choice to apply to other schools? I am told for elementary school that D17 is not very strong. If we would create a problem for ourselves down the road moving there, we could limit our search to D16, eg Windsor Terrace/Kensington, rather than considering wrapping around the park into D17.

    Thoughts anyone? Thanks very much.

    9 Replies

    1. Confirming what previous posters have said… my kid was @ The Children’s School when we moved from district 15 to Ditmas park vicinity & continued thru 5th grade – they took a school bus home some of the time & and for morning dropoffs we carpooled with another family that had also moved. Kids can apply to district 15 middle schools (though mine ended up going to a school in Manhattan).

    2. Ditmas Park is D22. We moved from D15 to D22 and our daughter graduated from the Children’s School to MS51. That said, I don’t know if I’d send her to MS51 were I to do it again. Christa Macauliff (sp?) is the popular/preferred D22 school. There’s something significant to be said for community, and Ditmas Park is an amazing community. Our daughter wound up feeling pretty lonely to be so far from friends in middle school–yet Ditmas Park has untold numbers of children, who she would have met if she’d gone to school with them. Anyway, for MS51 she took the bus up Coney Island Ave to the Pavilion, then either walked or took another bus with friends. They met at the Pavilion. Cell phone would be mandatory!

    3. From their web site, looks like the Children’s School is district 15. We have 5th graders in 15, so have just been through the middle school shuffle.

      Basically, the way it seems to work is this: you have a zoned middle school, based on your home address, to which your child is guaranteed admittance. Many people, however, send their kids to one of the “magnet” middle schools which accept students from throughout the district (there are city-wide magnet schools as well, such as Mark Twain in Coney Island and NEST and ICE in Manhattan). District 15 magnet middle schools include 51 on 5th avenue, 447 on Dean Street, and New Voices (forget where that is). If you want to send your son to a magnet, you have to apply, and there is usually an interview, and occasionally a test or audition. Then you submit a form to the DOE indicating which schools you are interested in, ranking them in order of preference. They then wave their magic DOE wand and tell you where your kid will go to middle school, based on where they get in, capacity, etc.

      Luckily, district 15 seems to have several decent middle schools choices at the moment, and if they are not right for you there are always the city-wide magnet schools, though they are obviously harder to get into and involve other pains like commuting.

    4. Don’t worry. Since your son is currently enrolled in a District 15 school, you can keep him there, and he’ll be eligible to attend middle school in that district, as well as the district to which you move. There are several excellent middle schools in Dist. 15: MS 51, MS 447, New Voices. I know people who like Brooklyn Prospect Charter as well.

      You can use the advanced find a school search function on Inside Schools to find the district for the neighborhood you’re looking in, or you can call 311 if you have an address, and they’ll tell you the school–which will at least get you a district. I don’t think Dist. 17 middle schools are as strong as 15, though. In any case, no matter where you move, you can keep your child in the school he attends, and then he’ll have access to Dist. 15 middle schools.

    5. District 17 is East Flatbush, although given the way realtors apply the name Ditmas Park to areas nowhere near the actual 12-block neighborhood, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

      Most of Victorian Flatbush is in District 22. I’ve heard some good things about the gifted program at Hudde, but a lot of neighborhood kids go to Twain, which is District 20.

    6. 5th graders apply to some schools MS 51, New voices, math and science to name a few on a scale 1-5. If the students don’t match up, they are sent to the zoned school or a school that offers a lottery, I think. I don’t know how old your child is but start exploring what schools they would be interested in. I think transportation for Ditmas Park for a ~11 year old might be a limitation.

    7. I can’t tell you anything about D17 or 16 but assuming the policy doesn’t change before you apply to middle schools, you will be able to apply to middle schools in The Children’s School’s district regardless of where you live, D15. I have grilled guidance counselor’s about this very thing because I live in District 13 but my children attend elementary school in District 15. Good luck.