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Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy Provides Expanded Gifted Education

Kathleen Mack with Gifted education students

As a district, the Brooklyn City Schools strives to ensure that students of all ability levels are provided a high-quality educational experience. Recognizing that academically and creatively talented students have unique learning needs and abilities, the district officially launched the Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

Supriya Culliton, Director of Student Support Programs is excited for the launch of the program, stating “The Arts and Innovation Academy recognizes each student's academic and creative gifts and provides all students with an opportunity to explore activities that foster their talent.”

Using a variety of assessment tools, the Brooklyn City Schools identifies students as gifted in the areas of superior cognitive ability, specific academic ability, creative thinking ability, and visual/performing arts ability based on state specified criteria.

Through the Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy, gifted students are provided educational services and supports appropriate to their grade level. At the elementary level, students receive differentiated instruction designed to meet their individual learning needs through the collaborative efforts of classroom teachers and gifted intervention specialists. Gifted elementary students are also intentionally placed in classrooms with peers of all ability levels for differentiated instruction in the areas of math and language arts. To ensure students have appropriate academic rigor, opportunities for enrichment and talent development will be made available, as well as grade and/or subject acceleration, and early entrance to kindergarten when appropriate.

Kathleen Mack, Gifted Intervention Specialist for grades 3-7, has witnessed firsthand the positive impact of the targeted focus on gifted learning. “Under Dr. Caleris’ leadership, the high-ability students have flourished. Through our innovative and challenging programming, I have watched our students grow and surpass even their own expectations. The Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy is twenty-first century learning at its finest. I am proud to be a part of a district that recognizes the need to differentiate for all of our students.”

Brooklyn Middle and High School students have access to a wide offering of honors and Advanced Placement courses which provide increased rigor and exploration of the content area. College Credit Plus courses enable students to earn college credit while taking classes on our high school campus. Eligible students can also be promoted through grade and or subject acceleration, as well as early graduation.

Students of all ability levels, including those in the Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy also have access to the newly opened Innovation Center. Located in the Brooklyn School Media Center, the Innovation Center features an assortment of hands-on, STEM-based learning stations for students, including 3-D printers, a Cricut smart cutting machine, Mosaic 3-D art boards, Snap Circuit Stations, Finch programmable robots, and a stop-motion animation station. 

“Our teachers are enjoying teaming up with our media specialist, Wendy Smith, to create engaging lessons centered around Snap Circuits, Animation Stations, and Finch Robot stations,” shared Supriya Culliton. “We are excited to offer our students a learning space that cultivates creativity, peer collaboration, and critical thinking skills.”

The Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy will also provide students academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities in the areas of performing arts, visual art, music, writing, and student-internships. Opportunities in the above areas are currently being developed and introduced during the 2022-23 school year.

For more information regarding the Brooklyn Arts and Innovation Academy, please visit the Brooklyn City Schools website.

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