Address: 257 North 6th Street
In addition to its core courses, Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design (WHSAD) is the only high school in the United States with a four-year comprehensive curriculum studying historic preservation. WHSAD’s program provides training in the preservation trades, architecture, conservation, engineering and city planning. Students are given an opportunity to experience a field that is ever changing and has extreme potential for career opportunities, according to AP Giovanni D’Amato. “We merge the aesthetic arts with the technical arts. Our freshmen students are learning Auto-Cad and then print their projects on our 3D printer. Our sophomore students build brick and then create a facade using those bricks. Juniors engage in a unit of study which explores the history of many of our internship sites.” Students also participate in extracurricular activities such as Step/Dance Club, Yoga Club, Yearbook Committee and various sports teams.
WHSAD’s exhibit at the Park Avenue Armory art show is one of the school’s best known events. “Students work for several months incorporating concepts they learned in class to build projects based on an Armory exhibit theme. By spring, students, parents, teachers, and community leaders are invited to enjoy an evening of arts at the Park Avenue Armory,” explained Parent Coordinator Lai Sin Chu. The event gives students a chance to showcase their creative work such as chairs capable of supporting an adult that are made from cardboard with no glue or other adhesives. Also this year, WHSAD students lent a helping hand to restoration teams in the neighborhood as they renovated an historic building in Prospect Park.
“Our rigorous academic coursework provides challenging instruction and support for each student to meet high standards and college readiness,” said Chu. “We also offer sponsored paid internships as extended learning opportunities to prepare our students for the work force.” WHSAD has earned many academic achievements. In 2009 and 2010, the school scored an A on the High School Progress Report, ranking them in the top five schools citywide. There are roughly 450 students enrolled at WHSAD, allowing for a low student-to-teacher ratio that means both personalized attention, as well as education. Last but not least, WHSAD students gain real-world experience by interning with organizations such as: A. Ottavino Stoneworks, Aurora Lampworks, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, World Monuments Fund, and Green-Wood Cemetery.
“Parents should send their children here because we offer an environment that fosters the student to grow as an individual, but also allows them to prepare for college academically, but also for a career with all the skills they gain,” said D’Amato.
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