Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. Initially founded as part of the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, Poly Prep spans from nursery school to 12th grade, occupying classrooms on two campuses. The Middle and Upper School Divisions are located at the school's Dyker Heights Campus while the Lower School is located downtown at the school's Park Slope Campus.
Poly Prep was founded in 1854 in Downtown Brooklyn
as "The Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute." It was one of the first private boys' schools in the city of Brooklyn. The initial aim of the school was to offer an academic program similar to that of boarding schools
of the time while striving to maintain a strong community feel amongst students and faculty alike.
After 35 years, the future of the Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute was re-evaluated in 1889 when the preparatory school and the collegiate division were finally separated. Both divisions still exist. In 1891, the construction of a new building next door provided a home for the college which became known as the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. After the initial split, the Polytechnic Preparatory Institute remained an all-boy Collegiate Preparatory program at 99 Livingston Street and by the mid 1890s had already become one of the largest prep schools in the country with over 600 students.
Poly Prep moved to its current location on July 1, 1916 when a twenty-five acre parcel of land, formerly part of the Dyker Heights Golf Course, was offered to trustees. Classes began during the fall of 1917 in the new campus amidst continued construction and renovations that helped to shape much of the school’s current appearance. Under the leadership of Headmaster William M. Williams, the school began the transition to co-education in the mid 1970s, graduating its first coed class in 1979.
Poly Prep’s most recent, and dramatic, expansion occurred in 1997, with its acquisition of the historic Woodward Park School, formerly the historic Hulbert home. in Park Slope. The new property was converted into Poly’s Lower school, offering classes for Nursery Students through students in Grade 4.
In the 2006-'07 school year, a modern expansion was added on to the lower school.
There are 3 Divisions of the Poly Prep education, beginning with the Lower School located at 50 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. The Lower School education commences with the Nursery School program, which consists of early childhood learning up until the Pre-Kindergarten level, and continues on through grade 4. The Middle School Program begins at grade 5 at which point Poly students are moved to the Middle and Upper School campus located at 9216 7th Avenue in Brooklyn where they continue their education through 8th grade and into high school.
The Upper, Middle and Lower Schools are run by their own Division heads; Launa Schweizer, Head of the Lower School, Nancy M. Posner, Head of the Middle School and Bud Cox, Head of the Upper School. Currently, The Lower School is undergoing extensive renovations to allow for expansion of its present academic program and the Upper School is in the process of renovating its outdoor athletic facilities.
Poly Prep, like its fellow Ivy League schools, is known for its demanding academic requirements and offerings. The school currently offers a variety of Advanced Placement courses and 3 foreign Languages.
Students in the Upper School are expected to complete the following mandatory requirements in the listed concentrations in order to graduate in their senior year:
- Arts: 2 years
- History: 3 years
- English: 4 years
- Mathematics: 3 years
- Foreign Language: Level III
- Science: 3 years
- Health: 1 semester
- Speech: 1 semester
- Computer Science: 1 semester
Beginning in 11th grade, students are provided with the opportunity to begin shaping their course load around a variety of electives in areas such as Forensic Science, Electromagnetism, Short Story writing, American Politics, American Law, Psychology and Statistics amongst many others.
Finally, in their senior year, Poly Prep students must complete a project known as a Senior Plan. The projects are viewed as Senior Theses in which students are paired with faculty advisors to choose subject matters of interest under a given a topic headline. The projects are then researched and presented as 20 minute lectures and 20 minutes of questions and answers to a panel of faculty judges. Only upon completion of a student’s senior plan may a student be eligible to graduate.
The Arts curriculum starts at a young age in the Lower school in which students are taught by their teachers about dance, drama, music and theater production. In Grades 5 and 6, all students take dance, drama, music
, and visual arts classes in their arts core rotation. Beginning in Grade 7 and continuing through the Upper School, students choose their arts classes from leveled electives. There are also independent study options for students who wish to pursue a particular discipline beyond the scope and sequence of courses currently offered.
After school, students may choose to become involved with theater productions — both onstage and behind the scenes — to join one of several singing groups, or to be part of the band or smaller instrumental ensembles. The Upper School performing Arts Department puts together one major play and musical every year, along with an accompanying freshman play and musical.
Poly Prep has a highly selective admission process, basing its decision upon an applicant’s previous grades, teacher recommendations and results on the ISEE test.
5th and 6th grade are Poly’s two largest enrollment years as well as 9th grade entrance into the High School. After 9th grade a smaller portion of students are admitted each year based upon a number of factors.
FAR DOWN ON THE HEIGHTS CALLED DYKER
Far down on the heights called Dyker,
Overlooking New York Bay,
Stands a school with a tall white tower,
Greeting ships that ply their way.
Her young, as they leave her portals
With visions of world-wide fame,
Carry with them the fight of Poly,
Where they learned to play the game.
Poly! Poly! Poly! Poly!
Poly! Poly! Poly! Poly! Poly!
- Cornelius A. Boocock
Poly Prep is part of the Ivy Prepartory School League, a division of the greater New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), which comprises all the private schools in New York State. The Football, Basketball, and Baseball programs are possibly the best in the city.
| Fall Teams
|| Winter Teams
|| Spring Teams |
| Boys Soccer
|| Girls Basketball
|| Softball |
| Girls Soccer
|| Boys Basketball
|| Baseball |
||Girls Lacrosse |
||Boys Lacrosse |
||Boys Tennis |
||Outdoor Track and Field |
||Indoor Track and Field |
Extracurricular activities comprise a key component of the Poly Prep education. Clubs, caucuses, and organizations provide students with an opportunity to work in a group dynamic, produce publications, participate in activism and develop interests in a wide range of topics.
Clubs and Organizations:
- Epiphany (Step Club)
- Gay-Straight Alliance
- Gender Forum
- Girls Learn International
- Glee Club and Concert Choir
- Habitat for Humanity
- History Club
- Jewish Caucus
- Meeting of the Minds
- Middle Eastern Caucus
- Oasis Society
- Peer Tutoring
- Polymorphus (arts newspaper)
- Russian Caucus
- Student Government
- Super Fans
- Tech Crew
- Wall Street Investment Club
- Water Polo Club
- Yoga Club
- Young Singers
Headmasters of the Country Day School
In the 90 years since the opening of the Dyker Heights
campus in 1917, Poly has had four headmasters, Joseph Dana Allen (1917-1949), J. Folwell Scull (1949-1970), William M. Williams (1970-2000) and David B. Harman (2000-present).
Notable Alumni and Attendees
- Robert Briskman -- Co-founder, SIRIUS Satellite Radio
- Rob Brown -- Actor (Finding Forrester, Coach Carter)
- Marc Brownstein -- Musician (The Disco Biscuits), Co-Chair and Founder of Successful Voter Registration Group, HeadCount, affiliated with Dave Matthews Band and The Grateful Dead
- Joseph Pontone -- Software developer for a scientific website; a proud Italian-American, he is often credited with the phrase "That's-a spicy meat-a-ball!"
- Bruce Cutler -- Criminal Defense Attorney
- Ken Dashow -- Radio Personality
- Calvert DeForest -- Actor, Comedian best known for work on the David Letterman Show as Larry "Bud" Melman
- Kenneth Duberstein -- White House Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan; Political Consultant
- Dan Fogler -- Actor and Tony Award Winner for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- P. J. Hill, Jr. -- Collegiate athlete, University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers football running back
- Arthur Levitt -- Chairman, United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 1993-2001; Chairman, American Stock Exchange, 1978-1989
- Howard Levy -- Musician and Grammy Award Winner (with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones)
- Justin Grossman -- Accomplished lawyer, political activist, and piano player; formerly affiliated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
- Seth Low -- Mayor of Brooklyn, NY; President of Columbia University
- Bob Maresca -- President, Bose Corporation, Framingham, MA
- Joseph McElroy -- Novelist
- Joakim Noah -- Collegiate athlete, University of Florida member of 2006, 2007 NCAA championship teams in men's basketball and 2007 NBA first round pick of Chicago Bulls
- Jillian Villafane -- Celebrity Make-up Artist for television and editorial
- Richard Perry -- Record Producer
- Alfred P. Sloan -- General Motors Corporation President, 1923-1937; CEO, 1923-1946; Chairman, 1937-1956
- Bonnie Somerville -- Actress (Friends, The O.C. and Cashmere Mafia)
- Bob Telson -- Composer (The Gospel at Colonus)
- Amedeo Turturro -- Son of actor John Turturro and played the young Richie in The Royal Tenenbaums
- Louisa Gummer-- Daughter of Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
- Jahkeen Gilmore--Collegiate athlete, Indiana University, Wide Receiver for the Carolina Panthers 2007, and Wide Receiver for All American Football League, Team Michigan 2008
- Rich Kotite -- Former NFL Player and Coach