Ca. 1922. This image shows students at the Brooklyn Continuation School. In the early twentieth century, many boys and girls who could no longer attend school because they needed to help their families earn income went to continuation schools, like the one pictured here, in order to learn various vocational skills, which would help them find work. Young people would often work at a job in the morning and then take classes at a continuation school in the evening.
Factory owners wrote hundreds of letters praising continuation school programs as they promised to create more highly skilled workers. Boys and girls enrolled in separate programs, based on gender, in the same building. They studied woodworking, electrical wiring, type-writing, salesmanship, and tailoring. Students from Brooklyn Continuation School (BCS) were in particularly high demand as workers. BCS’s students were 97% employed in industries throughout the city and the school had the highest percentage of employed students in New York.
BCS was located near the corner of Ryerson Street and Myrtle Avenue, within walking distance of numerous elevated train lines. Each day hundreds of students would attend classes. Today, BCS continues to operate with a new name and location. Renamed George Westinghouse High School and located in Downtown Brooklyn, the school continues to offer hands-on learning in addition to the standard school curriculum of math, language arts, science, and history. Mirroring the development of Brooklyn industry, the school teaches classes on technology management, eyeglass design and production, website design, and robotics.