Green School: An Academy for Environmental Careers

223 GRAHAM AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11206 Map
Phone: (718) 599-1207
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: Cara Tait
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
District: 14
Grade range: 9-12
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Citywide

Buses: B24, B43, B46, B48, B60, Q54, Q59

What's special:

Collegial and supportive atmosphere

The downside:

Only beginning to raise academic standards

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The Green School lives up to its focus on social, economic and environmental justice by encouraging students to critically engage with the world around them. Student voice is enhanced through a variety of leadership opportunities, including a “fairness committee” that helps design discipline policies. Several community partners connect students with their Bushwick neighborhood through public art, community gardening and internships. The school shares the former IS 49 building with Lyons Community School and Brooklyn Latin.

Before taking the helm in 2012, Principal Cara Tait was a founding English language arts teacher at the school. Under her leadership, the school has incorporated more project-based assessments and increased the emphasis on college prep. Students prepare two portfolios of their writing each year and present them in front of a panel of teachers and peers. Seniors do research projects comparing two books; the projects culminate in lively roundtable debates and prepare students for the type of textual critical analysis required at the college level.

Despite such efforts to raise academic standards, however, the coursework we observed did not demand a high level of rigor. Students were consistently engaged in their work and on-task, but most classes were seated in rows and guided entirely by the teachers, with the exception of one English language arts class designed for recent immigrants. Its teacher pre-recorded her own lessons so students could watch them on iPads and complete the assignments in small groups or at their own pace. Many classrooms were half-full, a result of declining enrollment as well as poor attendance.

The school’s three-year math sequence uses the Carnegie Learning Integrated Math curriculum that weaves together concepts from algebra, statistics and geometry in each year’s work. In science, two years are spent preparing students for the living environment Regents exam. Class projects include working in the local community garden and also raising live trout and releasing them at an upstate trout hatchery. Juniors all take a “pre-Advanced Placement” environmental science course, in which we observed several students practicing basic concepts such as latitude and longitude. About a third of the students go on to take one of the five AP courses the school offers, but the most recent School Quality Guide indicates that none passed any AP exam with a score of “3” or above.

The school offers many opportunities for student leadership. Students can apply to become teaching assistants, for which they receive training in professional skills and are paid in “green dollars” that they can spend at the student store or on class trips. Older students also work as peer mediators in the school’s restorative justice practices, help at high school fairs as student ambassadors, and work in pairs as leaders of the 9th-grade advisory classes.

The school recently won a competitive grant to participate in the Department of Education’s Community Schools Initiative. The grant will give them extra resources to deepen their existing partnership with the nonprofit St. Nicks Alliance, which runs a community center next door and already provides gym space to the Green School. Starting in 2015, St. Nicks will place three staff members at the Green School to provide internship coordination, enhance opportunities for field work throughout the curriculum, and provide social services to students and their families. The school offers only one PSAL sport, boys’ wrestling, but students can join clubs for basketball, cheerleading, running, soccer, volleyball and weight-training. Arts electives include photography (taught by a professional photographer), drama and dance.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Around 17 percent of students are over-age and under-credited, 24 percent have special needs and 18 percent are English language learners. In response to a significant increase in English language learners over the past three years, the school now offers a transitional bilingual program of math, science and social studies courses in English and Spanish. Students with special needs receive either ICT (integrated-co-teaching) services or pull-out sessions for small-group tutoring.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: All seniors take a college prep class that meets every day and is co-taught by one of the school’s two college counselors. The course requires that all seniors apply to the CUNY system, but only 41 percent of the school’s graduates enrolled in a post-secondary institution within 18 months after graduation, according to the most recent School Quality Guide.

ADMISSIONS: Prospective students can apply through general admission or one of two selective admissions programs. The Early College Initiative (a project of CUNY) offers an accelerated Regents curriculum in 9th and 10th grades followed by College Now classes at City Tech. This accelerated schedule allows students to receive up to 18 college credits while still in high school, and students can receive support from Green School teachers on their college work if they need it. About 30 students are accepted into the Early College Initiative each year, which screens applicants based on grade point average, test scores and attendance in middle school. Prospective students can also apply for one of 20 seats in the transitional bilingual program which screens for Spanish language ability and attendance. (Nicole Mader, December 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with Lyons Community School and the Brooklyn Latin School

Number of Students 276

Average Daily Attendance 78%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
37%

Hispanic

  
59%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
82%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
26%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.14 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

22 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

60% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

59% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

81% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

56% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

65% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

51% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

76% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

49% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

66% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

18% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

0%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

13%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

1%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

3% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

377
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

41% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

365
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

75% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

18% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

69% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

98% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

75% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to New York City residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Early College Initiative

Screened

In our Early College program, 9th grade students take extra English classes in preparation to score above a 75 on the ELA Regents during their freshmen year - qualifying them to participate in the New York College of Technology's College Now program. From 10th through 12th grade, students have the opportunity to complete up to 18 fully-funded, college credits and Internship placements off-campus, while participating in Advanced Placement and rigorous, project-based, interdisciplinary studies on the Green School campus.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Transitional Bilingual

Screened: Language & Academics

The Green School's Transitional Bilingual program for Spanish-speakers is for students who seek to graduate fully-bilingual - a very marketable skill in an increasingly global workplace. We simultaneously develop a student's language skills in English and Spanish through courses in Spanish literature, bilingual mathematics and English taught by native speakers. Along with language courses, students participate in a project-based, rigorous, interdisciplinary program supporting their content-based language skill and improving their speaking and writing in both languages.

Academics

AP COURSES: English Literature and Composition

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Step/Dance Team, Drama, Anime and Video Gaming, Peer Mediation, Science Honors, Student Government

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Wrestling

Other schools sports: Basketball, Cheerleading, Runners Club, Soccer, Volleyball, Weight Training

Source: High school directory

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