Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School

5800 TILDEN AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11203 Map
Phone: (718) 629-1204
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: MATT BROWN
Neighborhood: East Flatbush
District: 18
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent Coordinator: ERIC WATERMAN

Buses: B17, B35, B46, B47, B7, B8

What's special:

A genuine focus on building community; fantastic wilderness and urban field trips.

The downside:

Attendance could use improvement, limited music classes

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Kurt Hahn combines wilderness and city field trips to help students grow academically and develop a sense of responsibility to the community.

The vibe in the school is welcoming. Students responding to the Learning Environment Survey say they feel safe and supported by the staff.

Founding Principal Matt Brown, a former Teach for America member and Peace Corps volunteer believes passionately in the school's mission. "Young people can do more than they think possible," he said, "especially if you put them in a position where they have to do it." 

Teachers give the principal high marks. About a third say on the survey that crime is still a problem in the building, but it has come a long way since the security problems that once plagued the Tilden High School building, where Kurt Hahn is located. "Students often come in behind and with lots of inconsistencies in their lives," a teacher said on our visit to the school, "but while our job is challenging, our working conditions are very good. A culture has been established at this school."

The majority of students arrive performing below grade level and a good number have stayed back a grade in middle school. In response, the school instituted additional basic skills classes to help students catch up. There are no Advanced Placement classes, but high-performing students can take classes for college credit at Brooklyn College or through Kingsborough Community College.

Attendance rates dropped for a few years, but outreach to families has stemmed the slide, Brown said, although there is still work to be done.

Daily advisory classes called crews are "really the engine of the school," according to Brown. Whenever possible, crews formed during freshman year are to remain together through senior year - and have the same teacher-advisor. Teachers there have developed a school-wide curriculum that stresses public speaking skills, active citizenship, and community involvement.

Kurt Hahn is part of the NYC Outward Bound network of Expeditionary Learning schools. Entering 9th graders participate in a five-day wilderness adventure course in the Catskills. This trip allows teachers to learn how their students problem-solve and deal with unusual situations and challenges. The students are asked to try new activities, like ropes courses, outdoor cooking, and mountain climbing, and the program is designed to encourage bonding within each crew.

Since small schools usually can't offer as many electives as larger high schools, Kurt Hahn is run on a trimester system, allowing more opportunities for students to try different courses. Twice a year, students take week-long intensive classes based on their interests. Intensive classes have included a marine biology class, during which students donned waders and got in the ocean alongside scientists taking part in a horseshoe crab case study and a digital filmmaking class, during which where students made sample commercials.

Special education: The school has Integrated Co-Teaching classes and pulls students out for additional services.

College: There is a dedicated college advisor and an emphasis on college preparation. Most students attend CUNY schools and some go to SUNY schools, such as Geneseo and Albany. Some students have gone on to Syracuse, Hobart Williams Smith, Union and Rutgers.

Admissions: Priority goes to students who attend an information session. (Lindsey Whitton Christ, October 2008; updated Meredith Kolodner, September 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Samuel J. Tilden Educational Campus

Number of Students 288

Average Daily Attendance 87%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
88%

Hispanic

  
8%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
83%

Special ed

  
21%

English Language Learners

  
7%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.60 2.80 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

19 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

67% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

88% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

91% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

37% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

72% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

74% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

77% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

7% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

7% 12% 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?

33%

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

15%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

6% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

366
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

62%

SAT math scores

374
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

87% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

71% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

57% 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

Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: N/A

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Digital Video Production, Sculpture, Painting and Graphics Arts Program, Meditation, Digital Music and Animation Training, Girls Empowerment Group, Kurt Hahn "Chronicle" (Newspaper), Kurt Hahn Radio, Kurt Hahn TV (all linked to school website), Opening Act Drama, Outdoor Adventure, Peer Mediation, Peer Tutoring, Rock Climbing, Student Activities Committee, Brotherhood Young Men's Mentoring Program, Iron Chef Cooking Club, New York Cares Community Service Club, Student Activism Club, Poetry Slam, Gardening Program, Animal Rescue Group, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Cross Country, Football & JV Football, Outdoor Track, Soccer

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Intramural Sports, Girls Flag Football, Cheerleading, Swimming, Yoga

Source: High school directory

Comments

Please post comments

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't)
  • No profanity. No racial or ethnic slurs. No personal attacks
  • Criticism is fine but don't be nasty.
  • Flag inappropriate comments. (Hover your cursor over comments to see flag)

New! Insideschools on your phone