Brooklyn Democracy Academy

985 ROCKAWAY AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11212 Map
Phone: (718) 342-6348
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide, ages 16+
Principal: Andrew Brown
Neighborhood: Brownsville
District: 23
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Khadijah Allen
Transfer Alternative
Citywide

What's special:

Stable staff, creative classes

The downside:

Poor attendance

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn Democracy Academy, a transfer school, caters to students over the age of 16 who have struggled in traditional high schools, but still want a high school diploma. Many of the classes are creative and engaging. On our visit, we saw students in a hydroponics class preparing to plant their own garden of lettuce, cabbage and bok choy in water. Students learn chemistry, life science and math while they garden. [The photo at the left is from the school's Facebook page.]

Students in a criminal law class visit Brooklyn Criminal Court. Students may take acting, screenwriting, or a history class on genocide. Students and teachers kick off each school year with a school-wide art project that they work on together and display in the school's hallway. Teachers seem satisfied with their work: the school, opened in 2008, has had almost no staff turnover.

Counselors from The Jewish Child Care Association work one-on-one with students, monitoring attendance, making home visits and arranging for college guidance and visits. Many students get paid internships at local businesses and organizations. Despite these efforts to engage students, attendance is well below the citywide average.

Some students come in without any high school credits, while others arrive with just a few credits needed to graduate. The school runs on a trimester system – three 12-week sessions per year which allows students to earn credits faster than they would at a typical school. The school day runs from 8:40 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., which is a little longer than most schools.

To apply, students must give transcripts and attendance history and take a vocabulary and reading test. Both students and parents are interviewed. "We want people to be here because they want to be here," said Principal Thomas McKenna. [Andrew Brown replaced McKenna as principal after our visit.]

Some graduates have gone on to two-year or four-year colleges while others have gotten jobs. Not everyone sticks around, though. Nineteen students dropped out in the school’s first year, most of them switching to GED or night school programs.

Special education: About 15 percent of students receive special education services, provided by two full-time special ed teachers who work with students in general classrooms. A part-time English as a Second Language teacher works with a handful of students.

Brooklyn Democracy shares a building with another transfer school, Metropolitan Diploma Plus, a middle school, Kappa V, and P140, a District 75 school for disabled students. (Jill Grossman, October 2010)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with 3 other schools

Number of Students 198

Average Daily Attendance 64%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
0%

Black

  
88%

Hispanic

  
11%

White

  
0%

Free Lunch

  
69%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
3%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 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

13 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

89% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

94% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

99% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

76% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

88% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

19% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

46% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

13% 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?

54% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

21% 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?

NA

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

NA

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

NA

Are students ready for college?

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

0% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

30% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

NA
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?

97% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

23% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

44% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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

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