Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

An Insideschools pick

3002 FORT HAMILTON PARKWAY
BROOKLYN NY 11218 Map
Phone: (347) 889-7041
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery. D15 priority upper grades; D13 elementary
Wheelchair accessible
charter
newschool
Principal: LaNolia Omowanile/Kim Raccio
Neighborhood: Kensington/ Windsor Terrace
District: 15
Grade range: 0K thru 10

What's special:

Well-rounded k–12 school, fully accredited International Baccalaureate program

The downside:

Few varsity sports teams, school in two locations, not all students in IB track

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn Prospect Charter School offers a close-knit community and a demanding, International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Students say they prize the personal attention, the welcoming environment, and the “awesome” teachers who are both enthusiastic and approachable.

The school opened in 2009 with 6th-grade. Since then it has attracted children of different races and educational preparation from across District 15, from Park Slope to Red Hook and beyond. “Diversity is the core of who we are,” said Dan Rubenstein, school director and founder, who encourages kids to sit "next to someone who doesn’t look and think like you do.”

One challenge of this diversity is that about 20 percent of incoming 6th-graders are behind two or three grade levels in reading, says Rubenstein, while others come in as “twin 4’s” [the highest score on state exams]. That statistic may change when the school reaches full growth as a k-12.

In 2013 the school opened its elementary school with kindergarten classes in District 13. It is housed on the top three floors of Saint Joseph High School, an all-girls Catholic school located at 80 Willoughby. The director is Jumaane Saunders, a Teach for America alumnus who previously was director of external programming at The School at Columbia University. All the lower school classrooms have two teachers.

A few miles away, middle and high school students go to school in an airy and bright four-story building, near the Fort Hamilton Parkway stop on the F train. Originally a Roman Catholic elementary school, the building got a $6 million upgrade to make it suitable for older students. Six science labs were installed, 750 lockers were added, and each floor got a coat of red, blue or yellow paint to match the lockers. The building has wireless Internet access and is air-conditioned. Every student has a school email account and much of the homework is submitted via Google docs. There is a 2 to 1 ratio of students to laptops.

“It’s almost like a small prep school,” the parent of a 6th-grader said.

Small group advisories meet several times a week. The faculty joins students for lunch in the “commons.” The school day runs from 8:45 am to 3:45 pm. Many classrooms have two teachers; some are trained in special education, others are recent college graduates who are mentored by classroom teachers for a year.

“Our goal is to prepare students for success in a rigorous high school diploma program. It’s not about passing Regents, it’s about going in-depth in the subjects," said middle school principal LaNolia Omowanile.

Advanced students may do “seeker” projects, taking on more in-depth assignments. Students who need extra help go to small group tutorials. 

All four school leaders have a strong background in math and science: High school Principal Kim Raccio was a marine biologist, Omowanile and Saunders were both science teachers, and Rubenstein was a math and chemistry teacher.

Field trips, or “expeditions,” complement in-school math and science instruction. On Pythagoras Day, a math class visited the Flat Iron Building in an event sponsored by the Museum of Math; Earth science students visited Central Park while studying glaciers. Beginning in 7th grade, students are grouped in math based on ability and about 38 percent of 8th-graders take the algebra Regents.

In middle school science, the focus is “to teach students to think like a scientist,” said Omowanile. They learn to generate hypotheses and develop critical thinking skills. Sixth-graders produced Public Service Announcements about natural disasters and climate change, designed wind turbines and made stop motion animation movies. They write four lab reports and a policy brief on climate data that they submit to the city at the end of the year.

In the high school, there are an array of science classes, some for the Regents and others for students in the IB track. Non-IB classes include physics, Earth science and chemistry while IB classes are limited to biology and environmental science. Math classes can be mixed by grade.

For all its focus on math and science, Brooklyn Prospect remains a very well-rounded school with a strong humanities program. Ninth-graders are separated into two English classes: literature (for stronger students) and composition (for struggling readers and writers). During our visit, a composition class was watching a video of an inspired lecture by Nigerian writer Chinamanda Ngozi Adichie and making connections to Fahrenheit 451, a novel about the suppression of ideas. In the darkened room, students seem captivated by the speech and eagerly wrote down their thoughts.

There are 23 clubs, some for both middle and high school students. Sports include volleyball, lacrosse, rugby, soccer and basketball. Teams play mostly against schools outside of the city and are not part of PSAL, the city’s varsity sports league.

About 75 percent of 8th-graders stay for high school. Others go to selective schools including Bard, Beacon, Stuvyesant and LaGuardia, and other larger schools that field varsity sports teams.

Special education: There are several special education teachers and combined classes with two teachers. Support services are offered, although administrators acknowledged that it can sometimes take a month or two before services begin in the first year.

Admissions: Lottery in April. For middle and high school, priority goes to siblings and District 15 students. For the elementary school, priority goes to siblings and residents of District 13. Preference is given to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch in both kindergarten and 6th grade. There are plans to replicate the middle school in District 13, administrators said. (Pamela Wheaton, October 2012 and May 2014. Reporting contributed by Suzannah Tartan-Hunt)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 613

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Uniforms? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
17%

Hispanic

  
30%

White

  
41%

Free Lunch

  
33%

Special ed

  
18%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.23 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Safety & vibe

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

67% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

78% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

70% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

66% 56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

87% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

95% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

NA 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam

48% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ela exam

46% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 science exam

84% 51% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

0% 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

94% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

13% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

19% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

15% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 math exam:

19% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

22% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2013 ELA exam:

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 613

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Uniforms? NA

Metal detectors? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
17%

Hispanic

  
30%

White

  
41%

Free Lunch

  
33%

Special ed

  
18%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.00 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Middle school students reading at grade level:

NA 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 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?

87% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

85% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

98% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

NA 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of

How many -4 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

NA 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many -6 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many -4 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

NA 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many -6 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

NA 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?

NA

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

NA

Are students ready for college?

How many -4 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 0 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

NA

SAT math scores

NA
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?

69% 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?

NA 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?

NA 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 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

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