Fort Greene Preparatory Academy, MS 691

100 CLERMONT AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11205 Map
Phone: (718) 254-9401
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 13 priority
Principal: Paula Lettiere
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
District: 13
Grade range: 6-8
Parent Coordinator: ALIMA ROWLEY
Unzoned

What's special:

Fun projects like building rockets and making guacamole

The downside:

No music program; test scores need to be higher

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At Fort Greene Prep, students are valued for their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The small middle school, which opened in 2010, serves an ethnically, academically and geographically diverse population from through District 13. Special needs kids are integrated into all classes.

 “We’re unusual for a small size of school, we offer a range of experiences that meet most people’s needs,” said Paula Lettiere, the schools’ founding principal. “Our goal is to expose students in middle school to as many contexts and [as much] content as possible.”

Art and technology are a particular focus at the school which has an award-winning robotics team, a laptop cart in almost every classroom and SMARTboards. Fort Greene Prep has a partnership with NYC Technical College and NYU which offer technical support and help with the robotics team. Three years of art are built into the schedule with students able to choose whether to focus on technology, language arts or portfolio arts.

Students may take three years of Spanish instruction and choose from a range of electives. There is no music program, however. 

Students wear a uniform of white polo shirts and khaki-colored bottoms. “The uniform puts them in the mindset that it’s a professional environment – you’re here to learn,” said Lettiere.

The curriculum is “inquiry-based,” the principal said, meaning that students apply their learning to real life situations. For example, they built a rocket and launched it in a safe controlled place, instead of just reading a textbook about rockets. Eighth-graders prepare dishes like guacamole and create restaurants in Spanish class. “There is so much excitement about the Spanish immersion course that it’s the most popular 8th grade elective,” the principal said.

About a quarter of the students take Regents algebra and Living Environment courses but, overall, achievement is mixed.  Standardized test scores are lower than the city’s average but they are about average for the district’s middle schools. 

Kids go out into the schoolyard every day at lunchtime. “We really value harnessing the natural energy that is a middle-schooler and expressing it. Getting them out in the yard every day is a way to express their energy,” the principal said.

 Of the first class of graduates in 2013, 95 percent got into their first choice high school, the principal said. A few went to the specialized high school, Brooklyn Tech, and others to nearby Benjamin Banneker and Bedford Academy. The most popular choices were The Harbor School and Fashion Industries, reflecting the students’ interest in science and art.

Parents participate in special events but are less likely to come to PTA meetings. Fort Greene Prep hosts a big cultural feast before Thanksgiving and “food descends upon the building, “ says Assistant Principal Annette Schaffer. Entire families attend school dances and weekend trips to places like the New York Aquarium.

The school is housed on the third floor of PS 46. The two schools share an auditorium, cafeteria, library and large school yard. “We have a very good professional relationship,” the principal said. “It’s the best co-location I’ve worked in. We make it work with as little tension as possible.”

Special education: Full inclusion. Every section has special education students as well as students on levels 1 to 4. “It’s something our school does really well,” said the principal. “We’ve been able to receive students and their families from a deficit approach of ‘I can’t’ and take them through a supportive community into rapid growth.”

After school: Drama program with Irondale Theatre, a music ensemble, and sports including soccer, track, flat football and step.  

Admissions:  District 13 choice. Students who rank the school first or second on their application are interviewed, and asked to do a few tasks and talk to the staff. The school looks for students who “have curiosity and aggressiveness in learning.”  (Pamela Wheaton, meeting with principal and assistant principal, August 2013)

 

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with PS 46

Number of Students 241

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
3%

Black

  
65%

Hispanic

  
28%

White

  
4%

Free Lunch

  
70%

Special ed

  
24%

English Language Learners

  
7%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 2.59 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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

23% 49% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

71% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

28% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

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

9% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

17% hi 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

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

3% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

15% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA NA 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 state math exam:

0% 3% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

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

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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