Uncommon Charter High School

1485 Pacific Street
BROOKLYN NY 11216 Map
Phone: (718) 638-1868
Website: Click here
Admissions: Limited to Uncommon Schools middle school grads
Principal: Maya Roth Bisignano/Thomas O'Brien
Neighborhood: Crown Heights
District: 13
Grade range: 9-12
Charter School

What's special:

Serious focus on achievement, new building

The downside:

Very limited admissions, long hours and rules not for everyone

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Uncommon Charter High School, housed in a brand new building, has a serious, orderly atmosphere geared toward success in college. Students who choose to attend must agree to regular testing and be willing to have reports on their academic performance and behavior posted publicly. When students earn rewards or punishments, the whole school is informed.

Opened in 2009 with a ninth grade class, the school will expand each year until it has 200 students in each grade. The teaching styles are mostly traditional, with lectures rather than class discussions or group work. Students were attentive in every class we visited, with almost no side talking. All students wear uniforms. Students may not wear brown belts, only black. Hoop earrings must be no more than 1.5 inches across. Students chant mottos at the end of some classes.

Each week, the students have two advisories to help with school and college planning. Every Wednesday morning, each grade assembles for an hour. During our visit, the assembly celebrated student and group achievements, described outside academic programs, and included problem-solving exercises.  In an orderly school, this appears to be a weekly chance to make some noise.

Students must complete four years of math, science, English and social studies, three years of a foreign language, and arts classes. The high school has long hours (7:45 am to 3:45 pm) except on Wednesday. Some students are asked to come to school on Saturday morning for extra academic help.

“Reading Days” are set aside to practice for exams. Students belong to a “house” named after the colleges that the teachers attended. Teachers hold “office hours” afterschool; students struggling in class must sign themselves up for that afterschool help. We saw several lessons that focused on study skills like taking notes from lectures, annotating articles, and organizing one’s notes. The library looks like many college libraries, with long wooden tables and closed study rooms. As in the cafeteria of a large corporation, the lunchroom displays a loop of school announcements on three 14-foot wide screens hanging beside the eating area.

Clubs include soccer, photography, writing, glee and theater. The school has step and basketball teams and plans to offer varsity sports once it reaches its full size.

Special education: Co-director Minnie Setty said the school has a special education coordinator, but very few students receive special education services. [Minnie Setty left the school in 2012 and was replaced by Thomas O'Brien, who was formerly at Williamsburg Collegiate. Minnie Setty co-founded the school with co-director Maya Roth Bisignano.]

Uncommon Charter shares a building with Brooklyn East Collegiate Charter School, and Achievement First Crown Heights Charter High School.

Admissions: preference is given to students who attend Uncommon Schools network middle school.

Uncommon Charter High School operates under more than one charter and data for the students at this high school can be found in the profiles of the the network's middle schools. (Matt Fleischer-Black, October 2010; updated by Ella Colley, December 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Achievement First Brooklyn High School

Number of Students 80

Average Daily Attendance 95%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
NA

Black

  
NA

Hispanic

  
NA

White

  
NA

Free Lunch

  
NA

Special ed

  
NA

English Language Learners

  
NA

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: NA 2.39 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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

69% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

95% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

95% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

NA 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 9% 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?

NA 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

NA
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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