Brooklyn City Preparatory Charter School
JULY 2011 UPDATE: Brooklyn City Prep will not open in 2011 due to planning problems. According to The New York Times, founder Tom Vander Ark walked away from the project after spending $1.5 million of investors' money, leaving others involved stunned. They will search for a new Education Management Organization and hope that the school will open in 2012.
APRIL 2011 REVIEW: Brooklyn City Prep Charter School is scheduled to open in Bedford Stuyvesant in 2011 with approximately 125-150 students. It plans to offer students what school founders call a “blended learning” model, combining online instruction with face-to-face classroom teaching. Students will participate in internships and community service, and will have the opportunity to take some elective, advanced placement, and college level courses online.
There will be a uniform dress code, and a longer school day and year.
Authorized by the city’s Department of Education, it is the first school to be launched in partnership with City Prep Academies, a new charter management organization founded by Tom Vander Ark, who previously served as executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and president of the X Prize Foundation. He is also a founder of Vander Ark/Ratcliff, a consulting firm serving the education and non-profit sectors, and a partner in the private equity investment firm Learn Capital.
Principal Curtis F. Lawrence Jr. a Brooklyn native, previously worked as a teacher at MS 51 in Park Slope and IS 35 in Bedford–Stuyvesant. He was also chair of the history department and dean of students Frederick Douglass Academy.
Pending approval by the Panel for Educational Policy at their April 28 meeting, City Prep will open in a building housing two transfer schools, Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory High School and Brooklyn Academy High School, as well as a District 75 program. According to the school’s proposal, Brooklyn City Prep will only be there “until the end of the 2012-2013 school year since the charter school would like to be located in its own space and is therefore in the process of securing a private facility.“
Admissions: Lottery in April. Residents of District 13 get priority in enrollment. (Amanda Hass, April 2011, compiled from Web reports).