South Brooklyn Community High School

Phone: (718) 237-8902
Website: Click here
Admissions: Rolling admissions for Bklyn students 16+ with 8 credits
Principal: Jean Foley
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens/ Red Hook
District: 15
Grade range: 09 thru 12

What's special:

Lots of attention from teachers and counselors.

The downside:

A difficult commute for some students.

The InsideStats


Our review

Founded in 2002 in a new building in Red Hook, South Brooklyn Community High School continues to enjoy a high level of support from its community partner, Good Shepherd Services. Designed for young people who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, the small school helps teenagers find their way to college or a career with an accelerated academic program and individual counseling. Expectations are high and rules are strict. “We offer the most successful second chance,” says School Director John Foley Murphy of his high goals for students. “We don’t want this to feel like a last chance or the only chance.” At a May 2013 high school fair Murphy appeared animated and heartfelt as he spoke to multiple prospective students at length about their individual struggles.

South Brooklyn attempts to create a true high school experience with clubs, a basketball team and dances in addition to a fast-paced program in which students can earn up to 15 credits in one year. The school runs on a trimester system between September and June and provides a full-time college counselor. Other perks include a science lab for dissections, laptops for self-paced learning, SMARTBoards in every classroom and enrichment through Dance Theatre Etcetera. The multimedia organization collaborates on academics as well, notably working with U.S. history teachers to help students create a political documentary during each election cycle. Students in geometry also worked with the group to build 3D geometrical structures.

Public transportation to Red Hook is limited, resulting in a long commute for some. The nearest subway stop—the F, G at Smith and 9th Street—still requires a 17-minute bus ride. Accordingly, prospective students are limited to those living in Red Hook, Caroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Wyckoff, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Sunset Park. 

Special education: About six percent of students have IEPs. The school offers SETTS and counseling.

Admissions: Students are accepted on a rolling basis and must have attended high school for at least one year, have a minimum of eight credits, a 6th-grade or higher reading level and have passed at least one Regents exam. Catchment area limited to zip codes 11201, 11215, 11217, 11220, 11231 and 11232. Call the school to begin the admissions process. (Aimee Sabo, June 2013, interviews & Web reports)

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