Success Academy Cobble Hill Charter School

Grades K-5
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284 Baltic Street, Basement
Brooklyn NY 11201
Carroll Gardens (District 15)


Alissa Bishop

What’s Special

Very high test scores; racially integrated school

The Downside

Some parents balk at strict rules

Our Review

Success Academy Cobble Hill, modeled after the charter networks flagship school in Harlem, has very high test scores and a racially and socioeconomically diverse student body. It combines a strict, no-nonsense tone with a curriculum that includes plenty of class trips and projects.

Kids must sit up straight and be silent, hands folded, until the teacher calls on them or instructs them to talk. Instruction is fast-paced with a large time clock on the wall to help kids stay on track, and there are several small timers are in every room.

Starting in 3rd grade students spend about 30 minutes per day on test prep two months prior to the test and take sample tests weekly. A handful of children who cannot keep up are asked to repeat a grade, the principal told us.

Lessons are challenging and varied. Children must speak in complete sentences to explain their thinking. A boy spoke loud and proud at an easel to show how he used multiplication and addition to figure out the height of a fence at a zoo in a word problem. A 1st grader, exiting class for extra help with a special education teacher, defined, with a little prompting, the word permafrost to a visitor (ground that stays frozen all year) and mentioned shed earned two stickers that day. The school makes liberal use of incentives such as toy money, stickers and praise to get kids to perform and behave.

Teachers take children on two field trips per month to places like an animal farm, Ellis Island or the Museum of Modern Art. Children delve into projects that last weeks, including a study of bread in kindergarten and immigration in 3rd grade.

The school occupies a pleasant basement floor in a brick building shared with two schools for older children in a leafy, middle class neighborhood. Entrance times are staggered and the school day is longer than a typical public school.

Although some teachers leave the network due to the demanding work and long hours, those who stay seem passionate about the model. We all deeply believe in it, said Brittany Davis-Roberti, principal at the time of our visit. Former assistant principal of the Williamsburg school, Alissa Bishop, took the helm in fall 2017.

While many parents are devoted to the schooland prefer it to popular District 15 schools nearbynot every parent likes the strict tone, emphasis on test scores and the rules that both children and parents must follow. One mother complained that she was barred from the school grounds for saying it was a damn shame that parents were required to wait outside on a rainy day, The New York Daily News reported. Other parents withdrew their children because they found the discipline punitive, according to comments posted on the InsideSchools website.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Team-teaching classes mix children with special needs and general education peers in one room; one teacher is certified to teach special ed. Children who need a smaller class may choose to go to Bed-Stuy 1 elementary school.

ADMISSIONS: Lottery, preference to District 15 students.Families commute from Staten Island, East New York and Queens but no busing is provided. Graduates typically attend Success Academy middle schools, which begin in 5th grade. (Lydie Raschka, June 2017)

About the students

Pre-K seats
Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with the Brooklyn School for Global Studies and the School for International Studies
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Do parents like the school?

How many parents responded to the school survey?
65% Citywide Average
How many parents say they are invited to visit classrooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many parents say this school offers enough courses, activities and services to keep their children interested in school?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
43% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
42% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

Average math score for self-contained students
2.4 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.2 Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data
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