Citizens of the World Charter School 2 Crown Heights
Brooklyn NY 11213
Lots of small group work
Struggles with discipline
Citizens of the World 2 in Crown Heights is one of two Brooklyn charter schools created by the California-based Citizens of the World network, the other being Citizens of the World 1 in Williamsburg. Both schools opened in fall 2013 with kindergarten and 1st grade, touting a model of project-based learning combined with rigorous academics.
Founding principal Martine King says she looks forward to building a progressive learning environment where parents work with teachers. A former teacher at the New York City LAB School, King served as director of education at The After-School Corporation (TASC) before coming to CWC. [In 2016 Andrea Dozier became principal.]
CWC 2 shares a building with PS 221, but the two schools work together to ensure each has time to use the gym, cafeteria and auditorium separately, says Director of Operations Erin Corbett. Specials include art, music and dance and are offered four times per week. In music, students learn to play the piano.
Children work primarily in small groups. During a kindergarten math class, we saw a student very clearly explain to her group how she solved a word problem using math manipulatives.
The children also read to each other in pairs every day. On our visit, students in 1st grade talked naturally to each other about what they had read while four adults were in the classroom working with individual pairs. In another classroom students were using Post-it notes to write questions about what they were reading.
All classrooms have two teachers and often other supporting adults. One parent, Theodel Bedeau, who has been trained as a learning leader told us she likes the school because, they take time out to help the child, they have a lot of patience, and an enrichment program.
The school has an unusually high suspension rate: As of March 2014, the school had suspended 15 kindergartners and three first graders. King says the school hashad some trouble clearly communicating its discipline policy to parents, who expect a tough approach. Teachers prefer to use a social and emotional learning curriculum that teaches student mindfulness, says King. They learn mindful breathing, walking, and eating. Despite the high suspension rate, King says she wants to ensure that the learning environment remains student-centered and less reliant on strict discipline like many of the other charters in the neighborhood.
The school hired a director of student and family affairs to work with parents and students on discipline and culture.
The Neighborhood Improvement Association hosts the after school program, where students can participate in enrichment classes like yoga and drama, or get homework help.
Special Education: Students with special learning needs are paired with a paraprofessional and receive small group instruction everyday.
Admissions: Lottery with preference to siblings and District 17 residents. (Sabrina Alli, March 2014; principal update 2016)