Believe Southside Charter High School


424 Leonard Street
Brooklyn NY 11222
(District 14)


Shannon Browne

What’s Special

Latin classes, energetic leadership

The Downside

Strict discipline.

Our Review

Believe Southside Charter School closed in 2012, just three years after the school opened in 2009. The New York State Education Department revoked the school's charter, citing"significant management and financial improprieties," according to GothamSchools. The founder of the Believe network, Eddie Calderon-Melendez, was indicted for tax fraud and charged with mishandling the charter network's funds in the spring of 2012.

The other two schools in the Believe Charter School network, Northside Charter School and Williamsburg Charter, remain open after cutting ties with Calderon-Melendez.

When it was open, Southside operated much like its sister schools, following the same currirulum and policies, though some teachers described Southside as more "laid back," when Insideschools visited in 2010. The school offered a classical education that included Latin and an introduction to Greek and Roman history.The academic bar was set high at Southside: one quarter of the 9th grade class did not pass all their courses in the school's first year, in 2009-10. Discipline was also strict -- anyone not dressed properly in the school uniform had to spend at least 30 minutes in detention after school.

Southside shared a building with Northside Charter and JHS 126.

(Jill Grossman, September 2010. Updated to reflect school closure by Anna Schneider, December 2012.)

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