Community Partnership Charter Lower School
Brooklyn NY 11205
Class trips and potluck suppers
School doesnt have its own building
At the Community Partnership Charter School, parents are invited to weekly read alouds and regular potluck suppers. Children go on frequent class trips to places like the Brooklyn Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo, and the Queens Hall of Science. Students may study the environment on an overnight trip to Camp Ramapo upstate or learn about China by eating at a restaurant in Chinatown.
The Community Partnership Charter School (CPCS) was founded in 2000 by parents and the Beginning with Children Foundation, which also runs the Beginning with Children School in Brooklyn. Grades pre-kindergarten-4 are housed in a building shared with PS 270. Grades 5-8 share space with PS 256 at 114 Kosciusko Street, Brooklyn, 11216. (The middle school phone number is 718-636-3904.) The school philosophy seems to fall somewhere inbetween the stricter "no-nonsense" charters such as Achievement First and the more progressive ones, such as nearby Community Roots. It was the first charter school in the district to begin to offer pre-k classes, in the 2015-2016 school year.
Class size is capped at 25, with two teachers in every class. Children in grades K-4 have classes from 8 am to 4 pm; children in grades 5-8 have classes from 8 to 4:30 pm. There is free after school until 6 pm. A founding teacher, Melanie Byron, became the director in 2005. The middle school principal is Keisha Rattray. The ethnically diverse faculty is young and enthusiastic, and a few staffers, like the director and the dean of students, have been with the school since its inception. [Photo from school website.]
Kids have science class several times a week in a dedicated science room and engage in such fun activities as making "slime." There is also a music room and an art room.
The middle school graduated its first class of 26 8th graders in 2013. Nearly half were admitted to Bedford Academy; three were admitted to the specialized high schools.
Special education: The school offers team-teaching classes for children with special needs. The director has a background in special education.
Admissions: A lottery is held in April. Priority is given to District 13 residents. (Clara Hemphill, telephone interviews, May 2013; upated pre-k information January, 2016)