ACORN Community High School

Grades 9-12

What’s Special

Inspiring teachers and interesting projects

The Downside

Poor attendance

Our Review

Acorn Community High School is a safe, orderly school that does a good job helping children who may not have been strong students in middle school graduate on time. The school has an initiative designed to encourage black and Latino boys to attend college. Students go on bus trips to traditionally black schools like Morehouse College in Atlanta. Students wear a uniform of light blue plo shirts and khaki trousers or skirts.

Students overwhelmingly say their teachers inspire them to learn and help them connect what they are learning to life outside the classroom, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Teachers say the administration sets high standards and also supports them in their work, the survey said. Andrea Piper, principal since 2010, was previously assistant principal at the school.

In addition to passing Regents exams, students are expected to complete portfolios, projects that last several months and that are presented to a committee of teachers. For example, students in a U.S. history class may consider questions such as, Is our democracy getting stronger or weaker.

At most schools, teachers have five classes each day and as many as 160 students. But at Acorn, academic classes are two periods long -- so most teachers work with only about 70 students at a time. Instead of taking five academic classes each semester, students take only three.

Instead of having students who fail classes simply repeat them, the school assigns them to smaller, project-based sections of the subject. With four social workers and four guidance counselors, the school gives students lots of personal attention. In efforts to combat the low attendance rate, an aide calls home if students are not in the building when school starts, and the school sends someone to a student's home the second day he is absent.

The school, opened in 1996, takes its name from the community organization ACORN, which helped found it. Today, however, there is little relationship between ACORN and the school.

Special education: The school has self-contained classes only for students with special needs, but whenever possible, students are placed in collaborative team teaching (CTT) classes. In CTT classes, two teachers, one with special education certification, share responsibility for a group of students with mixed abilities.

Admissions: Students are admitted according to the educational option formula designed to ensure a mix of low- middle and high-achieving students. (Philissa Cramer, April 2007, updated by Clara Hemphill July 2012 from statistics.)

About the students

Enrollment
262
Asian
1.9%
Black
79.4%
Hispanic
14.9%
White
2.7%
Other
1.2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
79%
Students with disabilities
29%
English language learners
5%
Male
55%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
79%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
52%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
85%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
39%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
46%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
6.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
93%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
100%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
84%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
92%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 1 dedicated space for Visual arts
This school has 1 licensed art teacher in Music

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
35%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
41%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
52%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
70%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
1%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
15%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
21%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
18%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
61%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
83%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
74%
68% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
57%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Law and Leadership Institute
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students study the art of public speaking and persuasion, and take introductory courses in debate, law/ethics, and public policy.

Science and Health Institute
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students will be provided with rigorous preparatory courses in the fields of medical science and health.

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Environmental Science

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

561 Grand Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
Crown Heights (District 13)
Trains: 2, 3 to Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum; C to Franklin Ave; F, S to Park Place
Buses: B25, B26, B44, B44-SBS, B45, B48, B49, B52, B65, B69

Contact

Phone
718-789-2258
Principal
Andrea Piper
Parent Coordinator
Maxine Mcadoo Lovell