ACORN Community High School
Inspiring teachers and interesting projects
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
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve English Language Learners?
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Programs and Admissions
Students study the art of public speaking and persuasion, and take introductory courses in debate, law/ethics, and public policy.
Students will be provided with rigorous preparatory courses in the fields of medical science and health.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Environmental Science
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
Brooklyn NY 11238