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Our Insights

What’s Special

Small, welcoming school with strong ties to the community

The Downside

Attendance rate has a ways to go; very limited sports

El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice is a small school with strong ties to its Williamsburg community. Founded in 1993 by organizers from the community group El Puente, the school retains its activist mission.

El Puente is part of the New York Performance Consortium, a group of schools exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam. Projects, presentations, reading, writing and rich class discussions are emphasized in all grades. In the 11th and 12th grades, students must complete PBATs (performance-based assessment tasks), which involve extensive research and reading as well as writing and presenting papers in English, math, history and science on topics of their own choosing,

Class sizes are kept small, which helps teachers get to know and serve a broad range of students—lifting up struggling ones while challenging high achievers. Students overwhelmingly say they feel safe at the school and report that bullying among classmates is not prevalent, based on their responses to the NYC School Survey.

A study by the Stanford Center for Opputunity Policy in Education highlighted El Puente for its nurturing environment and emphasis on social-emotional learning.

"The small corridors with classrooms on the second through fourth floors provide a sense of intimacy. Student work and school banners decorate the walls. Larger-than-life original murals of human rights activists, including Rosa Parks and Huey Newton, anchor the staircase landings. The office hums with students, facilitators, and staff passing in and out; everyone is greeted kindly, by name. There is a sense of liveliness as students change classes or anticipate after-school events and activities," the authors of the study noted.

Many teachers are bilingual and find ways to integrate social justice and Latino culture topics into lessons to make them relevant to their predominantly Latino student population. For example, in a study on how gentrification affects the Williamsburg community, students interviewed local residents and produced a documentary about how rising housing costs have forced many families to leave the neighborhood.

One El Puente teacher was nominated for a NY Daily News Hometown Hero Award for his work in encouraging English language learners to write and reflect on their daily life. Students act out plays, such as the Pulitzer Prize–winning Anna in the Tropics (addresses migration from Cuba to Florida), and read poems such as Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to My Socks,” which inspires them to research and write about their own heritage and daily life.

Students may take college courses for free at CUNY Medgar Evers and Touro College.

Despite El Puente’s strengths, some challenges persist. Student attendance is below the citywide average. 

Tina Lee, a former teacher at El Puente, was appointed the school's new principal. She takes over from longtime principal Wanda Vasquez, who stepped down at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

Arts classes include drama, set design and guitar. Students showcase their talents during performances at school events such Revolution Day, Unity Day and the Fly Girl Festival.

The school provides SAT prep and arranges visits to college campuses.  

There are very limited sports options, but students may participate in a range of clubs, arts and academic-help options after school. The school's cycling club is popular.

(Linda Littlefield via interviews and web reports, June 2018; updated Aug. 2020; photo from school's Facebook page)

 

 

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
61%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
64%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
58%
Average daily attendance
 
71%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
73%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
100%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
100%
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

189
Number of students
Citywide Average is 599

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
85%
Students with disabilities
 
31%
Multilingual learners
 
17%
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
3%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
85%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
38%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
25%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
95%
4.2
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
71
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
89%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
41%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
2%
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
 
41%
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
63%
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice (K75A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Project-focused curriculum including portfolio-based assessment in all four disciplines, peer mentoring, and leadership development, integrated arts across the curriculum, CUNY Early College Dual Credit, SAT/PSAT college and ELA Common Core prep.

Offerings

From the 2024 High School Directory

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science)

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

250 Hooper Street
Brooklyn NY 11211

Trains: G Line to Broadway; J Line, M Line to Hewes St; Z Line to Marcy Av

Buses: B24, B32, B39, B44, B44-SBS, B46, B48, B57, B60, B62, Q54, Q59


Contact

Principal: Tina Lee

Parent Coordinator: Roselyn Fenton

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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