El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice

Grades: 9-12

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.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to Brooklyn students or residents. Admission is based on the educational option formula, designed to ensure a mix of students of different abilities. (Linda Littlefield via interviews and web reports, June 2018; updated Aug. 2020; photo from school's Facebook page)



School Stats


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


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

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

Faculty & Staff

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

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20


From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice

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.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


250 Hooper Street
Brooklyn NY 11211

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

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


Principal: Tina Lee

Parent Coordinator: Roselyn Fenton


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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