Brooklyn Frontiers High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed

Our Insights

What’s Special

Individual support and opportunity for paid internships

The Downside

High suspension rate

Brooklyn Frontiers High School is designed to help students who have been held back at least twice in elementary or middle school, as well as current high schoolers with a minimum of one year at another school who want to transfer. This school gives students a second chance by offering them lots of individualized support, small classes and the opportunity for paid internships.

The school has made a speciality of helping students with significant reading problems. While most instruction in reading is geared toward elementary school children, Brooklyn Frontiers has developed approaches designed to engage and interest older students while helping them learn high school level material, according to a report by Advocates for Children. 

Opened in 2010, Brooklyn Frontiers is patterned after the High School of Excellence and Innovation in Manhattan. Its model is expensive: According to Chalkbeat, Brooklyn Frontiers “spends about $34,000 per student, compared with an average of nearly $21,000 citywide.”

In reflecting on their time at Brooklyn Frontiers, students remarked that it “changed my whole perspective on school” and I learned that “I can be myself and learn at the same time.”

Good Shepherd Services, a social services organization, provides students with coaches who meet with them individually to talk about academics, as well as what else is going on in their lives and their plans and aspirations for the future. Students also participate in paid Learning to Work internships to help them explore their interests and prepare for careers after high school.

Small class sizes, ranging from 10 to 20 students, ensure lots of individual attention. Founding principal Alona Cohen, PhD, was formerly a science teacher at South Brooklyn Community High School, a transfer school. She gets high marks from teachers on the NYC School Survey, and told Chalkbeat that “her discipline strategy is usually discussion-based,” though “she’s also not afraid to suspend students.”  Indeed, the school’s suspension rate is far higher than the citywide average.

The school is located in downtown Brooklyn. Students can participate in extracurriculars such as musical instrument instruction, Regents prep, gardening and PSAL basketball.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Roughly half the students enrolled receive special education services. The school has SETSS (special education teacher support services) and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. In a report called A Is for All, the legal advocacy group Advocates for Children said Brooklyn Frontiers has a particular focus on helping adolscents who have significant reading problems.

ADMISSIONS: Open to students who are two years overage (held back twice or more) who are entering high school for the first time directly out of middle school, as well as to transfer students who have been in high school for a minimum of one year. Students and their parents/guardians should contact the school to begin the application process and schedule an intake appointment. Students who are eligible will be invited for an interview and will need to bring their transcript with them at that time. (Katharine Safter, web reports, July 2018)


School Stats


Transfer school graduation rate
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
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 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey


Number of students
644 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 teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
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 2019-20 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
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 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


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 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 2019-20 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 From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 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

Brooklyn Frontiers High School

Admissions Method: Transfer


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Statistics, AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science

Boys PSAL teams


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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


112 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line to Borough Hall; A Line, C Line, F Line, R Line to Jay St-MetroTech; B Line, Q Line to DeKalb Ave; G Line to Hoyt & Schermerhorn

Buses: B103, B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67


Principal: Alona Cohen

Parent Coordinator: Frances Martinez


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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