Brooklyn Collaborative Studies

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
610 Henry Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
Phone: 718-923-4700
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Accepts students of all skill levels and prepares them for college

The Downside

Relaxed atmosphere and emphasis on group work not for everyone

At Brooklyn School of Collaborative Studies, teachers encourage children to explore their own interests, to do independent research and to write the kind of long papers they'll need to do in college. The school has a good track record helping kids who may have weak academic skills persevere in middle school to prepare for high school and higher education.

The atmosphere of the school is relaxed. Students address the principal by her first name and some students wear hats or hooded sweatshirts in class. Rather than worrying about what children wear, BCS focuses on how students treat one another. When there is a disagreement, gossip or hurt feelings, staffers lead students, their families and advocates in a restorative circle that allows all voices to be heard.

Part of the NYC Outward Bound Schools network, which follows the EL Education approach (formerly expeditionary learning), BCS begins with a camping trip in sixth and ninth grades to help kids bond and learn to work and struggle together. In eleventh grade, they may participate in internships at a law firm, the zoo, or a local television station. 

Fieldwork is a core component of EL Education. Every other Thursday, children fan out across the city to do research, meet experts and vsit museums. Children visited the city's many green roofs, for example, and toured the Brooklyn Co-Gen Plant in the Navy Yard to learn how electricity and steam are generated in New York City. 

Instead of taking Regents exams in high school, children must complete four Performance-Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs) for which they propose a topic, conduct independent research, and write an 8 to 10 page (or longer) paper, which they publicly defend to a panel. About one-third of the students have special needs at BCS; these teens are given extra assistance as they research and write up their PBATs.

Every student belongs to an advisory group called a "crew," that meets daily. In addition to supporting each other, they do an annual service project together, such as cleaning a beach or visiting a senior center to play games with residents.

State test scores for middle school are below the citywide average, which Chan attributes to the wide range of academic skills students bring, and the fact that more than three-quarters of all students "opt out" of standardized tests in middle school. 

"Our school believes in multiple opportunities and formats to show mastery," Chan said. "The more years a student is with us, the more immersed they are in our college bound culture—thus resulting in a high college-readiness rate for high school." Indeed, most children are ready for college work by the time they graduate, according to city data.

In the classroom, children work almost entirely in groups and present their work to older students and parents who act as evaluators. Some parents express frustration that their child has to work in a group "and can't just forge ahead on the task individually," Chan said.

Even so, about 75 percent of the 8th graders stay for high school. High school students looking for additional challenge, and to earn college credits, may participate in the College Now program on Saturdays at the CUNY-City Tech campus.

BCS was founded in 2001 as the upper school for Brooklyn New School and it shares a large, century-old building with that popular progressive elementary school. BCS has an after school program run by the YWCA each night until 6 pm. The campus library has a teen section popular with students all day long, including before school and during lunch. The two schools co-host the Applefest in the fall and the International Food Festival in the spring.

BCS has a strong record of college admissions as well as college retention. All high school students go on at least one college visit a year. Graduates have attended Colby, Skidmore, Bard, Hampshire and Cornell. Some 83 percent of BCS students who begin college are still enrolled three semesters later, a figure that is much higher than other schools with similar students. Chan attributes this to the schools success in preparing students for the responsibility and self-direction required of them in their post-secondary work.

ADMISSIONS: Middle school admission is generally limited to District 15. For high school, priority is given to current 8th graders and then is educational option, or "Ed Opt," meaning the seeks a range of students with low, middle and high academic track records. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data & principal interview, June 2018).

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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2016-17 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
43%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
45%
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
77%
83% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80%
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
2.9

How do students perform academically?

From 2017 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
7%
29% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
16%
39% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Brooklyn Secondary School for Collaborative Studies

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
0%
37% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
90%
85% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
80%
51% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
84%
49% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
83%
74% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
16% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
681
Asian
3%
Black
37%
Hispanic
46%
White
12%
Other
2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
68%
Students with disabilities
32%
English language learners
7%

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
34%
20% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
No

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
82%
73% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
67%
73% Citywide Average

From 2017 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
0%
7% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
0%
10% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
0%
7% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
0%
3% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Directory Details

Programs and Admissions

Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Students write frequently in all their classes. Teachers use critique protocols to improve understanding of the qualities of good writing. In all content areas, writing is used to deepen understanding, promote reflection, and synthesize what students know.

Academics

Language Courses

American Sign Language, French, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location

Location

Carroll Gardens (District 15)
Trains: F Line, G Line to Carroll St
Buses: B57, B61, X12, X14, X17, X17A, X19, X3, X31, X42, X5, X8, X9

Contact

Principal
Priscilla Chan
Parent Coordinator
Tracey Pinkard

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with PS 146
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No

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