Brooklyn Collaborative Studies

Grades: 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

Our Insights

What’s Special

Accepts students of all skill levels and prepares them for college

The Downside

Emphasis on group work may not be for everyone

At Brooklyn 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 with a broad range of students and is especially good at helping struggling students persevere in middle school to prepare for the rigors of high school and higher education.

The tone of the school is informal in the tradition of progressive schools. Students address the principal and teachers by their first names. Class size is small. Students are encouraged to talk, lead and debate. Projects are the norm. Students lead their own conferences to update parents on their progress. 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: As part of a district-wide equity plan, all District 15 middle schools use an open admissions method with priority for 52 percent of seats going to students from low-income households (who qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program), students in temporary housing, and English Language Learners. To learn more about the D15 Diversity Plan, visit d15diversityplan.com. The high school is part of the DOE Diversity in Admissions Pilot, which gives priority for 52 percent of 9th grade seats to students from low-income households, students in temporary housing and English Language Learners. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data & principal interview, June 2018; updated via email correspondence, August 2020).

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
92%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
81%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
94%
Average daily attendance
 
80%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
58%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
95%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
95%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

690
Number of students
631 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
65%
Students with disabilities
 
27%
Multilingual learners
 
5%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
96%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
16%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
8%
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?
 
90%
7.1
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
160
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
97%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 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

Calculus

Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

 
18%

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

Music

 
52%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
74%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
96%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
62%
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?
 
53%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
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 Collaborative Studies

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

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. We expect students to work in groups and exhibit habits of scholarship and character, like collaboration, kindness and persistence. We have a partnership with NYC Outward Bound Schools, EL Education, and the Performance Standards Consortium.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

American Sign Language, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Softball, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

610 Henry Street
Brooklyn NY 11231

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

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with PS 146

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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