The Brooklyn Green School
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Environmental theme and family atmosphere
Too soon to say
A promising new middle school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn Green School offers an engaging curriculum with a focus on the environment; a cozy, family-like atmosphere; and a chance to go on lots of class trips.
“We really believe that students need to get out of the building,” said Principal Marcella Carr-Gay, who founded the school in 2018. Students grow vegetables in a garden nearby. They traveled to Manhattan to take part in a march to protest government inaction on climate change. Students take overnight trips to Albany and Washington, and plans are in the works for international travel.
The administration values students’ voice, and responds to their requests when possible. For example, students said they wanted a weightlifting class, and the school was able to provide it. “Our students drive a lot of the decision-making,” said Carr-Gay, called “Ms. Marcella” by the students.
Students seemed happy and focused in the classes we visited, and teachers seem to do a good job offering support to children who need it while challenging strong students. Class size is fairly small, and many classes have more than one teacher. Students read a combination of classic literature, such as Greek myths, and new fiction, such as The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The school has an unusual number of male staffers, and the administration strives to ensure that each student has at least one adult they can count on. “Every student has an adult who is like a family member,” said the principal, who previously taught at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem.
The school shares a building with PS 335, which Carr-Gay attended as a child. In its first year, many of the students from Brooklyn Green School came from PS 335.
ADMISSIONS: The school has frequent tours, usually on Friday. It is open to students from across Brooklyn. (Clara Hemphill, November 2019)Read more