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High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed Noteworthy
600 Kingston Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11203
Phone: 718-756-5325

Our Insights

What’s Special

On-site organic farm; effective dual focus on strong academics and community responsibility

The Downside

Shares space with several other schools

High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow (Heroes) is a Brooklyn gem, posting top graduation rates while also preparing graduates for college-level work. True to its name, public service is woven into the fabric of the school. All students perform community service and, depending on what program they’re enrolled in, take classes in areas such as law, ethics, microbiology, ecology, ethics, public speaking or human rights.

The school hits a lot of high marks. Teachers collaborate a lot and hold principal Sean Rice in high regard, based on responses to the annual NYC Survey. Most students say the school’s programs, classes and activities encourage them to develop talent outside academics.

Students enroll in one of three academies: law, medical or public service. The law academy features a mock-trial program; students in the medical program participate in internships at hospitals, including SUNY Downstate Medical Center, located just a block from the school. The public service program emphasizes learning about public policy, social action and human rights; students tackle social issues through projects at school and work in the community.

For a small school, Heroes packs a lot in. There is a range of interesting classes, Advanced Placement courses and activities. Arts offerings include band, chorus and studio art, where students create ceramics with the school’s own kiln. Students may also take College Now courses by enrolling in classes at Hunter College, Brooklyn College and the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University.

The Youth Farm at Heroes is a point of pride for the school. Students tend to a 10,000-square-foot garden, which is located on school grounds and was established with support from community partners. They learn about organic farming methods, care for and cultivate the crop and sell their produce locally via a farm stand that they manage.

Class time varies by subject but generally runs longer than the typical 42-minute period, giving teachers more time to delve deeply into lessons and students more time to grasp and discuss topics. Teachers also take care to stagger their projects and exam dates so students don’t get overwhelmed with too many assignments at once, according to Rice.

Projects, presentations, reading, writing and rich class discussions are emphasized in all grades and subjects. Students have to complete two lengthy projects, called “mastery work,” in each class, and as they advance through the grades, they are expected to write longer essays and conduct their own research. For instance, in earth science, students tested water from the Gowanus Canal and Prospect Park ponds as part of their study on pollution, and then presented their research findings to government officials in Albany. 

In addition to taking traditional courses, students must enroll in classes about community service, leadership and ethics. They also complete 50 hours of community service each year.

Heroes is housed in the George Wingate Educational Complex building, which it shares with several small high schools. Students may participate in a range of campus-wide sports teams and an array of clubs. Tutoring is also available.

Many graduates go to CUNY and SUNY colleges. Some go out of state, including a handful to Ivy League and other highly competitive schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. 

ADMISSIONS: Priority to Brooklyn students. Admissions to the law and medical academies are based on a review of students’ grades, state test scores and attendance records. Admission to the public service academy follows the educational option formula, which aims to admit a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. (Linda Littlefield and Laura Zingmond, via interview and web reports, April 2018)

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
83%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
55%
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
83%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
87%
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79%
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
6.5

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
88%
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
64%
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
47%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
94%
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
462
Asian
4%
Black
77%
Hispanic
16%
White
1%
Other
2%
Free or reduced priced lunch
76%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
2%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
21%
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
67%
66% Citywide Average


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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2020 High School Directory

Law Academy-HSPS
Admissions Method: Screened
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Course Grades: English (65-100), Math (62-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (2.2-4.5), Math (1.8-4.5)
  • Demonstrated Interest: School Visit
Program Description:

Criminal, civil and constitutional law, juvenile justice, corrections, and criminology. Students will explore education requirements of lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, judges, police officers, criminal psychologists, and criminal investigators with the aid of an assigned mentor. Course sequence includes: Global and US History, Intro to Legal Studies, Advanced Topics in Law, Constitutional Law, Law and Literature, Social Sciences and the Law, Argument and Debate, and The Art of Public Speaking.

Medical Science and Careers Academy
Admissions Method: Screened
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Course Grades: English (60-100), Math (64-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.9-4.5), Math (1.6-4.5)
  • Demonstrated Interest: School Visit
Program Description:

Medical science curriculum with clinical applications to explore healthcare career options. Coursework focus areas include anatomy & physiology, immunology, hydroponics, infectious diseases and public health with hands-on experience at SUNY Downstate Medical Center & Kings County Hospital. Specific Course Sequencing: Microbiology, Medical Science, Medicine and Literature, AP Biology, Health Careers, CPR and First Aide Certification, Health, Living Environment, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics.

Urban Farming and Agricultural Sciences
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: English, Math, Science, Social Studies
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
  • Honors/Accelerated Coursework
  • Shadow/Interview
Program Description:

Students will engage in a sequence of courses and project based learning opportunities to gain knowledge in Urban Farming, Food Justice, Hydroponics, and Agricultural Sciences blended with a commitment to community service embedded in the surrounding community. Coursework includes: Food Justice, Botany, Growing Soils, Environmental Carpentry and Building, Ecosystems, Crop Management, Irrigation, Small Farm Planning, and AP Environmental Science.

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Physics 1, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket

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

Contact & Location

Location

Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (District 17)
Trains: 2 Line, 5 Line to Winthrop St
Buses: B12, B17, B43, B44, B44-SBS, B49

Contact

Principal
Sean Rice
Parent Coordinator
Eric Ferreira

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the George Wingate Educational Campus with three other schools
Metal detectors?
No

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