High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Strong leadership; emphasis on academic excellence and community responsibility blend well.

The Downside

Building's electrical systems need an upgrade.

Our Review

High School for Public Service/Heroes for Tomorrow is a Brooklyn gem, posting top graduation rates while also preparing a higher than average percentage of graduates for college-level work.

The combination of public service and strong academics has been a winning one at Public Service, which has been led by Benjamin Shuldiner since its founding in 2003.

Although the school accepts students who score a Level 2 or higher on state exams, many students arrive performing at grade level and there are fewer students who require special education services than at most schools.

"This school has great leadership and staff," said a New Visions official who provides support to the school. "There's not a lot of turnover, and they are very committed to the vision of public service combined with academic excellence."

Students enter either the medical or legal academy at the school. The law section, which features a mock-trial program, is run by an attorney, while a teacher-physician oversees the medical section. Students there participate in internships at hospitals, including SUNY Downstate Medical Center, located just a block from the school.

Strong leadership and low teacher turnover has led to a consistent academic structure. All students have to complete two projects in each class. The projects, called "mastery work," are evaluated according to expectations that are spelled out in detail, and students may revise their work for an improved grade. Each course also has an exam at the conclusion of every marking period. As students advance, they are expected to write longer essays and conduct their own research.

The school does a thorough job of incorporating public service into the academic curriculum and academic skills into the public service program. 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. At first, they sign up to work with established volunteer programs, but by their junior year they are expected to create their own projects.

Student interest has given rise to an environmental emphasis in these projects and some coursework. A 10,000 square-foot garden was built by community partners in front of the Wingate campus, and is tended by students.

School officials report a good working relationship between the five schools that share the building but say that the heating and air conditioning systems could use an upgrade.

There is a College Now program connected to Brooklyn College, and several AP courses are offered.

College admissions: There is a strong emphasis on college enrollment. Many students go to two and four-year CUNY schools. Some go out of state, including a handful to Ivy League schools.

Afterschool: Students participate in a range of campus wide sports teams and an array of social and academic clubs. Tutoring is also available.

Admissions: Students must score at least a Level 2 on state math and ELA exams and have a 75 average in core middle school subjects. Priority goes to Brooklyn students. (Meredith Kolodner, web reports & interviews, September 2012)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares the George Wingate Educational Campus with three other schools
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teacher in Music and Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Law Academy-HSPS
Admissions Method: Screened
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
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.

Public Service Academy: Social Action & Leadership
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Service learning, social action, human rights, public policy, and civic engineering. Students engage in service and volunteer projects to influence social issues in the community and world leadership training. Internships and scholarship-based competitions are available.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Literature and Composition, AP U.S. History


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


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

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600 Kingston Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11203
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (District 17)
Trains: 2, 5 to Winthrop St
Buses: B12, B17, B43, B44, B44-SBS


Sean Rice
Parent Coordinator
Eric Ferreira

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