Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed
5800 Tilden Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11203
Phone: 718-629-1204

Our Insights

What’s Special

Wilderness and urban field trips

The Downside

Concerns about discipline and order

Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School combines wilderness and city field trips to help students grow academically and develop a sense of responsibility.

Field trips and projects are common. For example teens donned waders and got in the ocean alongside scientists taking part in a horseshoe crab case study. A digital filmmaking group made sample commercials.

The school shares the Tilden Educational Campus with two other schools. The building has worked to overcome a poor reputation and some children say they don’t feel safe outside the school, according to school surveys. However, safety issues have improved since the building hired a campus manager. Now, all three schools use restorative practices, an approach to working through conflicts before they become larger problems. 

Students take the same range of courses as those offered at most city schools, but teachers delve more deeply into topics and encourage students to be flexible thinkers. Projects, presentations, reading, writing and rich class discussions are emphasized in all grades and subjects. The graduation and college readiness rates are on par with the citywide average.

Kurt Hahn is part of the New York Performance Consortium, a group of schools exempt from administering all but the English Regents exam. Eleventh- and 12th-graders must complete PBATs (performance-based assessment tasks), which involve extensive research and reading as well as writing and presenting papers in English, math, history and science on topics of their own choosing.

Ninth graders participate in a five-day wilderness adventure course in the Catskills. This trip allows teachers to learn how their students solve problems and deal with unusual situations and challenges. The students are asked to try new activities, like ropes courses, outdoor cooking, and mountain climbing, and the program is designed to encourage bonding among students.

The school’s namesake, Kurt Hahn, was a German Jewish educator who founded Outward Bound, known for wilderness programs that foster social skills and personal growth.

Daily advisory classes called crews are the backbone of all NYC Outward Bound schools. Whenever possible, crews formed during freshman year remain together through senior year and have the same teacher-advisor.

The majority of students arrive performing below grade level according to the School Quality Guide. The school has additional basic skills classes to help students catch up, an extended day program and a summer bridge program.

There is an Advanced Placement English and Literature Composition Course and high-performing students can take classes for college credit.

On school surveys, some students and teachers report concerns about safety and order. Following the restorative justice model, the school tries to deal with conflict before it builds. A goal in the yearly plan is to discipline students using non-punitive practices like peer mediation and peer mentoring, and using alternatives to suspensions such as community service.

Though each school occupies a distinct section of the campus, facilities are shared, including a newly renovated auditorium and playing field, a swimming pool and multiple gymnasiums. The campus is clean and well-kept, with a manicured lawn and flowers. Campus-wide athletic teams include football and track.

There is an emphasis on college preparation including college visits and help with applications. Most students attend CUNY schools and some go to SUNY schools, such as Geneseo and Albany. Some students have gone on to Syracuse, Hobart Williams Smith, Union, SUNY Binghampton, Colgate University and Rutgers.

ADMISSIONS: The school admits a range of students who score in the low, middle and high range on the standardized 8th grade English language arts exam in middle school. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, June 2018; updated August 2020)

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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

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

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

How do students perform academically?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

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

Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

Kurt Hahn offers a liberal arts, college preparatory and project based curriculum. Our school offers a challenging and engaging curriculum culminating in performance based assessments, instead of all but the ELA Regents Exam. Our students take advanced course work including AP English, AP Human Geography, and a variety of College Now courses through Kingsborough College. Our students engage in twice yearly student led conferences, empowering them to be leaders of their own learning.


Language Courses

French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Literature and Composition, AP Human Geography


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


Flatbush (District 18)
Trains: N/A
Buses: B17, B35, B46, B47, B7, B8


Veronica Coleman Xavier
Parent Coordinator
Thierry Telfort

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Samuel J. Tilden Educational Campus with two other schools
Metal detectors?

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