High School for Civil Rights

Grades: 9-12
400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11207
Phone: 718-922-6289

Our Insights

What’s Special

Law and debate team, courtroom on campus

The Downside

Poor attendance

At the High School for Civil Rights, students may take classes on Constitutional law and participate in a real Youth Court in the school's own courtroom. There is an extended day and extra tutoring for the many students who arrive in 9th grade performing below grade level. Most students feel safe in school. Unfortunately, attendance is poor.

Located on the Thomas Jefferson Educational campus, the school seeks to give students a full immersion experience in civil rights and law through lessons, videos, field trips and courtroom experience. It partners with The East New York Youth Court and Red Hook Justice Center. These programs train students to serve as jurors, judges and advocates, handling real-life cases involving their peers in the school courtroom, according to the CEP (comprehensive educational plan). 

High School for Civil Rights also offers arts classes, including choir, studio arts and filmmaking. The building has a new recording studio for those interested in music. 

The school has an extended day, or P.M. school, which runs from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. 

There are also double periods in some core subjects to help struggling students, in addition to lunchtime tutoring and Saturday school. A summer bridge program and a 9th grade coordinator works to capture students' interest when they first arrive. High-achieving students may choose from several AP classes, including calculus, U.S. history and English.

Principal Michael Steele, who has led the school since 2005, believes in a combination of traditional discipline and emotional support. Staff gives special attention to students who struggle the most, keeping in close touch through mentoring. The school offers incentives and rewards for good attendance, such as time in the recording studio. 

There is a college advisor who leads a college prep class every week. A teacher is assigned to help with SAT prep. Students mostly attend CUNY and SUNY schools and colleges such as Ithaca College and University of Connecticut.

The campus hums after school ends. There are numerous sports teams shared with other schools in Jefferson, academic tutoring and clubs such as cheerleading and robotics. Swimming is offered through a partnership with the YMCA.

Admissions: Open admissions. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and web reports, November 2018)




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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

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.

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
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% 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

High School for Civil Rights and Law
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

Curriculum emphasizes issues relating to civil rights awareness and the American Constitution. Emphasis is placed on Law and Law-related professions. Ongoing debates, cultural performances and talent shows.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


East New York (District 19)
Trains: 3 Line to Pennsylvania Ave; L Line to Livonia Ave
Buses: B14, B15, B20, B83


Sheila Tomlin
Parent Coordinator
Jean Etienne

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Thomas Jefferson Educational Campus with three other schools
Metal detectors?

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