Liberty Avenue Middle School

Grades: 6-8
350 Linwood Street
Brooklyn NY 11208
Phone: 718-647-1301

Our Insights

What’s Special

Safe, welcoming tone

The Downside

Some students miss many days of school

Liberty Avenue Middle School is a warm and orderly place where students feel welcome and respected. Teachers who responded to the NYC School Survey say they trust the founding principal, Kaia Nordtvedt, and are enthusiastic about their work. Word has spread among cousins and siblings and some staff members send their own children to the school.

Liberty opened in 2013 as one of two schools, along with Vista Academy, to replace the often rowdy IS 302. In contrast to its predecessor, Liberty offers a supportive environment and students say they feel safe. Two Liberty teachers who worked at the previous school told us Liberty is calm in comparison. A teacher who commutes from Long Island said it makes coming to work more enjoyable.

The school day begins with a greeting in class, an activity and a time of sharing, solitude and reflection. Parents come out in good-sized numbers to attend events such as “Bring your dad to school day.” Parents are happy, said parent coordinator Suheilee Vasquez, “This is a family here.”

One feature that sets Liberty apart from Vista Academy is its Spanish-English dual language program. About 20 percent of Liberty’s students are still learning English. Dual language classes are co-taught by two teachers in English and Spanish.

Liberty Avenue is part of the Middle School Quality Initiative, a school-wide approach to literacy that brings extra resources into high-needs middle schools to ensure students graduate reading at grade level. At Liberty that means the school has rich collections of fiction and non-fiction books in classrooms, an entire room set-aside with books arranged by reading level and a beautiful library. All reading teachers are trained in structured reading programs, such as Wilson and Fundations, and children study vocabulary using the WordGen Weekly program.

Test scores run average for District 19, but the school has high expectations and engaging instruction, according to its Quality Review, and they made significant changes to improve. For example, teachers switched from Go Math to Engage New York, seeking more rigorous instruction. “We need to push kids who are 90 percent 1s and 2s [out of 4 on state exams] to do more,” Nordtvedt said. “They need to see the rigor the state exam brings.”

Additionally, the school has a debate program, a poetry program and 45-minutes of daily independent reading. This helps math, too, the principal pointed out, because, if kids can’t read the very complicated math problems, they can’t do the math. About 50 students take high school-level science and math Regents classes.

A Minnesota native and former math teacher at New Voices Middle School, Nordtvedt started a school in East New York to fulfill her dream of serving underprivileged kids. Cheery and personable, she relays the difficulties of her first year, when incidents at IS 302—a fire in a trash can and an assault on the other school’s principal—caused her to monitor her own students carefully on their own floor. Liberty has a dean on each grade and eight student teachers provide extra help in classes.

A downside: Absenteeism is high. Some kids miss many days of school when families take extended trips to see relatives in other countries. The attendance teacher tackles the “major challenge” of educating parents on the importance of not missing school, Nordtvedt said. The Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation offers a robust after school program. Social workers from the non-profit Partnership for Children support students and work to improve attendance.

The building is also shared with an elementary school, Achievement First Apollo Charter School.

ADMISSIONS: Open to District 19 students. Priority goes to students who live in the zone and attend an event at the school. (Lydie Raschka, October 2017)

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 the 2020-21 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
89% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
27% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
88% Citywide Average

From the 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 the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
44% Citywide Average

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
34% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2021-22 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
15% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
6% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


East New York (District 19)
Trains: Z Line to Norwood Ave; J Line to Cleveland St; C Line to Shepherd Ave
Buses: B14, Q24, Q56, Q8


Kaia Nordtvedt
Parent Coordinator
Suheilee Vasquez

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with Vista Academy and Achievement First Apollo Charter School
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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