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Leaders High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
2630 Benson Avenue
Brooklyn NY
Phone: 718-333-7700

Our Insights

What’s Special

Interesting projects and strong college focus

The Downside

Metal detectors; building still overcoming a bad reputation

Leaders High School is safe and welcoming with strong leadership and a dedicated staff. The population is uncommonly diverse: Students represent more than 35 home countries and speak more than 20 languages. The four-year high school graduation rate is above average. Many children are the first in their families to attend college.

Children do an unusual amount of research and writing, and must prove their knowledge in prepared presentations. Leaders is an Expeditionary Learning school, embracing activities and field trips. Students are exempt from all Regents exams except English. Instead, they do PBATs (performance-based assessment tasks), in which they present research papers, often 6 to 12 pages long, to peers, teachers and parents at the end of each semester.

More than three-quarters of the students graduate with strong enough grades to avoid remedial classes in college as determined by a test designed by City University of New York (CUNY). Leaders also has a good track record serving children with special needs.

All students take Spanish four times a week. Some Spanish speakers help out as teaching assistants and may also take a Spanish literature elective. Other electives include art, spoken word, computer science, dance, robotics and playwriting.

Twice a year classes are suspended for a week and students do in-depth studies on topics such as the Psychology of Fear and Happy, Game Design, or Wild and Free: A Yoga and Dance Intensive. Freshmen spend one of these weeks at a free outdoor adventure camp run by Outward Bound. Sophomores spend one week visiting city, state and out-of-state colleges.

Leaders works with students and families at every stage of the college and financial aid application process. During Regents week, when students are on break, seniors have individual appointments with the college counselor to put together documentation for every school on their list. Most students go to CUNY colleges, but some get into four-year private schools such as The College of St. Rose or Skidmore. More than one-third enroll in a four-year college.

Four days a week students have "crew" (like advisory) for college preparation, team-building activities, silent reading and academic support. The school uses Restorative Justice, a program that addresses discipline through mechanisms such as peer mediation and conversation circles.

Thomas Mullen became principal in 2016. He was formerly assistant principal of the well-regarded East Side Community School. On school surveys, teachers overwhelmingly say he is an effective manager on school surveys.

Leaders is one of five schools in the Lafayette Educational Campus. The building has metal detectors and a lingering reputation to overcome from its unruly days as Lafayette High School. “People just hear the name and they don’t want to come here, but [our school] has nothing to do with Lafayette,” says the principal’s secretary, Lisa Nastari. “We’re starting to make a name for ourselves through word of mouth.” More than a dozen freshmen sometimes transfer in after school starts because they hear good things from friends, she says.

ADMISSIONS: Leaders attracts students from all five boroughs. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data and interview, February 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?
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
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 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 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
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?
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

Leaders High School
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

Leaders High School is a NYC Outward Bound School implementing the EL Education model (see and Leaders uses hands-on learning that has real-world application to ignite a joy for learning and discovery in our students. At our school, leadership, active citizenship, and character development go hand in hand with academic rigor and challenge.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Computer Science Principles


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


Gravesend (District 21)
Trains: D Line to Bay 50th St; N Line to 86th St
Buses: B1, B3, B4, B6, B64, B82, X28, X38


Thomas Mullen
Parent Coordinator
Urasia Oliver

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Lafayette Educational Campus with four other schools
Metal detectors?

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