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Brooklyn Democracy Academy

Grades: 9-12
985 Rockaway Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11212
Phone: 718-342-6348

Our Insights

What’s Special

Hydroponic gardening, college trips

The Downside

Poor attendance

Brooklyn Democracy Academy, a transfer school, caters to students over the age of 16 who have struggled in traditional high schools but still want a high school diploma. Classes are small, between 20 to 25 students, and the school day runs a little longer than at most schools.

Students plant lettuce, cabbage and bok choy in water in the school’s hydroponics lab, according to the yearly plan. They learn chemistry, life science and math as they garden. Teachers try to make classes interesting to keep teens engaged so they finish school, according to the mission statement on the New Visions website. New Visions has created more than 100 schools for the city’s highest-needs students.

Students face many challenges. Some come in without any high school credits, while others arrive with just a few credits needed to graduate. Counselors from the JCCA (Jewish Child Care Association) work one-on-one with students, monitoring attendance, making home visits and arranging for college guidance and visits. Many students get paid internships at local businesses and organizations.

Despite these efforts to engage students, attendance is well below the citywide average. Some students work online from home if they find getting to school difficult because of illness, a family member’s illness, or if they have given birth, according to the yearly plan.

Students practice for college tests three hours a week during the school day. They go on college trips to St. John’s University, Hofstra, Delaware State University and Nassau Community College, among others. Some go to two- or four-year colleges and some find jobs after graduation. 

In addition to core academics, activities include boys’ and girls’ basketball, chess club, cheerleading, step team, annual talent and fashion shows, choir and theater, according to the yearly plan.

A center for parents and guardians opened in the school building in 2017. It offers financial, immigration, education, health and wellness services.

Brooklyn Democracy shares a building with another transfer school, Metropolitan Diploma Plus; a middle school, Kappa V; and an elementary school, Leadership Prep Brownsville Charter.

[photo of a college trip from the school's Facebook page]

ADMISSIONS: The school accepts students who are 16 or older throughout the school year. To apply, students must give transcripts and attendance history and take a vocabulary and reading test. Both students and parents are interviewed. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, March 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

Transfer school graduation rate
52% 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

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

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

Contact & Location


Brownsville (District 23)
Trains: 3 Line to Rockaway Ave; L Line to New Lots Ave
Buses: B15, B35, B60


Yesenia Peralta
Parent Coordinator
Glen James

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with three other schools
Metal detectors?

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