Williamsburg Collegiate Uncommon Charter School
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Part of a high-performing charter network
Strict rules may not be right for some
Williamsburg Collegiate, which serves grades five through eight, is part of Uncommon Schools, a large charter network that aims to get its largely low-income black and Latino students into college and give them the skills to succeed there.
It opened in 2005 as the first Uncommon middle school in New York City, in a big red-brick building off a busy strip of Lee Avenue, where many businesses cater to the neighborhood's Hassidic community. The school, though, is 98 percent Hispanic and black. Williamsburg Collegiate shares its building with PS 16.
According to information on the school's website, many Williamsburg Collegiate students arrive reading below grade level, and so the school focuses on literacy in particular. Like other Uncommon schools, it offers double periods of English and math every day. The school day is long, with after-school tutoring and homework, and the school year begins in August. Struggling students must attend classes on Saturday. The school also stresses what it describes as “a calm, composed and disciplined environment,” with a “strictly enforced” dress code and the awarding of merits and demerits for student behavior.
Math scores are well above average, with English language arts around average for New York City students. Almost all 8th-graders earn some high school credits.
The Uncommon network started with middle schools and has expanded to include elementary and high schools, aiming for students to be in the network for grades k through 12. Graduates of Williamsburg Collegiate can attend Uncommon Charter High School in Crown Heights.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery for grade 5. The school fills any vacancies in grades 6 through 8 from its waitlist. Applications are available from the Uncommon website. (Gail Robinson, DOE statistics and web reports, May 2018)Read more