Kings Collegiate Uncommon Charter School
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Strong academics and stable leadership
Kings Collegiate Charter School, which serves grades 5 to 8, 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.
According to the school’s website, many students arrive at Kings Collegiate reading substantially below grade level. The school focuses on improving their reading skills through a double period of English language arts and activities, including reading in small groups with a teacher for 30 minutes after lunch every day. The effort seems to be paying off: According to the 2016-2017 school quality report, 70 percent of students who scored a 2—below grade level—on the state test in 5th grade were at grade level by 8th grade.
Like other Uncommon middle schools, Kings also provides students with two periods of math a day. Classes start in late August and students attend school from 7:40 a.m. to 4 p.m. Struggling students are required to attend a special academy for four hours on Saturdays. The school emphasizes an orderly, disciplined environment, and uniforms are mandatory.
Students score well above the city average on the state math test and around average on the English language arts test. Attendance is unusually high, and students and teachers credit the school with being safe and orderly. Scott Schuster has been principal for seven years, a long time in the charter world, and he gets high marks from teachers and parents.
Uncommon started with middle schools and has expanded to include elementary and high schools. It envisions all of its students staying in the network for kindergarten through 12th grade. (Uncommon is phasing in an elementary school at Kings Collegiate; it opened in August 2016 in a separate building about a half-mile away from the middle school.) Students from the middle school can go on to Uncommon Charter High School in Crown Heights.
Kings Collegiate shares its old building with Middle School for Art and Philosophy, which has struggled with low academic performance and discipline issues.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery for 5th grade, with priority to District 18 students. The school fills any vacancies in grades 6 through 8 from its waitlist. Applications are available from the Uncommon website. (Gail Robinson, school website, web reports and DOE statistics, April 2018)Read more