Discover your best options

Elementary School Middle School High School

La Cima Charter School

Grades: K-5
800 Gates Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11221
Phone: 718-443-2136

Our Insights

What’s Special

Nice mix of arts and academics; focus on social justice

The Downside

No Pre-K as of now

Founded in 2008, La Cima Charter is a small school that offers a respectful approach to discipline, a social justice focus, and a healthy mix of academics and the arts, including African drumming, music and visual art. La Cima means “summit” in Spanish. Select students also get a chance to travel.

La Cima strives to connect children with their neighborhood, city and heritage. They study the contributions of churches in the African American community, and celebrate West Indian Day. Black History Month features a different celebration every week, such as jazz and a “live” African American Museum, in which students dress up and present the stories of historic figures. One teacher shared what it was like to meet Malcolm X during the Civil Rights Movement in Harlem during a week of celebration. 

Classrooms are named after “change-makers”—Ruby Bridges, Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai— “Real people students can research,” said executive director Guerschmide Saint-Ange. Kindergartners make posters about their change-makers, while 5th-graders conduct research, write essays and present to their class. 

Kindergartners apply for a library card, giving them a “ticket into reading and travel in the mind through books,” Saint-Ange said, and in 5th grade they apply for a passport. “The purpose is always to deepen their understanding of the world around them, give them a foundation in history.”  

In previous years the school sent select students to Paris but future plans include trips to Canada, a less expensive trip, Saint-Ange said. Tie-ins to the school’s social justice theme will include visits to Canadian Underground Railroad sites and a bee hive center to examine environmental racism.

Saint-Ange took the helm in 2018. She has experience as a classroom teacher in middle and high schools. She worked in community engagement at the Achievement First Charter School network, and has managed oversight and renewals for 40 charter schools. At La Cima, she saw a need for academic rigor. She placed a focus on reading intervention and it helped in other areas too; test scores went up in her first year. Plans are to adopt Teachers College Reading and Writing, which can help promote a love of literacy, and the rigorous Math in Focus program, in addition to a mix of other approaches. 

La Cima follows a restorative justice approach for discipline. “What we try to help students understand is that when you make a misstep there is a consequence and a harm you need to make amends for—reconciliation and consequences,” Saint-Ange said. As part of this approach there will be no more out of school suspensions going forward, she said. 

Attendance is a challenge; roughly one-third of the students miss at least a month of school. “We don’t shy away from serving the most vulnerable students,” Saint-Ange said. “Seventeen percent are homeless,” she added. The school has an attendance task force. 

La Cima shares a building with Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School and MS 267. Children go outside for recess every day on a playground shared by the three schools. At the end of the school year the schools host a block party with carnival games. 

ADMISSIONS: By lottery. La Cima takes students at any point in the year. Only 40-50 kids in the school are from District 16, the principal said. “We’ll take a 5th grader even late in the year,” she said. (Lydie Raschka, interviews, July 2020)  

 

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?
77%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
61%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
96%
83% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
1% Citywide Average
Teacher turnover rate
29%
35% Citywide Average

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
43%
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
40%
49% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
378
Asian
2%
Black
65%
Hispanic
28%
White
2%
Other
4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
80%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
8%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90%
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
34%
25% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
30%
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
22%
23% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
67%
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50%
17% Citywide Average


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

Contact & Location

Location

Bedford-Stuyvesant (District 16)
Trains: J Line, Z Line to Gates Ave
Buses: B15, B46, B52, Q24

Contact

Principal
Guerschmide Saint-Ange/Nisah Brinson

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with MS 267 and the Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Uncommon Charter HS
Metal detectors?
No

You may also like …

P.S. 26 Jesse Owens

1014 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221

P.S. 274 Kosciusko

800 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11221

Comments

  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.