Brooklyn Charter School

Grades: K-5
545 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206
Phone: 718-302-2085

Our Insights

What’s Special

Dance, small classes, longer school day

The Downside

Attendance could be better

Tiny Brooklyn Charter School offers small classes with only 20 children, a longer school day and a rare option of busing for kids who live outside the district. A hallmark here is the music and dance program. The music room is equipped with keyboards and drums. The dance studio has mirrors and a tap floor that's a gift from actor Tony Danza. Children sample ballet, modern, Afro-Caribbean and Latin dance styles.

Students gather for monthly assemblies to sing, dance and celebrate birthdays, gatherings that are called “harambee,” which means "all pull together" in Swahili. Grades 4 and 5 take physical education, but the lower grades replace gym with dance several times a week. In May, the school ropes off the block and invites the neighborhood to a festival featuring song, food and dance.

Since 2016, the school has been under the leadership of Joanne Hunt, formerly principal of Harbor Science and Arts Charter in Harlem for 13 years. A Flatbush native, she is happy to return to Brooklyn, and is a well-respected leader, according to school surveys.

At BCS, Hunt brought in a math coach, resulting in higher math test scores at the end of her first year. She works with two deans to try to instill a peaceful, happy atmosphere. This has helped stem a pattern of high teacher turnover. In Hunt’s first year, she started with 20 new teachers out of 45; in her second year, she had only three new teachers.

“My area is organizational effectiveness and how you get faculty members to work together,” she says. School surveys show trust has improved among faculty.

Opened in 2000, Brooklyn Charter moved to the third floor of PS 23 in 2004; it was the first charter in the city to share a building with a district school. It is across the street from the Marcy Houses, near several homeless shelters, and on the border of an area with rising rents and expensive coffee shops.

The school is unusual in that it buses almost 100 students from East New York, Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, a perk leftover from when the school moved to PS 23 and wanted to retain students from their former location. “We are the only charter school still afforded this luxury,” Hunt says. The downside is that the distance kids travel affects attendance; when the weather is poor, some children in the lower school miss too many days of school.

The parent-teacher association runs an after-school program for a small fee Mondays through Thursdays. “It’s what our working families really need,” Hunt says.

ADMISSIONS: A lottery is held in April. Priority is given to siblings and residents of District 14. Families may apply on the school website. The school fills spaces in upper grades that open up, unlike some charters. (Lydie Raschka, phone interview, January 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?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average
Teacher turnover rate
36% Citywide Average

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

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

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
17% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Bedford-Stuyvesant (District 14)


Joanne Hunt

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with PS 23 Carter G. Woodson
Metal detectors?

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