Leadership Prep Canarsie Uncommon Charter Middle Academy
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Part of a high-performing charter network
Safety concerns about the surrounding area
Leadership Prep Canarsie Middle Academy, 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.
On its website, the school says it tries to balance the discipline that Uncommon is known for with “joy” and “warmness.” Like other middle schools in the network, Leadership Prep Canarsie offers long school days and expects students to do 90 minutes to two hours of homework a night. The school year starts in August. Students have two and half hours of reading and writing classes and one and a half hours of math every day. Some struggling students are required to stay after 4 p.m. dismissal for additional tutoring. Overall, students do well on standardized tests, and 90 percent of 8th-graders earn some high school credit.
Teachers have some reservations about the school, with about 40 percent saying in the NYC School Survey that they would not recommend parents send their children there. While students generally feel safe in the school building, more than half said they did not feel safe outside. A significant percentage of teachers agreed. Students also complained that they did not think discipline is applied fairly at Leadership Prep Canarsie.
Uncommon 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. The Leadership Prep Canarsie Elementary Academy is in another building, about five blocks away. Graduates of Leadership Prep Canarsie can go on to Uncommon Prep Charter High School, which opened in 2014 on the South Shore campus in Canarsie. The Middle Academy shares its building with PS 279.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery for grade 5, with preference to students from District 18. 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