Lefferts Gardens Charter School

Our Review

Lefferts Gardens Charter School opened in September 2010. For its inaugural year the school enrolled 75 students in kindergarten and 75 in 1st grade, and will expand by one grade per year until it reaches its target capacity serving grades kindergarten through 8.

Lefferts Gardens is a member of the Green Schools Alliance, a nationwide consortium of schools that strive to meet green goals and promote environmental awareness. Founding Principal Marc Magnus-Sharpe is a former administrator and dean of students at The United Nations International School. He drew inspiration for the school's environmental theme and commitment to hands-on or "experiential" learning from his many summers spent working with Outward Bound youth programs.

Through partnerships with local organizations such as the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the Audubon Center and the Prospect Park Zoo, students will enjoy lots of hands-on learning experiences outside the school, according to Magnus-Sharpe. In addition to meeting state science standards, the school's science instruction will also align with the standards set by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an international nonprofit organization that publishes Science magazine.

The school opened on the fourth floor of the PS 92 building. Plans are to relocate within its first few years to a permanent facility. Magnus-Sharpe, who lives within walking distance of the school, said he's committed to securing space within the same neighborhood. "Our local partnerships are critical to our curriculum, so it's essential that we stay in the area," he said.

Special education: Half of the teachers (six out of twelve) hired for the school's inaugural year are certified in special education, the principal said. The early grades will have two teachers per class with at least one special education expertise The school's academic intervention specialist oversees the managing of services for each student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Admission: By lottery. Preference is given to children residing in District 17. Check the school's website for more information. (Laura Zingmond, telephone interview, August 2010)

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601 Parkside Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11226
(District 17)


Michael Windram

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