Brooklyn LAB Charter School

Grades: 6-12
Noteworthy

Our Insights

What’s Special

Students get two hours of tutoring a day; expands to high school

The Downside

No gymnasium

Brooklyn Lab Charter School is a serious, nurturing place where children become articulate and confident young adults. It offers an unusual level of personal attention and a curriculum that combines traditional academics with afterschool enrichment classes such as dance, basketball, art, video editing and robotics. Unlike some charter schools, Brooklyn Lab does a good job with children with special needs, who make up one-quarter of the student body. It also admits children mid-year.

Founded as a middle school in 2014, the school won a $10 million grant in a nationwide contest sponsored by the Emerson Collective, the philanthropic organization attached to Apple Inc., to open a high school in 2017.

Most classrooms have two teachers. Recent college graduates, called fellows, offer small group instruction to every child for two hours a day. Children, called scholars, are frequently pulled out of the classroom for one-on-one help. Because everyone, not just struggling students, gets extra help, it reduces the stigma children might feel, said Dr. Eric Tucker, Brooklyn Lab Charter co-founder and director.

"If you're struggling, the teacher is allowed to help you," a 7th grader explained. "If you've been prominent in a subject, theyll give you more challenging work."

Scholars seem fond of the teachers and of Tucker, who greets his fellow staff members and students with a fist bump. Middle school director Jonathan McIntosh, who came to the school after years at the KIPP Academy charter network, brings expertise in special education.

On our visit, we were impressed by the scholars, neatly dressed in gray uniforms, who greeted visitors professionally and were able to clearly articulate what they were learning. Carpeted classrooms were quiet, but not oppressively so, and students were intent on their lessons. Every child gets a laptop to use at school and the school helps families purchase a Chromebook for use at home.

Most 8th graders take high school-level Regents exams for Living Environment and American History, and some take algebra. This is quite an accomplishment for students, many of whom come from very low-performing elementary schools from throughout Brooklyn.

The school has a thoughtful approach to training teachers. Some fellows become teachers in residence, and the school pays for their graduate education. Erin Mote, co-founder of the school (and Tucker's wife), organizes the steady flow of teachers-in-training through the foundation called InnovateEDU.

"What I love about being a fellow is that students get more attention and it's more personalized," said one woman. "I'm getting the chance to find out whether I want to be in a full class and I get coaching."

The academic school day ends at 3:35 pm (earlier on Wednesdays when teachers meet for professional development) and enrichment activities begin.

Brooklyn Lab Charter has two locations tucked away in a corner of downtown Brooklyn, close by the Manhattan Bridge entrance ramp. The Flatbush Avenue Extension building, shared with City Tech, houses most of the classrooms; a site, a block away on Jay Street, has most of the after school activities. Part of the middle school and the high school is at 77 Sand Street.

Kids are allowed to be boisterous at lunch. "We like a noisy lunchroom. It's developmentally appropriate that they get to talk," said Mote. "It's the sound of a school."

There is no gymnasium or auditorium but each location has a large multi-purpose space.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are at least two ICT classes on every grade and there is one self-contained classroom. The school welcomes students with special needs and looks to move them to the next level We are always moving toward inclusion, said McIntosh. Whats beautiful is the notion of small groups is de-stigmatized. Everybody gets it. In addition to the usual special education services, art and movement therapy are offered.

ADMISSIONS: Lottery, preference to District 13. In its early years there has been space for students from outside the district and even the borough. Unlike many charters, Brooklyn Lab accepts students at every grade level, even after the school year has started. "Back-filling keeps us honest," says Tucker. (Pamela Wheaton, February 2017)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
Average daily attendance
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2019-20 NYC School Survey

Students

510
Number of students
631 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
70%
Students with disabilities
 
27%
Multilingual learners
 
4%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
 
65%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
66%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
67%
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
85%
4.0
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
From the 2019-20 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Physics

Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20

Music

Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the class of 2019-20 provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location

Location

77 Sands Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line to Clark St; 4 Line, 5 Line to Court St-Borough Hall; A Line, C Line, R Line to Jay St-MetroTech; F Line to York St; B Line, Q Line to DeKalb Ave

Buses: B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65, B67, B103


Contact

Principal: Eric Tucker, Phd

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Edmund W. Gordon Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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