Leadership Prep Brownsville Uncommon Charter Middle Academy
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Strong academic performance
Safety concerns about surrounding area
Leadership Prep Brownsville 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. To achieve this goal, students have two hours of English language arts and 90 minutes of math every day. The school boasts of having one teacher for every 14 students to provide instruction geared to each child’s academic level.
Like other middle schools in the network, Leadership Prep Brownsville offers long school days and expects students to do 90 minutes to two hours of homework a night. The school year starts in August.
Test scores and attendance are above the city average, although students and teachers have some concerns about the school environment. Teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than their colleagues in many other schools and less likely to recommend their school to other teachers, according to the NYC School Survey. More than half the students surveyed said they did not believe discipline was applied fairly. Some of the low marks for the school may change with the arrival of a new principal, Jacobi Clifton, who took over in summer 2017 and has been with the Uncommon network since 2012.
The middle school is in a building shared with PS 284 and surrounded by a public housing development. More than half the students responding to the survey said they did not feel safe in the area around the school.
Uncommon started with middle schools and has expanded to include elementary and high schools. It envisions all of its students staying in the network for kindergarten through 12th grade. The Leadership Prep Brownsville Elementary Academy is in a different building about a mile away. Graduates of the middle school can go on to Uncommon Leadership Charter High School, which opened in 2017 on the Franklin K. Lane Campus on the Brooklyn-Queens border.
ADMISSIONS: Lottery for 5th grade, with priority to District 23. 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, April 2018)Read more