FAQ’s about Brooklyn Collaborative

Frequently Asked Questions about Brooklyn Collaborative (15K448)

How many students are in each class?
In our Lower Grades classes (6-8th grade), there are 20-23 students. In most LG classes, there are two teachers and paraprofessionals. In the Upper Grades (9-12th grade), class size averages 34.

What is your admissions criteria?
For grade 6, all students who rank us are invited in for an interview.  For grade 9, we are limited unscreened – priority goes first to our continuing 8th graders.

How many seats are available for grade 6? How about grade 9?
There are 90 seats available for grade 6. Approximately 24 of these are reserved for students with IEPs. Because the majority of our 8th graders continue with us into 9th grade, there are usually about 30 seats available for new 9th graders.

How do you get to your school on public transportation?
Our address is 610 Henry Street in Brooklyn.  We are located near the Carroll Street F/G train station.

How much homework is given on an average night?
We believe that HW should never be busy work but should instead be targeted reinforcement of skills learned in class or work towards a major project or PBAT.  All students are expected to read for at least 45 minutes a night.

What does PBAT stand for? What is a Mastery Passage PBAT?  What is a Roundtable?
PBAT stands for Performance Based Assessment Task. PBATs are papers written in all core classes each year. Mastery Passage PBATs are completed in 11th/12th grade and replace Regents as a graduation requirement.  We have a Regents waiver as part of the NYS Performance Standards Consortium.  Roundtables are final presentations of learning. They are an authentic and powerful way for our students to demonstrate what they have learned.  All PBATs end in roundtables where students present in groups of 3-5 to an outside evaluator.

What types of social/ emotional supports are available for students?
All students participate in our advisory, called Crew, for 30 minutes each day. In crew, the crew leader plans circles and other activities to support SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) growth. In addition, our counseling department meets regularly with students who need more support. We also partner with a variety of community based organizations such as Morningside Center for Social Responsibility to strengthen supports for all students.

Is there an out-to-lunch policy?
Yes, with teacher and parent permission, lower grades students can go out to lunch. In the upper grades, we have an open campus for lunch.

What is mastery based grading?
Mastery based grading means that our teachers track student learning towards learning targets in each class. These targets give us, and you a clear understanding of the learning happening in each class and what work a student still needs to do to master course content and skills.  We use the Engrade Pro online grade system.

What is your stance on state testing?
We do not believe that high stakes testing should detract from the rich educational opportunities that we offer to our students. To support that mission, we do not suspend instruction to offer explicit test prep. All of our coursework is Common Core aligned.

What are Student Led Conferences?
Student led conferences (SLCs) occur twice a year. During SLCs, the student leads a conversation with his/her family with support from the crew leader.  Students present examples of their academic work, discuss their progress on course learning targets, and their action plan to achieve increased mastery.

Do you offer after school programming?
Yes, through a partnership with the YWCA, we offer daily, free after school until 6pm for our lower grades students. In after school, students have supportive HW help and enrichment opportunities. We have a variety of afterschool clubs and classes through partnerships with the Brooklyn Arts Exchange and BAM.

How is the instructional time structured?
All classes meet daily for 47 minutes. For LG students, there is a double block of ELA each day to support our commitment to reading, writing and research. Every other Thursday, the normal instructional schedule is suspended for Expeditionary Thursdays where students complete academic fieldwork in trips outside the building.

What is EL Education?
Brooklyn Collaborative is a member of the national network of EL Schools, which promotes rigorous and engaging curriculum; active, inquiry-based pedagogy; and a school culture that demands and teaches compassion and good citizenship. The ELS approach is experiential and project-based. Teachers lead students in learning expeditions that engage them in original research to create high quality products for audiences that include experts. Expeditionary Learning encourages students to go beyond the classroom and their comfort zone.

What are restorative practices?
Restorative practices are an array of tools for creating a safe, respectful community and building positive connections among community members, including circles, explicit instruction, and conferences.  We use restorative practices to help students develop skills in relating well to others and dealing with challenges to harmony in the community.  

How do you handle bullying?
A school that is physically and emotionally safe is necessary for all students to achieve at their highest levels. Bullying is entirely contrary to our core values.  All members of the school community have the right to work and learn in a secure and caring environment.  They also have a responsibility to contribute, in whatever way they can, to the protection and maintenance of such an environment.  All staff are trained to respond to bullying and follow our anti-bullying policy which can be found on our school website (bcs448.org).

What is your graduation rate?
Our high school graduation rate is 91%. 100% of our graduating seniors are admitted to college each year.

What colleges do your students attend?
100% of students in the Class of 2016 were admitted to multiple colleges, with 75% of graduates matriculating at 4-year colleges. Some schools are graduates have attended are: Cornell, NYC, Skidmore, Bard, Barnard, and all schools in the CUNY and SUNY system.