The Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies (BCS) is a diverse learning community. BCS is multi-racial/ethnic by design. The governance structure assures collaboration among parents, staff and administration. We respect children and their families. We know that a school works best when staff members collaborate and communicate regularly with each other and parents and when parents are involved in the life of the school and their children's education.
Originally conceived as a middle school with grades 6-8, BCS is now growing into a full secondary school that will eventually include grades 6-12. Repeating the process of growing one grade at a time, only a ninth grade will be added in 2005-2006. We anticipate our first high school graduation in 2009.
Instruction is experiential and hands-on, with a standards based curriculum that also focuses on students' individual needs and interests. Curriculum in all subjects is project-based and interdisciplinary. Students work collaboratively on small and large group projects that emphasize research, oral and written language, presentation, questioning, and debate. They have access to an integrated technology program that includes media analysis.
We seek to develop arts, museum and other community partnerships that tie students to the world of adult responsibility, learning and work. Students share in community service efforts. Adults model life-long learning by engaging in ongoing collaborative, interdisciplinary, professional development.
We believe that children learn best in groups that reflect the diversity of their city. We know that all young people have talents. We work with them to recognize strength and potential in themselves and their peers. It is our responsibility to build on these strengths and to challenge our students to broaden their interests and to develop skills in all subjects.
BCS offers its students a comprehensive arts program. Understanding that the arts are a vital communication tool and a cultural lens, we strive to enable our students to create, analyze, and critique visual and performing arts. We do not think that students of this age should be asked to choose one art form over another and therefore include music, visual art, and drama in every student's program.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, teenagers and pre-teens see what is wrong in the world. With guidance from caring and activist adults, we help them to identify issues of personal relevance and to use their energy for positive change. We seek, through curriculum, pedagogy, and school governance, to model active engagement in a democratic and evolving learning community.