It’s an exciting day for our community! Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Prospect Schools will be taking full occupancy of 80 Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn. We are also proud to share that, just this morning, our authorizer SUNY approved our application to merge with International Charter School of New York. Joining these first two pieces of news together is our third announcement of the day: grades K-5 of ICS will be moving into 80 Willoughby Street this summer.
80 Willoughby Street Expansion & Upgrades
Expanding our footprint at 80 Willoughby Street means that DTES students and adults will have much more room to learn, play and grow — in fact, each student will have approximately 30% more space in the building! Prospect Schools will be taking occupancy of all 11 floors of the building, and have full access to shared spaces like the Gym and Cafeteria. We will also update the facility: all windows at 80 Willoughby Street will be replaced with new ones; upgrades to electrical systems will be made throughout the building; and, finally, we will make structural improvements to the roof to allow for an extension of the stairs and elevator with the goal of ultimately adding a playground to the roof. This has long been a goal of ours, and we are optimistic that we will be able to provide that added outdoor playspace in the coming years.
PS/ICS Merger Approval: What Does This Mean?
Today, SUNY, the authorizer for both Brooklyn Prospect and International charter schools, approved our merger proposal and gave us the green light to move forward with our plan to bring International into the Prospect community. What this means for our community is that the formal integration of our two organizations can start happening in earnest. Though ICS won’t technically become part of Prospect Schools until July 1, 2021, over the next five months we plan to bring families and teams together in intentional ways to join our cultures, traditions, and communities. This process will bring our passionate parents and excellent educators closer together as we look to welcoming all our students this fall at 80 Willoughby.
ICS Moving into 80 Willoughby: What Will Change?
The benefits of offering two elementary school programs under one roof will be significant for students and adults. In addition to DTES having more room overall, having two fully-scaled elementary schools in the Prospect family will lead to better academic experiences for students, provide more opportunities for adult collaboration and sharing of resources, and it will offer more K-12 seats to the community. While we are still finalizing exactly which floors and classrooms both schools will occupy within the building, we are working hard to plan for this future co-location in a way that is intentional, focused on the student experience, and true to our organizational values of curiosity, care, persistence and passion.