Ten Years of Intentional Diversity - Brooklyn Prospect Charter School

Ten Years of Intentional Diversity

At Prospect Schools, building a diverse and inclusive community is our most important goal, our hardest challenge, and the driving force behind everything we do. To us, diversity means serving a balance of students from different racial, socioeconomic, educational and home language backgrounds, and hiring an adult population of teachers and staff that is similarly diverse. We believe this diversity is essential to providing our students with equal access to a great education.

Prospect Schools has led on school integration for a decade, working hard to create attractive school options that don’t make families choose between strong academics and a diverse community. One of our goals is to ensure that no racial or ethnic majority exists within our student body, and we also aim for there to be a socioeconomic balance among students. We use a number of admissions tools to help us reach these goals, such as offering a preference for socioeconomically-disadvantaged students in our admissions lottery. We also continually work on our program to address each student’s needs, no matter their background.

We’re excited to see more awareness being raised about the importance of diversity in K-12 schools in New York City, where schools have become increasingly segregated. We’re cheering on our district partners in Brooklyn’s Community School District 15 where education leaders, parents, and community members have come together to create the D15 Diversity Plan for district middle schools. Among many other things, the comprehensive plan introduces admissions policies that are similar to those we’ve been implementing since 2011. The parallels are exciting — for example, we both aim for approximately 50% of seats in each school to be held by socioeconomically-disadvantaged students, reflecting the demographics of the overall middle school population in the district — and we look forward to continued collaboration with district partners on integrating all of our community’s schools.

Ultimately, attracting a diverse student body to our doors is the first step in the journey towards school integration: what comes after is the deeper work of ensuring all students can achieve and persist through college, and beyond.