A School Grows in Brooklyn
Brooklyn School of Inquiry opened its doors to kindergarten and first grade students in September 2009 and has added a grade every year. In June, 2017, we had our first graduating class of eighth graders.
Our mission is to provide exemplary teaching targeted to the unique needs of our students who become self-directed learners and think of themselves as active members of the world community. We believe students learn best when they make connections across disciplines and learn through integrated units of study. We offer an arts-enriched school environment that promotes creativity and divergent thinking. BSI incorporates technology throughout the curriculum with the use of interactive whiteboards, laptops, desktops, iPads and other multimedia. Students conduct research, explore the world beyond our walls and create multi-faceted projects. Our school is committed to leading in the implementation of new and better teaching practices.
In 2012 and 2013, BSI received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to collaborate with Teachers College Columbia University researchers in the development of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] units of study.
Dedicated parent volunteers are working hard to fundraise to build a state of the art STEMLab on the roof of our building. Our goal is to create a year-round, hands-on learning and teaching lab that benefits students and STEM teachers throughout NYC and beyond. We have partnered with the School Construction Authority and have received generous donations from local politicians, and now have the funding to break ground and realize this incredible space.
THIS IS BSI ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
(GRADES K-5) BSI is a TRIBES Learning Community and a Responsive Classroom School. We believe it is our responsibility to cultivate compassionate citizens who contribute to the kinds of democratic communities in which we all want to live.
In English Language Arts [ELA], students have access to a rich classroom library and are matched with books that meet their interests and abilities. They thrive on diverse content and read short stories, novels, graphic novels, poetry, classic works of literature, and contemporary authors. In Writer’s Workshop, students comment thoughtfully on each other’s work, cooperate in maintaining a productive environment, take risks and try new things. They write feature articles, informational texts, comic books, essays, literary analyses, and poetry. In Math, we write our own curriculum and depart from compacted TERC Investigations and Contexts for Learning units to foster conceptual understanding. Our teachers encourage exploration, inquiry, and reflective thinking. Our students think abstractly, construct viable arguments, and reason mathematically, both verbally and in writing. They acquire “habits of mind” that help them to gain a deep comprehension of math concepts: persisting, questioning, communicating with precision and clarity, thinking flexibly, metacognition [thinking about one’s thinking], and listening with understanding and empathy. In 5th grade, children travel in a cohort to Humanities and Math classes. This departmentalization allows teachers to be content area experts who are able to go deep with their students.
THIS IS BSI MIDDLE SCHOOL
(GRADES 6, 7 & 8) What begins in the early grades as a TRIBES Learning Community transforms in later grades to the teaching of rights and responsibilities through the Responsive Classroom model.
Our Middle School students move from a world of Reading, Writing and Social Studies into ELA and Social Studies. This approach supports our school-wide philosophy that students learn best by making connections across disciplines. Through Socratic style discussion, students continue to express their oral and written responses and strengthen their ability to think critically. Socratic seminars are named for their embodiment of Socrates’ belief in the power of asking questions, prizing inquiry over information and discussion over debate. In Math, we have an accelerated and enriched curriculum including Integrated Algebra as preparation for the Regents exam in 8th grade. We believe that mathematics instruction involves dialog and that learning rests on the nature of the questions asked. In Science, we create an environment that fosters higher-level thinking and generates deep content knowledge. Our sixth graders finish their year investigating two national parks to understand how water shapes the land, and then apply that knowledge in an independent study of a third national park. Our 8th-grade students take the Living Environment Regents. Students spend one to two periods a week immersed in their chosen area through an elective class.