Prospect Heights High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Prospect Heights High School Campus
Prospect Heights Campus
883 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
United States 11235
Type Public
Closed 2006

Prospect Heights High School, formerly The Girls' Commercial High School, is a defunct comprehensive high school that served the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City from the 1920s to 2006. Prospect Heights Campus is the collection of educational buildings that housed Prospect Heights High School until its closure in 2006.


The Girls' Commercial High School, later to become Prospect Heights High School, was built in the 1920s. The school's exterior was designed to harmonize with the environment, while the interior was made to accommodate 3,500 students in fifty regular classrooms and other specialized laboratories and working rooms. Around 1947, it was renamed Prospect Heights High School as the curriculum encompassed college preparatory academic courses as well as those in fine arts and fashion along with the traditional commercial course. Later the all-girls high school became coeducational.[1] After many years of decline and falling academic levels, the school graduated its last class in June 2006 and was closed. The Prospect Heights building now houses four small high schools: the Brooklyn School for Music and Theater, Brooklyn Academy for Science and the Environment, International High School at Prospect Heights, and the High School for Global Citizenship.[2]

The main reasons for Prospect Heights High school's closure were overcrowding and consistently low performance grades received from the New York City Department of Education. The building was broken down into four smaller high schools, each with a specific focus and a cap on students.

Violence was also an issue within Prospect Heights High School. Its neighborhood saw a rise in gang activities in the 1980s, which seeped into the school and caused problems. Prospect Heights High School was ranked the twelfth most violent high school among New York City's 125 high schools in 1990 by the Board of Education, and became an example used by advocates for more metal detectors in New York City schools. [3] [4] Recently police involvement in the neighborhood has reduced the violence.[5]

Notable graduates[edit]

Current schools on campus[edit]

Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment[edit]

BASE is a three-campus New York City Public High School that integrates the missions and resources of Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to offer academic excellence and rigor. The community of staff, families and community partners supports students in becoming critical thinkers, active learners and problem solvers who are scientifically literate, engaged citizens who value and respect the environment.[6]

Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre[edit]

The academic program at this school focuses on the integration of the performing arts and core knowledge in science, math, language arts and social studies. Students engage in experiential learning opportunities through theatre projects in acting, music, stage and costume design, theatre technology, and theatre management. Students benefit from summer internships and instruction from professional artists as well as a rigorous academic curriculum including college preparation and interdisciplinary project-based learning.[7]

High School for Global Citizenship[edit]

Founded by Global Kids and Principal Brad Haggerty in September 2004, the High School for Global Citizenship (HSGC) is an innovative small high school in Brooklyn that aims to create a community of active learners who are engaged participants in the democratic process and are learning about foreign policy issues and the connections between their personal lives and international events.[8]

International High School at Prospect Heights[edit]

The International High School at Prospect Heights addresses needs of recent immigrant students by teaching them fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English through a rigorous curriculum that is language rich,[clarification needed] interdisciplinary, and project based. Students learn to think critically, navigate societal constructs, and prepare for college and other education after high school. Students, staff and families create a caring school environment that promotes collaboration, cross-cultural interaction, and appreciation of diversity. Above all, International High School students become successful contributing members of society and conscientious global citizens of the future.[9]

School demographics[edit]


  1. Number of students per school:
    • International High School: 330
    • High School For Global: 323
    • Brooklyn school for music and theater: 409
    • Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment: 454
  2. Here is the racial breakdown of each school in Prospect Heights:
    • The International High School at Prospect Heights is composed of 8.7% Caucasians, 25.4% African Americans, 34.2% Hispanics, and 31.5% Asians.
    • The High School for Global Citizenship is composed of 9.2% Caucasians, 84.8%African Americans, 12.4% Hispanics, 0.9% Asians, and 0.9% American Indians.
    • Brooklyn School of Music and Theater is composed of 0.20% Caucasians, 85.3% African Americans, 11% Hispanics, 0.07% Asians, and 0.14% American Indians.
    • Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment is composed of Caucasian-0.08%, 86.6% African Americans, 10.4% Hispanics, 1.8% Asians, and 0.4% American Indians.
  3. Student to teacher ratio per school:
    • INT: 16.5:1
    • HSGC: 14.3:1
    • BSMT: 14.9:1
    • BASE: 15.7:1
  4.  % of students at each school that receive free or reduced lunch:
    • INT: 320 (97%)
    • HSGC: 285 (88%)
    • BSMT: 297 (73%)
    • BASE: 371 (82%)

Safety and security issues[edit]

Every morning students have to enter the building from the backdoor of the cafeteria, where they pass through scanning, remove their belts, and swipe their ID cards to indicate each school's attendance. Electronic devices are not allowed in the building. Students must come early to get scanning, because there are four schools in Prospect Heights Campus.[14]

The Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (SAVE) was passed by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor George Pataki on July 24, 2000, in response to issues of school safety and violence prevention. [15]

Prospect Heights High School was ranked twelfth most violent among New York City's 125 high schools in 1990 by the Board of Education, rating not only all the security hardware, but also a special full-time security coordinator, a retired police detective.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "H.S. 440 Prospect Heights High School". Retrieved in March 2009.
  3. ^ Lee, Felicia. "Teachers Leader Argues for More Metal Detectors", The New York Times, December 7, 1989. Retrieved in March 2009.
  4. ^ Perlez, Jane. "New York Schools Consider The Use of Metal Detectors", The New York Times, May 4, 1988. Retrieved in March 2009.
  5. ^ a b McAdoo, Maisie. "In Search of Elegant Solutions", TECHNOS QUARTERLY, 2 (3), 1993. Retrieved in March 2009.
  6. ^ Retrieved March 23, 2009
  7. ^ Retrieved March 23, 2009
  8. ^ Global Kids - Retrieved March 23, 2009
  9. ^ "Welcome". The International High School @ Prospect Heights. Retrieved in March 2009.
  10. ^ "Brooklyn High School For Science And The Environment". School Digger. Retrieved in March 2009.
  11. ^ "High School For Global Citizenship". School Digger. Retrieved in March 2009.
  12. ^ "Brooklyn High School For Music & Theater" School Digger. Retrieved in March 2009.
  13. ^ "International High School At Prospect Heights". School Digger. Retrieved in March 2009.
  14. ^ Dales, Suzanne. "5 Schools to Use Detectors for Guns", The New York Times, May 5, 1988. Retrieved in March 2009.
  15. ^ "School Safety" [1], New York State Education Department - Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education. Retrieved in March 2009.

Coordinates: 40°40′12″N 73°57′41″W / 40.67000°N 73.96139°W / 40.67000; -73.96139