Welcome to

Brooklyn Laboratory High School

Brooklyn, New York

Educating all learners.

Primarily serving low-income students in the heart of Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle, Brooklyn Laboratory High School (Brooklyn LAB) exists to connect students to promising opportunities previously unavailable to them.

How They Came to Be

Brooklyn Lab's Super School Origin Story

Brooklyn Laboratory Schools (LAB) was founded as a middle school in 2014 to give outstanding teachers the access to technology needed to personalize learning for all students in the heart of Brooklyn. In 2016, the school’s founders entered the XQ Super School Challenge to bring their full vision for LAB to life by adding a rigorous college-preparatory high school to the existing successful middle school. Brooklyn LAB’s inaugural graduating class walked across the stage virtually on June 28th, 2021. Graduates received admission to over 400 universities across the country.

Discover Brooklyn LAB

Brooklyn Laboratory High School
Brooklyn Laboratory High School

Brooklyn LAB leaders and educators mean it when they say they’re committed to serving all learners. Around one-third of students are “complex learners” who qualify for special education services. Brooklyn LAB’s school model features a rigorous, AP-for-all, academic curriculum for all students, including those with special needs, at its core. With this great ambition, Brooklyn LAB leaders learned early on that they’d have to develop their own teacher and leader training programs to ensure a diverse faculty prepared to meet these rigorous demands. Brooklyn LAB leads the way in recruiting a corps of teachers as intentionally diverse as their student population. 80% of their staff members identify as people of color and the majority hail from immigrant communities.

Brooklyn LAB High School is a public charter school, opened in 2017, that serves 500 students in grades 9-12.
Equity by design

Brooklyn Laboratory High School Design Features

1.A commitment to equity and access to college

Brooklyn LAB intentionally creates a “college-ready” culture that blends academic rigor with social-emotional learning, explicitly preparing all students for the demands and opportunities of college. From naming rooms after colleges and engaging students in collaborative research projects as 9th graders to building “AP-for-all” into the course sequence, the consistent message to students from day one is all of them are going to college. Scholars are encouraged to look ahead to their short-term and long-term futures through a daily advisory meeting and a foundations of leadership course. On a regular basis, teachers and counselors explain need-based financial aid, address student misconceptions that college acceptance means a college scholarship, and describe the importance of college accreditation.

This component of the school’s guiding vision permeates deeply into their team’s thinking. When COVID-19 hit and school leaders foresaw the disproportionate burden that school closures would pose to already-disadvantaged students, they launched a series of design charrettes (a short collaborative project between education and design experts) to support a new Equity by Design initiative to understand how to best serve their students during the pandemic, and have gone on to share the resources with countless schools across the nation.

Nyliah Morrison

Hi I'm Nyliah. Class of 2021.

“I’m a 12th grader so this is the year of preparation for college and life. Brooklyn LAB makes sure to have a lot of resources for that, like college success counselor meetings which I enjoy to help prepare for applications and personal statements. They even have virtual college visits where we can learn about colleges that interest us. You get to decide your pathway and they help you make that happen along the way, like making sure your college options fit your personal statement.”

2.Teachers and technology to tailor student support

At Brooklyn LAB, scholars are required to “show what they know” before moving on. Teachers work to form personal relationships with students to provide stability, gain a better understanding of how to serve their students’ needs, and ensure students feel well-known. Cortex, a digital learning platform created by school co-founder Erin Mote, provides teachers and students with a day-to-day data dashboard and a cumulative “Mastery Progress Report” that shows what competencies, skills, and academic content each student has mastered. This enables teachers (two of whom are in most classrooms, moving fluidly from large-group to small-group to one-on-one instruction) to customize student learning to meet students’ unique needs while empowering students to better understand themselves as learners. Further, every student at Brooklyn LAB has a personal and individualized success coach, who fosters and maintains high expectations and employs strength-based and culturally relevant approaches in their support.

Erin Mote

Erin Mote

Co-Founder and Senior Advisor

“Technology is never going to replace great teachers. However, there are ways to give teachers and schools better tools that allow them to be smarter about student information.”

Youth empowerment
Youth empowerment

3.Encouraging and empowering young people

Brooklyn LAB students are leaders and decision-makers. During daily advisory periods, students work with advisors on things like leadership skills and understanding themselves as learners. Students design their own clubs—from debate to robotics—and serve as coaches and leaders in paid after-school positions. The school’s foundations of leadership program ensures that incoming freshmen are challenged to think both short-term and long-term about their future, including college acceptance, scholarships, and financial aid. Brooklyn LAB also connects students with learning opportunities such as internships, mentoring, and work-based projects outside traditional school walls through partnerships with groups and initiatives such as the Amazon Future Engineers Program, a comprehensive childhood-to-career program aimed at increasing access to computer science education for children and young adults from underserved and underrepresented communities. The goal is to close opportunity gaps for young people in their changing neighborhood by connecting low-income students with thriving local businesses.

Yasmin Crowdhury

Hi, I’m Yasmin. Class of 2021.

“Since we’re not a large high school, the small community we have makes it really easy for us to connect with our teachers and our peers on a personal level. As a 12th grader, I know kids all through the years (grades). Ms. King, our Partnerships Manager helps students find internships and opportunities. She and Ms. Duran, who supports community outreach, will help you find internships and really cool opportunities.”

Teacher talent

4.Strong teacher development program and talent pipeline

Teacher development is built into every aspect of Brooklyn LAB—from its hiring process to its master schedule. Because educators at Brooklyn LAB are committed to hiring a diverse teaching staff that mirrors their student population, they recruit from the surrounding neighborhood and offer one-year paid fellowships through programs like a residency partnership with New York University and a pathway-focused partnership for teachers graduating from the Relay School of Education. Residents then co-teach with experienced teachers, provide high-dose tutoring for all students, and enroll in graduate courses, earning dual certification in a specific subject and special education. Once hired, teachers work with specialists to develop individual professional learning plans. The school provides teachers with the professional learning needed to become success coaches and is establishing professional learning communities (PLCs) to conduct reviews and end of unit assessments collaboratively. There are shared leadership opportunities between the various instructional and administrative roles. This broad-based approach to professional learning allows all adults on campus to support each other in better serving Brooklyn LAB’s students.

BB Ntsakey

Director of Academics

"What if every high school student had a primary person that they could count on? That's success coaching. We developed a protocol where every student has a champion, a single adult who works to ensure the school is supporting that student well."

Student work: Authentic and relevant art
Student work: Authentic and relevant art

Theory Into Action

Student work: Real-world learning

Brooklyn LAB scholars have the opportunity to participate in internships throughout New York City to build the professional development skills they need to succeed in life after high school. LAB’s staff used insights from families and scholars, as well as their experience working with external internship entities, such as Girls Who Code, and providing internships through Summer Youth Employment Program, to develop the school’s first co-curricular internship program, “Diversified Occupations”, in Spring 2021. LAB’s internship course doubles as a college-readiness program, helping Brooklyn LAB scholars explore potential future career paths and areas to specialize in during college, while also building meaningful relationships across their peer and professional networks. The elective course allows scholars to conduct mock interviews, build marketable résumés, and learn how to set professional goals. However, the central aspects of the course take place after the scholars finish their studies and embark on a six-week internship offered by companies in New York City that specialize in everything from advertising and marketing, to animation, architecture, and interior design.

Competencies Met:

  • XQ Learner Goals

Student Data

Brooklyn Lab serves 519 students in grades 9-12 this school year.
  • 65%
  • 25%
  • 1%
  • 5%
    Other / Bi-racial
  • 3%
  • 1%
    American Indian or Alaska Native

  • 100%
    Free/Reduced Price Lunch
  • 29%
    Special Education

Student storytellers

Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School hosted its first-ever virtual [email protected] event in 2020 showcasing talks and performances from Brooklyn LAB and other high school students. [email protected] specifically highlights Gen Z’s vision for the future and their take on critical issues, like racial justice, teenage mental health, gender identity, climate resiliency, and others! Check it out here.

Eric Tucker

Eric Tucker

Co-Founder & Executive Director

"There are so many charging stations for learning in a city, in Brooklyn, in a city like New York. It’s critical that we create paths to these types of learning opportunities.

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