‘Bright starts and bold futures’: 7 new public schools to open in Brooklyn this fall

students in public school
Seven new public schools will open in Brooklyn this year.
Photo courtesy of John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

Seven new public schools will open in Brooklyn this fall, bringing hundreds of seats for students from preschool through 12th grade, schools chancellor David C. Banks announced on Thursday.

The new schools will alleviate overcrowding and bring specialized education to Brooklyn’s students. The city’s first public Montessori school, P.S. 482 Albee Square Montessori School, will open its doors in District 13 in Downtown Brooklyn, and an accelerated high school — Bard High School Early College – is set to open in District 19 in East New York. 

david c. banks schools announcement
Banks announced the slate of new schools alongside their new principals. Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Education

Banks said the schools — along with two more set to open in Queens and the Bronx — will fulfill the administration’s promise to “reimagine the student experience.” 

“Since this pandemic we’ve said we’ve gotta do school differently,” he said. “We can’t just return to doing it the way we’ve always done it.”

Each school will offer a different specialty, Banks said, based on the needs and desires of the local community. 

The unzoned P.S. 456 in District 15, for example, was developed in close partnership with P.S. 146 The Brooklyn New School and will be open to students borough-wide, with priority for low-income students. A new middle school, M.S. 428 Global Innovation Academy, is also set to open in District 15 — first in a temporary location before moving to its permanent home in 2026. 

Three schools will open in the overcrowded District 20 in southern Brooklyn: P.S. 331 The School of Technology and Entrepreneurship, P.S. 413 The Joanne Seminara School of Law & Medicine, and M.S. 407 School of Technology, Arts, and Research. 

rendering of bay ridge public school
A rendering of P.S. 413 The Joanne Seminara School School of Law & Medicine. Image courtesy of the School Construction Authority

“Since day one, I’ve made it my mission to help build as many new public schools as I could so that every child will have the same access to opportunity that I had growing up,” said local Council Member Justin Brannan, in a statement. “District 20 is one of the best school districts in the city and therefore it is also one of the most overcrowded so building new schools is truly a win-win for generations to come.”

“We’ve been working to rebuild trust with our parents and our families, and we’ve heard from our parents and our families — and our students — about the kinds of schools they want to have and they want to experience,” Banks said. 

The city had previously promised to open accelerated high schools in “underserved” communities, the commish said, starting with Bard High School Early College in the Bronx last year.

In September, Bard will expand to Brooklyn. The school, affiliated with Bard College, allows students to take free college classes alongside their typical course load during their last two years of school — so they graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. 

Bard is not a specialized high school, but is screened and competitive. Shawn Rux, senior executive director of the Office of New School Development and Design, said 80% of Bard’s seats in East New York will be reserved for local students. 

shawn rux schools announcement
Shawn Rux said the city is responding to the needs and desires of local students and parents. Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Education

“[That] is directly responsive to what we’re hearing from the people,” Rux said. “They said they wanted an accelerated school that was close to their homes, and we’re providing them with just that.”

Several schools will also offer dual-language programs in response to community demand — M.S. 428 in Sunset Park will offer both Chinese and Spanish dual-language programs. 

In a statement, Council Member Alexa Avilés said she was excited that Sunset Park would receive a middle school prepared “to provide a culturally competent education with Spanish and Chinese programming to meet our students where they are.”

P.S. 413 will offer a dual-language Arabic program, said future principal Saher Said. The program is being offered in response to the growing Arabic-speaking population in the nabe, Said explained, but will also be open to English speakers who want to learn Arabic. 

p.s. 413 principal
The future principal of P.S. 413, Saher Said. Photo by Kirstyn Brendlen

“Students graduating from our school learning a foreign language will be on track to earn the Seal of Biliteracy as high school graduates, which is amazing in giving them different careers and opportunities,” he said. 

True to its name, P.S. 413 will focus on medicine and law — on a level simple enough for its young students. The city’s Civics for All initiative will be incorporated into the core curriculum, as will topics like healthy eating and managing emotions. 

P.S. 482, the first public Montessori school in New York City, is set to offer one of the most distinct curriculums in New York City. Headed by principal Carol Mongiello, the pre-K through fifth grade school will balance the usual standards of learning with Montessori principles.

“This is a model that’s really child-centered,” Mongiello explained. 

Montessori emphasizes self-directed learning and hands-on experiences, she said. The classrooms are quiet and uncluttered, but filled with tools and materials that allow children to explore writing, reading and math – with an emphasis on nature.

montessori tools
P.S. 482 will use Montessori methods and tools. Photo by Kirstyn Brendlen

“Our students are going to be expected to follow standards, and are going to be measured across standards, just like every other child in New York City,” she said. “The difference is that we are looking at children individually versus at their grade.”

Rux said the superintendents of each district will work closely with families and parents to ensure the new schools are meeting their needs. 

The new schools announced Thursday are just a fraction of what’s planned for the year. A total of 24 new school buildings will open across the city in 2024, said Nina Kubota, president and CEO of the School Construction Authority, with 11,000 new seats. 

“These schools will help us build bright starts and bold futures for all the children of New York City,” Banks said.