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District 17

District 17 is located in Central Brooklyn and encompasses the neighborhoods of Prospect Heights, East Flatbush and Crown Heights. The district is home to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library and Medgar Evers College, which offers college classes to some nearby high schools. Much of the neighborhood is divided among new immigrants, African Americans, and Orthodox Jews who generally send their children to private yeshivas. 

District 17 has some low-performing schools, although there are several bright spots. Some schools struggle with declining enrollment, partly as a result of competition from the many charter schools that have opened in the district.

Some noteworthy schools include PS 189, a successful dual language k–8 school in Crown Heights where students speak Haitian Creole and Spanish and PS 249, a popular neighborhood elementary school with strong academics, leadership and a dual language program. PS 705 has a dual language program and offers arts and music classes for all students. PS/MS 394 is an unzoned k–8 school with a selective middle school that accepts students from across the district.

IS 340 North Star Academy is a selective middle school that offers accelerated science instruction and a small, close-knit community in Prospect Heights. MS 61 is a large, well-regarded middle school in Crown Heights with a gifted and talented program.

District 17 is home to the highly acclaimed Pathways In Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH, where students may earn two years of college credit in addition to a high school diploma. Medgar Evers College Preparatory School offers an accelerated curriculum, AP Mandarin Chinese, and topnotch math and science. The High School for Public Service: Heroes of Tomorrow is another popular high school option, with high graduation rates and a focus on community service. Science, Technology and Research Early College High School at Erasmus is a high-performing 6–12 school on the historic Erasmus Hall high school campus in Flatbush.

The district has several charter schools, most of which belong to established networks like the Achievement First, Success Academy, and Explore networks. Charters in the district include Achievement First Crown Heights Charter School, Explore Charter School, Explore Empower Charter School, Explore Exceed Charter School, Success Academy Prospect Heights Charter School, Success Academy Crown Heights Charter School, KIPP Amp Charter School, and Citizens of the World Charter School 2. There is also one “mom-and-pop” elementary charter school that is not part of an established network, the Lefferts Garden Charter School, which is focused on environmental science. 

District contacts

The superintendent appoints principals, evaluates schools and approves budgets:

Elementary and middle school superintendent: Clarence Ellis, (718) 221-4372

High school superintendent: Michael Prayor, (718) 290-8675

For individual parent concerns, contact:

Elementary and middle school family support coordinator: Delmira Henry, (718) 221-4372

High school family support coordinator: Melissa Thomas, (718) 290-8675

For help with PTAs or district-wide events, contact:

Elementary and middle school family leadership coordinator: Margot Sargeat, (718) 221-4372

High school family leadership coordinator: Mark Moses, (718) 290-8675

The elected members of the Community Education Council (CEC) approve school zoning lines and advise on education policy:

District 17 office
1224 Park Place
Brooklyn, NY 11213 - Map
Special Education

Most questions about special education can be answered by your child's teacher or principal. If you are new to New York City or your child attends private or parochial school, contact the nearest Committee on Special Education for an evaluation.

Committee on Special Education
Arlene Rosenstock
5619 Flatlands Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11234 - Map

Phone: (718) 968-6200

To enroll your child, go to the school or the nearest enrollment office.

Family Welcome Center
1780 Ocean Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11230 - Map

Phone: (718) 758-7687

This office handles both general education and special education enrollment

If these offices can not answer your questions, see DOE contacts

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