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Reaching for success, one step at a time!

STAIRS ACADEMY is a proposal to create a safe, nurturing, innovative school in partnership with families & communities, where all can learn and pursue their highest potential.


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A supportive, compassionate, inclusive, school that is responsive to students’ social and emotional needs.
Writing across the curriculum strengthens written communication and develops deeper understanding in every content area. Writing is an important life skill, being the basis for most assessments and is vital for success in almost every profession.
STEM/STEAM, blended learning and state of the art technology, enhance delivery, motivation and engagement in every content area.
Arts education greatly engages students, provides exposure to Arts careers and supports emotional and mental health, providing creative outlets, student voice and development of positive self-image.
Increased physical education, movement, meditation and a sensible diet, all improve health, mood & brain function.


We are actively soliciting comments on our educational program, so that public input can inform our school proposal. Members of the public can take the STAIRS SURVEY, send us an email at info@stairscharter.org or give comments in person at one of our events.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in Kindergarten of 1st Grade when the school opens, please submit an ADMISSIONS INQUIRY and we will put you on the waitlist.
  • Take a quick survey (10 questions)

    Let us know what you think of our school design, give us your input, questions or concerns and what educational practices are most important to your family. TAKE SURVEY

  • Want to enroll your child at Stairs Academy?

    Want to enroll your child at Stairs Academy Charter School for Kindergarten or 1st Grade, in the 2020 school year or later? FILL OUT THIS FORM



  • Will be unpacked by teaching staff using Karin Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix
  • Will be enhanced by arts immersion, technology, blended learning and other educational innovations
    • Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)
    • Blended Learning / Flipped Classrooms (Eric Mazur)
    • Mastery Learning (Benjamin Bloom and Fred S. Keller)
    • Responsive Classroom – responsive to students’ social emotional needs (NEFC) (CRS)
    • Restorative Circles – an approach that seeks to heal, rather than punish (Center for Restorative Justice)
    • Universal Design Learning (Dr. David H. Ross)
    • Backwards Design (Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins)
    • Learning By Design (Klantzis and Cope)
    • Constructivism, Project Based and Experiential Learning (Kolb, Dewey, Piaget)
    • Differentiated Instruction & Assessment(Carol Ann Tomlinson)
    • Writing Across the Curriculum – Writing taught within each discipline (Thaiss and Porter)


  • Physical Education
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Walking trips to local parks and community resources
  • Exercise breaks to avoid sustained periods of sitting
  • Games, dance and other physical activities built into lessons throughout the day


  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Subject area nonfiction
  • Real world & online resources
  • Morning Family Read – (Multilingual)
  • Book Club
  • Brooklyn Public Library visits
  • Audio-visual technology to support multiple learning styles


  • Will be aligned to Standards for Learning
  • Will be unpacked by teaching staff using Karin Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix
  • Will be enhanced by arts immersion, technology, blended learning and other educational innovations


  • Every student has an advocate to help them navigate the learning process
  • Advisors “check in” with students every morning and afternoon
  • Advisors help students develop social & organizational skills crucial to success
  • Advisor is communication bridge between the school and families


  • Responsive Classroom  Revolves around four Key Domains: Engaging Academics, Positive Community, Effective Management and Developmental Awareness
  • Restorative Practices – Centers around positive relationships for community building and restoring relationships when harm has occurred. Students are co-creators of classroom expectations / take ownership of their education
  • Variances of Difference – Involves understanding, respecting and planning for multiple intelligences, strengths and deficiencies, while avoiding negative labels and attitudes
  • Collaboration – Administrators collaborate to effect strong leadership and direction; staff members collaborate with each other and families; students collaborate with each other to make learning social

ACE Club

  • Financial Literacy
  • Clothing Design / Sewing / Re-styling
  • Food Growing / Composting
  • Cooking / Nutrition / Meal Preparation
  • Coding, STEM / STEAM
  • Entrepreneurism / Business Studies
  • Cultural Studies


  • Social learning activities that continue the learning over the weekend, involving students and families, promoting community involvement, in parks, libraries, local businesses, organizations and other community resources.


  • Academic Support combined with exciting extension and enrichment activities, for all students, to promote growth, prevent rollback, bridge the classroom with the real-world and provide extended learning throughout the summer.


  • Computer Science
  • Coding & Robotics
  • Digital Media Arts:
    • Music & Tech
    • Graphic Design
    • Digital Photography
    • Video Editing
    • Digital Animation


  • Arts Immersion: Arts teachers collaborate with academic teachers to create connections and engage all learners.
  • Arts instruction
  • Music: Vocal, Instrumental, Digital
  • Visual Arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Digital Media Arts: Music & Tech, Digital Photography, Animation, Video, Graphic Design

All of the above make STAIRS ACADEMY a place that educators and students love to attend each day. When students enjoy school, engagement is strong. Meaningful learning experiences result in increased outcomes.


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Advisors: Students have a mentor and an advocate, helping them develop social & organizational skills crucial to their success. Advisors are first responders to students’ social-emotional needs, ensuring every student is seen and heard and is well known by a staff member.
Morning meeting: Morning Meeting is a 10 minute gathering of students with their Advisor each morning, to prepare for the upcoming day, hear important announcements and share inspirational messages.
Afternoon Check Out: Students meet with their advisors for a “Check Out”, before heading to A.C.E Club (3:00 – 6:00pm). Advisors double check back packs, HW folders and find out how their advisees’ day went.
Student Voice: Student voice is ostered in the classroom and developed through Student Committees, Student Government, Advisory Conversations, Town Hall Meetings, School Dances, Concerts, Plays and other performing arts.
Book Club: Informal group discussions of favorite books and authors, that take place throughout the year amongst students, parents and staff,.strengthen the love of reading.
Academic Support: Small group instruction, small class size, out of classroom services and our A.C.E Club extended day program, provide students with academic support, so that every child can reach their full potential.
Recognition & Celebration: Weekly Celebrations of scholarly habits and character traits outside of traditional academics, ensure that all students have the opportunity to shine and be recognized in a variety of ways.
Fun Extended-Day Clubs: Our A.C.E Club has sports, chess, the arts, robotics/coding, life skills like cooking, sewing, and bicycle repair. Extremely engaging, kids have fun discovering their talents and strengths.
Access: Regular access to School Building Leaders
Info: Learning Management System with detailed information on your child’s progress and developmen
Communication: Teachers who communicate and are responsive to parents’ needs.
Parent Leadership: Be involved in school-wide planning; programs, lunch menus, trips and more
PTA: Parent Teacher Association that works in collaboration with staff to support the entire school community.
Useful & Fun Workshops for Families: Financial Literacy, Health & Nutrition, Sewing, How to promote Literacy in the home and more.
Collaborative Team Teaching: In all classrooms the Arts, Technology, Physical Education teachers and Student Support Specialists will push in and co-teach, adding art, music, creative movement, technology seamlessly into the curriculum, providing social emotional supports for students, while creating an optimal teacher-student ratio
Common Priorities: Teaching staff will have common preps, adequate time for planning, individually and in teams, so that instruction is collaborative, efficient and meaningful.
Professional Learning Community: Flexible, individualized PD opportunities,
Professional Dialogue between administrators and staff.
Principal’s Classes: School Building Leaders keep one foot in the classroom, teaching classes, building bonds with students and providing modeling for staff.
Collegial Environment: Staff members respected as professionals and given opportunities for shared leadership.
Career Advancement: Opportunity to develop skills, training and experience that can lead to promotion.
Opportunity to grow with the school: Be part of the founding team! Work with an amazing group of education professionals, dedicated to creating the most innovative and engaging school possible!
Roundtable Exhibitions: Authentic Reflection, Feedback, Assessment and Achievement Goals
Art Expos and Performances: Theater, Poetry, Music and Dance
Partnerships: Promote local professional venues, organizations cafes and galleries
Community Service: Conducted by students, families and staff
Events: Seasonal festivals, sporting events and outdoor arts exhibitions

Demographics & Educational Need in District 15, Brooklyn

0 New school seats requested for District 15 by 2021, by Community Board 7 (Only 323 new seats have been proposed by the SCA)
0 Estimated # of Charter Applicants in District 15 (2017-2018)
0 # of Charter Seats in District 15 (2017-2018)
0% English Language Learners in Sunset Park (16% in District 15)
0% Sunset Park Residents Over 24, With Less than HS Education
$0 Median Household Income in NYC
$0 Median Household Income in Sunset Park ($25,934 in Red Hook; lowest in the Red Hook NYCHA houses)
https://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/NY/Brooklyn/Sunset-Park-Demographics.html - http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Red-Hook-Brooklyn-NY.html
0% Avg # of Students who Qualify for Free Lunch in Sunset Park (82% in Red Hook)
0% Students with Special Needs in Sunset Park Public Elementary Schools
0% Students With Special Needs in Red Hook

Stairs Academy will provide a unique, quality education program for students in District 15, focusing on underserved families with the greatest educational need, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, home language, or disability. We are looking for suitable locations in Sunset Park and Red Hook. If you have a lead on a building that would make a great location for our school, please contact us right away at academystairs@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the approximate date that the school would commence instruction?

September 2019

2. What is the intended location?

We intend to locate in Sunset Park or Red Hook, in Community School District 15, Brooklyn, NY, to serve those areas with the greatest educational need and economic disadvantage.

3. What is the target population?

Community School District 15 consists of 16.3% Asian, 14.2% Black, 37% Latino, and 29.3% White residents and currently 18.3% of students have disabilities, 16.3% are English language learners and 63% live below the poverty line. 82 – 86% of students in Red Hook and Sunset Park qualify for free and reduced school lunch. 17-18% have special needs. With large Spanish and Chinese speaking populations, 15 – 31% are English Language Learners. There is a shortage of school seats in the district. Many families are on waitlists and there is severe overcrowding in Sunset Park. Residents deserve access to a quality education in their neighborhood.

We aim to serve students of all backgrounds, including students with disabilities, those whose primary language is not English, and families with economic disadvantage, while creating the diversity required to develop global competencies, address social injustice and create the leaders of tomorrow.

4. What are the proposed grades and enrollment?

There will be two classes per grade level, K – 5. In Year 1 we will enroll 30 Kindergarten and 40 1st Grade students. We estimate to have approximately 230 students by year 5. After our 5th year we plan to expand, adding another 6 classes, to approximately 345 students.

5. What is the Mission?

The mission is to create a safe, nurturing, innovative, challenging and fun learning environment — in collaboration with families and communities – where all can learn and pursue their highest academic and social potential.

6. What are some elements of the academic program?

Our school design centers around 5 Key Elements: Culture, Literacy, Technology, Arts & Health. Our culture reflects that students learn in different ways, in cooperative groups. Everyone’s voice is respected in a safe, inclusive environment. We employ literacy strategies, technology and arts immersion, sensible food options and plenty of movement throughout the day.

7. How will the school attend to the Social Emotional development of the students?

We respond to our students’ social emotional needs by providing services, support staff and educational technology for students with special needs and English language learners. Our advisory program, morning meetings, afternoon check-ins, extended-day program, developmental evaluations and innovative teaching practices support all students in a diverse learning environment.

8. How will the school support the needs of the community?

September 2019We serve the community by developing students who are agents of change, who learn through the exercise of compassion and self-reflection. Students, families and staff engage in frequent community service projects. Our extended-day ACE Club, Weekend ACE-ers and Summer Ace Academy offer academic supports and exciting electives, involving families in activities in local parks and neighborhood organizations, bringing together our school culture, neighborhood pride and the vast resources of our borough and city.

9. What are charter schools?

Charter schools are free public schools open to all New York City children.

10. What makes charter schools different from traditional district schools?

Charter schools are independent from NYC DOE. They are free to develop their own academic program, set educational goals, offer a longer school day and school year, and establish their own standards for student behavior. The combination of freedom and accountability for success allows charter schools to try new approaches, and offer parents an opportunity to choose a school that best suits their child’s needs.

11. Do charter schools have selective admissions?

No. Charter schools are free and open to all children, regardless of their academic skills or needs. They must take children on a first-come, first-served basis. However when more children apply than there are seats available, charter schools hold random admissions lotteries.

12. Do charter schools have to take students who are English Language Learners?

Yes. Parents should speak directly to school leaders to get a better understanding of the instructional strategies their schools use to support the academic growth of English Language Learners.

13. Do charter schools have to admit students who are receiving special education services?

Yes, charter schools work to meet the goals and objectives outlined in students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP). However, just as with district schools, not every charter school provides an appropriate placement for every child. A majority of charter schools have appropriate placements and programs for children with less restrictive environments written into their special education program, while some offer a wider array of placements and services.

14. Does STAIRS ACADEMY Charter School have any religious affiliations?


15. Are charter schools successful?

NYC charter schools significantly outperform their district counterparts in Math annually, and continued this trend for both ELA and Math during 2015-16 testing. African-American and Hispanic charter students also continue to outperform their district peers. In math, African-American charter students are more than twice as likely to be proficient than their district peers, and Hispanic students are nearly twice as likely to be proficient.

In Central Brooklyn, Harlem, and the South Bronx, where many charter schools are concentrated, and continue to grow, charter performance far exceeds that of the district. In the South Bronx alone, 14 of the top 20 schools in math proficiency were charters.

16. What types of students attend charter schools?

The approximately 106,600 students who attend New York City’s charter schools come from all backgrounds and ethnicities, and include a higher percentage of Hispanic or African American students than traditional New York City district schools. In the 2016-17 school year, there are more than 90% Hispanic or African American students in New York City’s charter schools. This is in part because charter schools are mostly located in areas in which a large number of Latino and African American students live.

Charter schools provide educational opportunities for families at all income levels; nearly 80% of NYC charter school students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

Questions, Input & Feedback

PLEASE SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO info@StairsAcademy.org.