A Vibrant, Intellectual Community: The Berkeley Carroll School

Berkeley Carroll, at its core, is a vibrant intellectual community.

This Pre-K–12th grade school creates an environment where students can cultivate a passion for learning through challenging, interdisciplinary coursework and a dynamic civic life. By graduation, students are prepared for a life of critical, ethical and global thinking, in college and beyond.

Students at Berkeley Carroll understand that the world around them does not fit neatly into boxes — they are constantly pushed to explore connections between subject matter and discover how these relationships fuel innovation. The school’s innovative academic programs, in fact, led to a designation as a School of the Future by the National Association of Independent Schools in 2012 — one of only six schools in the country to receive this honor. “Our faculty creates forums where students find their voices through open and respectful discussion,” Head of School Bob Vitalo said. “One of our goals is that our school should look like New York City and reflect its rich diversity.”

This commitment to open-ended thinking extends far beyond the classroom.

Berkeley Carroll celebrates the diversity of thought, perspectives and background. They also recognize that accessibility to their campus helps ensure the diversity of their community and that convenience is important to their families, who come from all five boroughs of NYC as well as Long Island and New Jersey. Therefore, they offer free bus service to all students who are eligible.

Students and parents consistently list a sense of community as the aspect they value most about the school. The school’s community includes LGBTQ students, faculty, and parents as well as families of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, family types, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Berkeley Carroll supports all students, including those who are gender-nonconforming or gender variant through many aspects of their programming and curriculum. Spectrum, a student-run organization in their Upper School, is “a safe space for students of all genders and sexualities.” In January, the group brought Everyone is Gay co-founders Danielle Owens and Kristin Russo to discuss their work within the LGBTQ community with the entire Upper School.

As another example, all divisions of the school participated in this year’s National Day of Silence, including a fourth grade class which staged a silent march around their Brooklyn neighborhood to support the day’s mission. “Faculty see each student as an individual, respecting each for who she or he is,” Director of Community and Inclusion Brandie Melendez said. “They encourage students to develop a clear sense of identity, justice and appreciation for cultures different than their own, as well as an understanding of how they can have a positive influence within and outside of our school community.”

Berkeley Carroll is a Pre-K – 12th Grade school in Brooklyn. For more information, visit their website.

Last modified: May 15, 2018