Brooklyn schools receive top honors for work to expand AP Courses citywide

Equal Opportunity Schools’ Equity Award winning school representatives, during the ceremony on June 5.
Photo by Brennan Labrie

On June 5, the Brooklyn School for Social Justice (BSSJ) and Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory School (CHCPS) were chosen as the winners at Equity Champions Awards, organized by the nonprofit Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS).

They were recognized for their exemplary dedication and efforts of school leaders who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion within their educational institutions. BSSJ is located at 400 Irving Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11237. CHCPS is located at 999 Jamaica Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11208.

This was a part of a shared initiative with EOS and AP for All, which brings new AP courses to schools that offer few or no AP courses. Those schools then receive rigorous training for new and continuing AP teachers.

“At EOS, we measure student’s readiness for advanced placement courses through seven different learning mindsets,” explained Yolanda Burnette, PhD, Senior Program Director, NYC. “Grit, focus, community leadership, growth mindset, academic identity, belonging, and purpose for learning. These mindsets are reflected on each Student Insight Card,” she explains.

The mission of BSSJ is to “create a community of young leaders demanding the best from themselves today and working together for a more just tomorrow,” according to the school’s website.

With their social justice curriculum, BSSJ partners with Make the Road New York, an organization committed to building the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice.

MRNY facilitates foundational courses on social justice and leadership development, beginning in student’s freshman year. This serves to support and empower youth to lead the fight for change  and give them the tools to shape their future and that of their communities.

BSSJ gives its students the opportunity to take a variety of AP courses there through the University in High School program at the University of Albany (UA). These courses are in subjects such as art/art history, anthropology, environmental sciences, biological sciences, chemistry and communication.

At CHCPS, “student voice, rigorous instruction, and collaboration with all stakeholders creates a safe, nurturing environment that fosters scholars’ civic and academic excellence,” the school’s website states.

There are seven AP classes offered: AP Modern World, AP Human Geography, AP Spanish Language, AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, AP United States History.

CHCPS is also one of 67 schools in NYC that offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program, which “aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” the school’s website states.

These IB programs also encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

At CHCPS, there are nine of these courses offered, including: IB Film, IB Spanish, IB History of the Americas, IB Mathematical Concepts, IB English Language and IB Chemistry.

To stay updated on the work of EOS, those who are interested can find more information here: Those interested in supporting EOS can also donate here: