BSPC was created on June 6, 2015 at our first official gathering. What began as playground conversations about school options became a grassroots group of families collectively researching why nearly half of local kids opt out of District 16 non-charter public schools. 

At the time, the district lacked many of the education options available in other areas. There were no gifted & talented classrooms, no dual language programs, and no magnet schools. All of our elementary schools were under enrolled far below capacity, because many parents looked to charters and public and private schools outside the district to educate their kids. 

We also read the 2014 report “Raising the Stakes” produced by the Brooklyn Movement Center in partnership with the Black Male Donor Collaborative and the Brooklyn Community Foundation, which analyzed the data and history of the school district and made very specific calls to action. One of the many recommendations the report made was for parents to get informed and involved:

"Contract with a local organizing body that can train and organize parents throughout the district in ways that will help them know and assert their rights and insights as parents, understand what is happening inside the school and classroom, and navigate and take full advantage of ASOST (after-school and out-of-school time) programs."

We set out to learn as much as possible about our schools and the structure of the Department of Education (DOE). We toured as many schools as we could make contact with, attended Community Education Council (CEC) meetings, spoke with District leadership, and investigated the various historic models of parent-led school reforms. By January 2016, all of our research led us to collectively decided to promote and support all District 16 schools. We establish an initial set of goals as a way to begin.

Our Beginning Goals

BSPC aims to reverse District 16’s most pressing problem, a steady decline in enrollment, by encouraging parents to consider neighborhood schools first. We facilitate parental engagement through tours, open houses and volunteer opportunities in the schools.

BSPC works to support schools in expanding enrichment opportunities and ensure that afterschool programs also serve pre-K students.

BSPC provides resources and information to parents to help them navigate the system, advocate for their interests and engage with District 16 schools.

BSPC forms alliances with other community stakeholders and city-wide organizations.

Initial Feedback

Here are the results of a 2015 survey of our members and a look at what people said in their long-form answers. And here is a little bit of our story written by our Founding Executive Director, Shaila Dewan.