Mission Statement

Brooklyn Free School’s mission is education for social justice. Always advocating for young people’s voices to be heard, BFS engages students and staff in democratic decision-making and problem solving. We honor student choice and facilitate student-centered learning through play and exploration, constructivist teaching, collaborative course work and self-directed student initiatives. We support social and emotional development through conflict mediation, personal reflection, diversity awareness and community responsibility. BFS works in the service of students and their families, partners with progressive educators, and embraces our larger community.

Guiding Principles


Teaching and Learning

We know that students learn what is relevant to their lives and benefit from rich experiences. Our teachers prepare students to engage powerfully with the world. We know that collaboration is key to strong teaching, and consider the growth of every student to be the shared responsibility of all.


Young People

We believe all young people are capable. We fight for youth to have the right to voice their beliefs and to be heard. We know students become strong learners, and more empathic and understanding people, when they are seen and respected.



We believe that contradicting oppression is necessary for democracy to be possible. We are committed to anti-racist and anti-oppressive stances in our daily work, and utilize democratic decision-making processes to amplify young people’s voices and ideas. We remember that struggle yields necessary change.



We believe people of all ages learn and develop important relationships, flexibility, and understanding through imaginative play, games, and exploring the natural world every day.



We believe that building connections across ages, with families, and with a wider community is vital to life at school. We create space for youth to share who they are every day, and for everyone to do things that bring them joy.



Underlying all that we do, we know that love is a vital teacher.