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FAQ

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Brooklyn Historical Society’s Education Department conduct programs at our main location in Brooklyn Heights, our second location in DUMBO, at BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on the Brooklyn Bridge, and at your school.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions. Please email [email protected] with further questions or concerns about our programs.

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Bring Your Class — School Visits

How do I book a tour or class visit?

Visit the Bring Your Class page for more information and to book tours at BHS DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Bridge, and our main location on Pierrepont Street. We have a live calendar of availability, and you can complete your tour booking online. For tours that have a fee, you will be asked to pay by credit card at the time of reservation. You can book multiple tours at once.

If you have any difficulty making a reservation online or don’t see the program you’re looking for, please email [email protected] for availability.

If you elect to pay by cash or check, you will be asked to pay on or before the date of your tour program. If you are paying by check, write the booking number of every tour you’re paying for on the check. If you are paying by cash, please save your receipt.

Please add [email protected] to your address book or check your spam/junk folder for your confirmation email after you’ve booked.

If you cannot or do not want to book online, please write to [email protected] to schedule a time to talk.

How do I reschedule my tour or visit?

Please email [email protected] at least three weeks before the scheduled date of your tour. We do not accept rescheduling requests by any other means. If you do not hear back within three to four business days, please resend the request.

How do I cancel my tour or visit?

Please email [email protected] at least three weeks before the scheduled date of your tour. We do not accept rescheduling requests by any other means. If you do not hear back within three to four business days, please resend the request.

How much do school programs cost?

School programs at BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard are always free for NYC public school groups. They are $175 for independent, private, parochial, and non-NYC public school groups.

At Brooklyn Historical Society, we are pleased to offer 30 free school programs to NYC public school Title 1 classrooms. We can offer one free school tour per class. For independent, private, parochial, and non-NYC public schools, and for all NYC public schools after the first 30, the fee is $175 per program.

The two-part Brooklyn Bridge Case Study*, consisting of a 90-minute in-class workshop and a two-hour walking tour on the Brooklyn Bridge, is $350. You can book the 90-minute in-class workshop alone for $175.

*We have financial assistance available for this program. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to book.

Self-guided programs at BHS DUMBO require a $50 fee for all groups.

I can't afford a program. Is there financial aid available?

We do not wish to turn away any school group for lack of funds. If you are unable to pay the fee, please email [email protected] with the details of your request and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

How many classes or groups can I bring in one day?

At BHS DUMBO, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is one, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Thursdays and Fridays beginning in October, 2019 and ending June, 2020.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is two (starting at 10:30 am and 11:30 am) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. For our new program, All Aboard!, the maximum capacity on a single day is one, starting at 11:00 am, on Tuesdays.

At BHS Pierrepont, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is two (starting at 10:30 am and 11:45 am).

All scheduling is dependent upon availability. We strongly recommend booking your trip early.

How many students can I bring on a school program?

We can accommodate up to thirty-five students per program. If you would like to bring more than thirty-five students, we ask that you book multiple programs and break students up into groups of thirty-five or fewer.

How many chaperones/adults should I have?

All school groups must have at least two adults with them, no matter their size.

If you have lots of chaperones, that’s OK too — please prepare them to stand in the back of the group at times to support the student experience.

What should I do to prepare my students for the school program?

If you would like to prepare students for their tour, you can check out our free curriculum resources, which support our tour themes.

Our school programs are designed to be responsive to your classroom work. Before your program begins, your program educator should check in with you about how the visit connects with what your students are studying in their classroom. You may also leave us notes when you make your reservation with how you’ve prepared (or plan to follow up) from your visit, and we’ll do our best to make the appropriate connections during the program.

If you have specific questions, please detail them in an e-mail to [email protected].

Do you have pre and post-visit activities?

Our Teaching Resources page includes high-quality curriculum resources that connect thematically to many of our school programs.

What will I see on my school program?

In every BHS or BNY program, students have a chance to observe and analyze primary sources—such as photographs, paintings, art, maps, documents or objects—related to the tour themes. We rely on group discussion and visual/object inquiry to make history tangible, relevant, and meaningful to students.

For more information on your specific tour, visit the Bring Your Class page.

Is there a place to eat lunch?

Yes, but it is not guaranteed at any of our sites due to circumstances beyond our control. Please e-mail [email protected] ahead of time if your group absolutely requires a space to eat.

At BHS DUMBO, there is no space in the museum for students to eat lunch. On the first floor of the Empire Stores (BHS DUMBO is on the second floor), there is a “public” space with tables, but there is no guarantee that there will be enough space for students to gather for lunch. On a nice day, students can eat outside in Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are picnic tables in front of Empire Stores by Jane’s Carousel.

At BNY, if it is available, your class is welcome to eat in our classroom space of BLDG 92 after their 10:30 am tour or before their 11:30 am tour. There are picnic tables in the forecourt of BLDG 92, if you would like to eat outside.

At BHS Pierrepont, there is no lunch space available. There is a small courtyard in front of BHS where groups can sit on the walls or ground. A few blocks away from BHS, at the end of Pierrepont Street, is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with benches and great views of the New York City Harbor, Brooklyn Bridge, and lower Manhattan. We are also a block from the park at Borough Hall.

Is there a place to store bags, personal belongings, and/or food?

Yes. At all of our sites we have safe, non-refrigerated storage spaces to hold your belongings during your tour. The educator will show where to store your belongings upon your arrival.

How do I get to my trip site?

Check your confirmation email from [email protected] to verify at which site your tour will take place.

Directions to BHS DUMBO in Empire Stores at 55 Water Street (Brooklyn, NY 11201) can be found here.

Directions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 at 92 Flushing Avenue (Brooklyn, NY 11205) in Fort Greene can be found here.

Directions to Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street (Brooklyn, NY 11201) in Brooklyn Heights, can be found here.

Is there bus parking?

Brooklyn Historical Society on Pierrepont Street and BHS DUMBO do not have space for bus parking. Please exchange phone numbers with your bus driver.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard does have space for bus parking. Direct drivers to enter through the Clinton Avenue gate, located at the intersection of Flushing  and Clinton Avenues (Brooklyn, NY, 11205). Drivers will be directed to the place where they can park by Navy Yard security. Please exchange phone numbers with your bus driver.

In the event of inclement weather, what should I do?

In the case of inclement weather, the BHS Education Department will reach out to school groups to reconfirm attendance during the week of the scheduled program(s). The following accommodations may be made for groups that are unable to travel to BHS or BNY. (Please note that availability for rescheduled visits is not guaranteed.)

If the Office of Pupil Transportation cancels buses for field trips, if your principal cancels field trips, or if schools are closed, you may email within one week of your cancelled visit to reschedule. If you do not want to or are unable to reschedule, any payments you made will be refunded.

If buses are still available from the Office of Pupil Transportation but you have decided to cancel, you may email us within one week to reschedule. Any payments you made will not be refunded.

I don't see the program that I want to attend listed. Can I schedule a custom program?

We consider requests for custom tours on a case-by-case basis. We do our best to accommodate these requests and to tailor primary sources and teaching strategies for each group, depending on locality and age/ability level.

Please email us at [email protected] if you have questions about modifying a particular program for students with learning differences or who primarily speak languages other than English.

If you would like more specific resources on a given topic, TeachArchives.org provides lesson plans on primary sources that may be appropriate with adaptation for middle school and up. For all ages, check out our free digital curricula.

For self-guided groups, please see our Group Visits policies for more information. Please call us at 718-222-4111 ext. 241 to discuss special logistics.

If you’re interested in partnering with Brooklyn Historical Society for a custom experience, please email [email protected] with the details of your request. We’d like to work with you!

Can I take a self-guided tour with my group?

Yes, but only during public hours at Brooklyn Historical Society and/or BHS DUMBO. Please see our Group Visit policies for more information. Please email [email protected] with any questions. We’re happy to help you plan a successful visit.

Since there is limited gallery space at BHS and BNY, self-guided tours are not scheduled during guided tours hours.

Can I bring my preschool group?

Please email [email protected] with requests for this age group.

Can you send educators out to my school?

Yes! We lead a Brooklyn Bridge case study called The Brooklyn Bridge from Classroom to Caisson: A Walk Back in Time. It consists of one 90-minute in-class visit to your school by a BHS educator and one, 2-hour guided visit to the Brooklyn Bridge starting at BHS DUMBO.

We also lead professional learning workshops in schools utilizing our array of digitized primary sources. Please email [email protected] to learn more.

After-School Programs

Do you have after-school programs?

Yes! We offer multiple afterschool programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. To learn more about these programs, please visit our After School page.

Do you have guided tours during the summer?

We do not currently offer guided tours for school-age groups at Brooklyn Historical Society or BHS DUMBO during the summer. We are happy to help arrange self-guided visits during the museum’s public hours. Please view our Group Visits policies and email [email protected] to arrange a self-guided summer visit for groups of any age range.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we offer a free workshop for local summer camps near the Brooklyn Navy Yard during July and early August. These Summer STEAM workshops are a variation of our “Seeing Green: Adaptive Reuse and Bee Hotels” and “Ingenious Innovations” school tour programs.

Please contact us at [email protected] as early as April 2020 to request a space for your local camp group for Summer 2020 programs. (Only the following zip codes, please: 11201, 11205, 11206, 11211, 11213, 11216, 11217, 11221, 11231, 11238, and 11249.)

Teacher Workshops

Do you offer teacher trainings/workshops?

Yes! You can find more information about these on our Teacher Workshops page. We offer annual workshops on Election Day and Chancellor’s Day. Brooklyn Historical Society is an approved provider of NYS CTLE credits.