Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School

8-21 BAY 25 STREET
QUEENS NY 11691 Map
Phone: (718) 471-2154
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Principal: Carlston Gray
Neighborhood: Far Rockaway
District:27
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: TONIE ROBERTS
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Citywide

Buses: Q113, Q22

What's special:

A proactive and outspoken student congress.

The downside:

An influx of students from closing schools has had an impact on safety and order.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School follows the principles of its model, Harlem's rigorous and respected Frederick Douglass Academy: a no-nonsense approach to schooling that demands parent involvement, school uniforms and strict adherence to the rules. The day starts with a "scholar's creed" to build pride and underscore high expectations. Students wear black and white uniforms and male teachers wear ties. Students and parents sign contracts agreeing to 12 non-negotiable requirements, including the completion of homework and the maintenance of clean desks. However, these principles have been tested due to an influx of students from closing high schools in the area, some of whom do not buy into the model.

Despite the emphasis on structure, teachers and administrators encourage students to speak up and be proactive about problems. "It's the students who make the school," said a senior, a member of student congress: "All my four years, I've been in congress. That's influenced me, to have a voice; to plan events and ceremonies and luncheons." Student congress has tackled more than luncheons: in 2010 they called the Daily News and picketed in front of the school to demand an English teacher after making do with rotating subs for the first three months. "They don't stop until they get a response," said Ms. Johnson, coordinator of student activities.

From the beginning, a goal at FDA has been to expose students to the world beyond the classroom walls. They take trips to Canada and Disney World. Every year a group travels to Washington D.C. to see the Frederick Douglass home, the National Blacks in Wax Museum and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Teachers have been known to anonymously donate money for deserving students who can't afford the cost.

Although students said they value the small school community, they worry that the school has become increasingly chaotic. An influx of students from Far Rockaway High School, which closed in 2011, and from Beach Channel High School, which is phasing out, has caused strains. Staff at the 2011 high school fair said parent involvement could be better and students said squabbles sometimes break out among students. "A lot of kids got pushed in," said one. According to the 2010-11 Learning Environment Survey, safety and order have slipped. "We have our challenges," said a guidance counselor.

FDA students must go through airport-like screening to enter the school, but the building's other features -- including sports facilities, a beautiful auditorium, and a grassy lawn decorated with flowers -- are incredible. Moreover, FDA's floor is a cozy area painted in an inviting yellow. Framed posters of the school's namesake, abolitionist Fredrick Douglass, hang on the walls along with photographs of the students. Students have access to a swimming pool, a weight-lifting room and two basketball gyms, one with an elevated indoor track. Outside, there are tennis courts, a football field and a track.

Afterschool homework help is available twice a week or at lunchtime during "lunch & learn." Tutoring in math and English take place Monday through Thursday until 4 p.m. Other activities include an annual fashion show, Latin dance, step, choir, band and keyboarding. The school has partnerships with Brooklyn College and the College of Staten Island for kids who want more challenge, as well as Advanced Placement classes in World History and English Literature and Composition.

College Admissions: CUNY schools are a popular choice for many students although some go out of state, from Florida to Alabama and beyond, said the parent coordinator.

Special education: A few students enrolled in general education classes also work with a learning specialist. There is a class with special and general education students mixed together with two teachers, one of whom is trained in special education.

Admissions: Priority to Queens residents. The administration reviews applicants' grades and test scores and requires an interview. The principal stresses, however, that the school does not "cherry pick" its students, and considers motivation, determination, and willingness to abide by FDA rules as important factors in deciding who is admitted. (Lydie Raschka, interviews at the high school fair, December 2011.)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Far Rockaway Educational Campus

Number of Students 412

Average Daily Attendance 78%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
60%

Hispanic

  
36%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
77%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

24 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

50% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

91% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

72% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

91% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

54% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

52% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

74% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

71% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

4% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

81% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

6% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

1%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

11%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

3%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

11% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

382
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

60%

SAT math scores

379
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

59% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

77% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

44% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

62% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

77% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Queens students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to Queens students or residents
  4. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School

Limited Unscreened

Advanced academic course studies

Academics

AP COURCES: English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition

Online: N/A

Language classes: French, Latin, Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: After-school Program, Book Club, Chess, Chorus, Debate Team, Homework Help, Honor Society, Journalism, Lunch & Learn, Magic, Modeling, PSAT and SAT Prep, Saturday Program, Select Instruments, Step Team, Student Government, Summer Institute, Video, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Cross Country, Football & JV Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, Boys and Girls Lacrosse Club

Source: High school directory

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