Edward R. Murrow High School

1600 AVENUE L
BROOKLYN NY 11230 Map
Phone: (718) 258-9283
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option/audition
Wheelchair accessible
unzoned
specialized arts
selective
Noteworthy
Principal: Allen Barge
Neighborhood: Midwood
District: 21
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: ROSALIND DE INNOCENTIIS

What's special:

Wide variety of courses, open periods to socialize

The downside:

Shared field and no PSAL sports

The InsideStats

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Our review

Edward R. Murrow High School has shifted from the free-spirited progressive institution it was founded as in 1974 to an environment of “structured freedom,” treating students as young adults but allowing fewer free periods for 9th and 10th graders and providing spaces and activities for students to organize their free time. A student center, opened in 2010, gives students a place to work, keeping many out of the halls. A fitness room offers student-led Zumba and yoga.

Most students use the time during open periods, called bands, to review, work on group projects, or catch up on gossip. Only seniors are allowed to linger in the hall. Principal Anthony Lodico joked with students socializing in the hallways, though he did not hesitate to ask for IDs or to request that they remove hats. “One of the biggest challenges is to keep all things that makes Murrow so special and unique with tightening things up to keep students from falling through the cracks,” explained Lodico.

[In 2012 Lodico became superintendent of a network of schools. Allen Barge, a history teacher at the school for 15 years, became acting principal in September 2012.]

The school still uses an alternative grading system of “excellent,” “good,” “satisfactory,” and “no credit” as opposed to traditional letter grades, and classes were rich with student discussion.  One lesson on the Apartheid in South Africa related it to the 2010 World Cup and student opportunities in NYC. The rich variety of courses offered include Virtual Enterprise, a student-led business that trades with other schools world-wide, and Advanced Placement—many students score 3’s on the exams.

Classes in Murrow's seven gyms range from martial arts to yoga, and a newly updated television production room hosts film and broadcasting classes. Environmental science classes and afterschool clubs make use of the school’s greenhouse, and the planetarium, one of only a few left in city high schools, is used by astronomy and Regents science classes.

In addition to the amazing resources for students, the teacher resource center stays full of teachers preparing for class and collaborating on their off-periods.

Murrow serves a wide variety of students from those with color-streaked hair to fashion-conscious trend-setters. Seniors may sign up to share a locker. Students get involved in summer internships and participate in Intel science programs, school newspaper and the several theatrical performances—theater students make costumes and stage sets in class. The 50-plus clubs and activities include drama, music, dance, National Honor Society and Intel Science, but there are no PSAL sports teams and the school’s field is used by Midwood High School.

Graduating students go on to CUNY and SUNY schools in addition to more selective universities and ivy leagues like Brown, Cornell, and Harvard.

Special education: Murrow offers special-needs children a rich, diverse learning environment. The school is wheelchair accessible and serves blind and hearing-impaired students. On-site physical and occupational therapy and adaptive physical education help meet the needs of physically challenged students. The school offers ELL/ESL classes and push-in classroom support for non-native English speakers in addition to bilingual Spanish and Chinese, though classes are in English with bilingual teachers to help ELLs.

Admissions:  Educational Option for the general communication arts program. Students who live in the school’s zone or score in the top 2 percent on standardized middle-school tests are guaranteed admission if they list Murrow first on the application. Top-scorers are automatically entered into the honors MStar program. Other highly selective programs are open to Brooklyn residents and require an audition or special application in November, including the Art Institute, Music Institute and the Studio Theater Program. (Aryn Bloodworth, May 2011)

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