Frederick Douglass Academy VII High School

Phone: (718) 485-3789
Website: Click here
Admissions: Brooklyn priority
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: Carol Ying
Neighborhood: Brownsville
District: 23
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: MICHELLE ARMSTRONG

What's special:

Small school based on successful FDA model

The downside:

Rough neighborhood

The InsideStats


Our review

Frederick Douglass Academy VII (FDA VII) is a small high school open to students from across Brooklyn. Modeled on the originaI Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, the school is dedicated to preparing children from poor neighborhoods for higher education.

Teachers say academic standards are high. Not everyone graduates on time, but those who do are likely to go to college, according to Department of Education statistics. The school has a full-time college counselor and students go on overnight-trips to visit colleges, according to the high school directory.

Housed in a former elementary school building, FDA VII shares space with Teachers Prep. The two schools also share sports teams.

Students wear a white shirt, tie, burgundy sweater, and black pants. Students who repeatedly break the uniform code may be suspended, according to the school’s brochure. The school has a strict disciplinary code. Nonetheless, more than one-third of teachers responding to the Learning Environment Survey complained of discipline problems.

While students feel safe in the building, about 40 percent responding to the survey said they don’t feel safe in the neighborhood outside the school.

Most students enter 9th grade with poor academic skills. Still the school manages to offer a challenging curriculum that includes College Now classes in collaboration with Brooklyn College and Advanced Placement courses in English and Art History.

Jessica Endlich, former assistant principal, was named principal in 2011. She left in March, 2014. Carol Ying became the interim acting principal.

Special education: About one-fifth of students receive special education services. About half of those are in self-contained classes.

College: Graduates have been admitted to a wide range of public and private colleges, including Columbia, Cornell, Vassar Howard University, Trinity, Allegheny and Goucher.

Admissions: The school offers regular open houses. Unlike the original FDA, which has selective admissions, FDA VII has no admissions requirements. Priority goes to students who attend an open house. (Clara Hemphill, December 2012; updated with new principal name in May 2014)

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