Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School

Grades 9-12
Marquee homepage


1021 Jennings Street
Bronx NY 10460
Morrisania (District 12)
Trains: 2, 5 to Freeman St; 6 to Whitlock Ave
Buses: Bx11, Bx19, Bx21, Bx27, Bx35, Bx36, Bx4, Bx4A


Jeffrey Palladino
Parent Coordinator
Marlene Lamboy

What’s Special

Nuturing Community, safe space and dedicated staff.

The Downside

College readiness is very low.

Our Review

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School is a refreshing haven in a bleak, but improving section of the South Bronx. The school follows a progressive model in which students call teachers and administrators by their first names. Staff places greater emphasis on oral reports and student "portfolios" over standardized tests, and students spend a lot of time working in groups. It's a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, a group of schools opposed to high stakes testing whose students are exempt from having to take the majority of Regents exams.


Since most students live in the struggling neighborhood, the school has adopted a community mindset to address academic and social-emotional needs. Peace fairs target neighborhood violence, Saturday parent academies encourage family engagement and a partnership with the Children's Aid Society Bronx Family Center provides access to medical and dental services.


The school exterior looks like a desolate and grim factory across the service road of the Sheridan Expressway. All the windows are protected by wire. However, the picture inside couldnt be more different. The building is colorfully bright and clean, non-shared and features a well-equipped library and technology lab. It is wheelchair accessible and has no metal detectors or cameras. The lunchroom is cheerful,with round burgundy tables and student murals on the walls.

Fannie Lou divides students into three "houses"; La Casa for 9th & 10th grade, Power House for 11th grade and Adventure House for 12th grade. The schools small classes and mixed ages in the early grades are designed to build academic skills and prevent students from falling through the cracks. Students typically maintain a two-year cycle with one teacher to help develop a good rapport.


The high schoolers we spoke to said they preferred portfolios to tests, and when we asked them about their assignments, some described in detail what they were learning, while others were not as sure. The day we visited, 9th- and 10th-grade students read silently in their humanities class. Students were allowed to read books on their cell phones or select comics and World of Warcraft series books. Once class shifts to the social studies component on the Holocaust, students read books as group. Options include Never to Forget, Rescue, I am a Star, Night and Maus.


In the math and science class, we saw students working on MAC laptops using Khan Academy, a website providing free self-paced academic practice material. For science, students typically move over to lab area across the room where they engage in a hands-on ecology unit, such as abstracting DNA from insects. Students save their work in Google Drive and teachers provide assignments and homework there as well. All student work from past years is stored online and becomes useful for tracking their development.


The online tool has been instrumental at Fannie Lou, allowing teachers to post more comprehensive resource lists and rubrics for essay writing that students can consult as they work. A humanities teacher noted that she sees more variety in paper topics and use of reliable sources. One student that just completed an essay on the Haitian revolution developed her research skills using this tool. She said, It was easier to improve my own idea and follow steps. It was challenging 'cause it forced me to use greater variety of research. The student also realized that her paper would have been shorter without the online support.


Though current college readiness is low, the staff encourages students to think about college early on with various programs: College Now and NYU Preview give students access to real college courses, and EXCEL guides students through the financial aid and scholarship process. The school also has an active Student Success Center with a full time counselor that incorporates SAT prep. The administration estimates that 50 percent of graduates go on to four-year colleges, and an additional 30 percent go to two-year programs. Students also take part in community service programs and internships.

Admission: Priority to Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School students. Approximately 30 percent continue on to the high school, making the transition easier since they already know the building from after-school and Saturday school programs. There is also priority to Bronx residence and those who attend the information sessions.

After school: Middle school students and high school students can partake in an array of activities including archery, cooking and fitness. Doors stay open until 6 pm.

Special education:The high school has both "self-contained"special needs students onlyand integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes. These classes mix students with special needs and general education students, and are headed by two teachers, one a specialist in special education. The school hopes to add more ICT classes.(Jacquie Wayans, February 2013)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 0 dedicated spaces for the arts.
This school has 0 licensed arts teacher in Dance, Music, Theater or Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.