Edward R. Murrow High School
Brooklyn NY 11230
Huge variety of courses and activities; free student periods
Edward R. Murrow High School is a massive school that works. It is a diverse and inclusive place that serves a broad range of students who all benefit from the schools impressive array of courses, facilities and specialized programs. Though known best for its music, theater and art departments, Murrow caters to all types of students: budding scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs as well as insecure teens unsure of their interests and most recently, athletes. In 2012, Murrow introduced PSAL sports teams for the first time in the schools history.
What the school does best is keep kids engaged by giving them lots of options and the space to explore them. A student, for instance, doesnt have to choose between studying art and conducting science research or taking business courses. Students not enrolled in one of the arts programs still have access to arts classes and performance opportunities. There are roughly 18 Advanced Placement (AP) and a myriad of honors courses as well as class settings for students who are struggling. Rather than taking a traditional two-semester course, students needing extra support in classes such as algebra and living environment are taught the subjects over three semesters.
Instruction that we observed in core subjects reflected a mix of teaching styles. Group work and projects dominate in some classes, while teacher-directed lessons are the norm elsewhere. Regardless of the class structure, we saw a lot of teachers build in time for student discussion and reflection.
Students with qualifying grades and test scores may be considered for MSTAR (Murrow Science Technology and Research), the schools honors math and science program that grooms students for the Intel Science Talent Search and other science competitions. Roughly 40 percent of students in MSTAR are also enrolled in one of the screened arts programs, according to the principal, Allen Barge, a longtime history teacher at Murrow who took over in 2012.
Students interested in business and computer applications can participate in Virtual Enterprise (VE), a certified CTE (Career and Technical Education) program where students run all facets of a mock company and participate in local and national VE competitions. Other themed programs include medicine, law, dance and writing.
Murrows performing and fine arts programs are topnotch and attract a lot of talented students. The music department hosts 10 performance groups ranging from gospel and madrigal choirs to concert, jazz and symphonic bands. Theatrical performances take place throughout the year in the schools 980-seat main theater, and the more intimate black box theaterboth equipped with professional lighting and sound technology that are maintained by students in the technical theater program. Students create the sets and costumes for all theatrical performances and run the schools box office. Visual arts studios and classes abound; a lot of impressive student artwork is on display throughout the building.
Despite overcrowding, the school manages to maintain a complex scheduling structure. Though scheduling conflicts are inevitable, in general students are not locked into a set of courses, and locked out of others because of the program theyre admitted to in 9th grade. Classes meet four times a week at different times on different days, each for 50-minute periods called bands. Students have free bands built into their schedules to give them time to relax, work independently and collaborate with their peers.
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, after-school clubs and the hydroponics program make use of the schools greenhouse. Astronomy, one of the schools most popular classes, is taught in the state-of-the-art planetarium which draws a live data feed from the American Museum of Natural Historys Rose Center for Earth and Space. Many students spend their free time in the schools student center, where theres plenty of space for students to socialize, eat, work, relax or even play a game of ping pong or air hockey.
An eclectic mix of more than 50 student clubs and activities ensures theres something for everyone. Students also participate in all kinds of competitions including art, performance, writing, math and mock trial. Murrows chess team is among the best in the country and routinely wins or ranks high in local, state and national championships. The school plans to add more PSAL sports.
Theres a dedicated college office and starting in the 11th grade guidance counselors visit classes to walk juniors through the college admissions process. Graduating students go on to CUNY and SUNY schools as well as highly selective private colleges and universities. Schools such as Cooper Union, Parsons, Pratt, School of Visual Arts and Rhode Island School of Design are popular among visual and fine arts students.
Special education: Murrow has self-contained and ICT classes, SETSS, physical and occupational therapy and adaptive physical education classes. There is an alternative assessment program that provides life skills and academic instruction for special needs students who are unable to take a traditional academic load because of severe disabilities. Special classes and push-in support are provided to English language learners (ELLs). Bilingual instruction is provided for native Spanish and Mandarin Chinese speakers.
Admissions: Open to Brooklyn students and residents. Students are admitted to the communications arts program via the educational option formula. Those who live in the schools zone are guaranteed admission if they list Murrow first on the application. The arts programs require an audition or special application. Bilingual instruction programs are open to native Mandarin Chinese and Spanish speakers only. (Laura Zingmond, November 2014)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve English Language Learners?
How does this school serve students with disabilities?
Programs and Admissions
AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers.
AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers and taught in Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin).
AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers and taught in Bilingual Spanish.
A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance, and musicianship training. Selection
A discipline-based visual art education which includes drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, digital media, fashion, art history, and portfolio development
A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance training, and musicianship.
Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian, Russian, Spanish
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, AP Computer Science, AP Economics, AP English, AP Italian, AP Music Theory, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History
Boys PSAL teams
Badminton, Bowling, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Badminton, Cross Country, Soccer, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Coed PSAL teams