Frederick Douglass Academy VIII Middle School

Grades: 6-8
1400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11239
Phone: 718-348-2465

Our Insights

What’s Special

Orderly school, with strong arts and academics

The Downside

Far from the subway; small gym and cafeteria

Located in the shadow of the huge Spring Creek housing development, Frederick Douglass Academy VIII offers a safe, stimulating environment for children who travel from throughout District 19 for an education that allows them to explore the arts as well as academics.

At FDA VIII, like others in the loose network of Frederick Douglass Academy Schools, students are known as scholars and classes are named after famous colleges. Teachers and administrators know each student and parent welland scholars know they must follow the rules or risk being called out for demerits or detention.

Each morning begins with students reciting the FDA creed. In a 6th grade classes, we saw a writing lesson in which students described how they were incorporating the creed's tenets in their everyday life. Whether wearing maroon sweaters and polo shirts, or sweatpants and a tee shirt for gym class, students are polite and actively engaged in the lessons. Community service is mandated.

Good behavior is expected but there was loud and lively discussion in many classes, with students working together on experiments, sharing their solutions for math problems, or critiquing one another's presentations in French class.

Some 8th graders take algebra and biology Regents exams for high school credit, as well as the French proficiency exam.

FDA VIII got a grant from the Matisse Foundation to expand the arts. It offers electives in string instruments, drumming, African dance, visual arts and chorus. Students are introduced to different arts forms in 6th grade and then choose to specialize in 7th grade. Average class size for academics is 25-28 in FDA VIII but the arts classes are much smaller.

To expand student horizons beyond East New York, students go on trips abroad: in 2012, 30 students went on a 10 day trip to Europe, touring London, Spain and France; in 2010 a group of 50 students and parents went to Ghana.

FDA VIII shares a building with PS 346. It is a small school, but unlike other District 19 schools, enrollment is on the rise. Founded in 2007 with 75 students in 6th grade, there were 336 students in 2017. The shared gym is small but students also use the sports center at the Spring Creek housing complex. There is a dance studio, a visual arts studio, and a music room, but no library. The cafeteria is too small for everyone to eat together so 8th graders eat in a room across the hall.

Graduates attend a variety of high schools, mainly in Brooklyn. The largest percentage goes to the Brooklyn High School of the Arts.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to District 19. Students must attend an open house or tour and take entrance exams in ELA, math and writing. Applicants are interviewed and their state math and ELA scores are considered. There are more than 500 applicants for 100 sixth grade seats. (Pamela Wheaton, visit October 2013, updated with web reports, July 2017)



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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
82% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
75% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
37% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
42% Citywide Average

From 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Brooklyn High School of the Arts
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I,Living Environment

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
32% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
23% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
14% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
15% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


East New York (District 19)
Buses: B103, B13, B82, B83, BM2, BM5, Q8


Chantal Grandchamps
Parent Coordinator
Ladrecia Balfour

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with PS 346
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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