Frederick Douglass Academy VIII Middle School

Grades 6-8
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Orderly, high-performing school, with strong arts and academics

The Downside

Far from the subway; small gym and cafeteria

Our Review

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)

About the students

Enrollment
324
Asian
4.0%
Black
75.3%
Hispanic
19.1%
White
0.9%
Other
0.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
92%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
3%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with PS 346
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
76%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
93% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
12%
20% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
96%
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
49%
50% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
83% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
35%
43% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.2
6.0 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
96%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
89% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
83% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
79%
72% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
96% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
91%
87% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24%
27% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
43%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teacher in Dance and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
74%
76% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
65%
61% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
82%
72% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
French, Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
58%
26% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
94%
84% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Brooklyn HS of the Arts and Academy for Young Writers
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 score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
13%
3% Citywide Average
How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
61%
42% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.87
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.87
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.94
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.05
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.41
2.3 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.06
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
97%
89% Citywide Average
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Location

1400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11239
East New York (District 19)
Buses: B13, B82, B83, Q8

Contact

Phone
718-348-2465
Principal
Chantal Grandchamps
Parent Coordinator
Ladrecia Balfour