Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

Grades 9-12
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What’s Special

Highly diverse student population;steadily improving graduation rate

The Downside

Overcrowding;grad rate still below city average

Our Review

Franklin D. Roosevelt High School (FDR) is a large, bright, well-maintained school with a cadre of experienced teachers who enjoy their jobs. There are no metal detectors, and students, including the many new immigrants eager to attend school, are respectful.

FDR is a zoned school that also offers two educational option programs, which take students at a range of performance levels One is a business careers/computer technology program in which students can gain Cisco certification for computer repair. The program also provides accounting and financial management classes. Students in the math/science academy can take electives including forensics, psychology and robotics.

A performing arts program, introduced in 2010, offers concentrations in theatre arts, vocal music and instrumental music. In an effort to improve literacy, arts are linked to core subjects like English and history. For example, students reading Dracula in English class, study Dracula films in the arts courses. There are partnerships with local theatre companies, and the auditorium has been outfitted with a new state of the art sound system. Applicants do not have to audition for the program.

FDR was named a transformation school in June 2010 as part of the Education Departments effort to turn around low-performing schools. The school got a new principal and is receiving to $1.8 million in federal funds over two years as part of the Obama Administrations School Improvement Grants Fund for transforming low-performing schools.

Principal Steven DeMarco was a student at FDR before becoming a teacher there. He was assistant principal of security when he was tapped to replace well-regarded Principal Geraldine Maione as part of the transformation process in 2010. Teachers indicated respect for DeMarco on the schools Learning Environment Survey and several said the transition has been relatively smooth. We are all working very hard to keep improving, a guidance counselor told us at the 2011 high school fair.

The 2010 graduation rate is below the citys average, but it has climbed steadily since 2006 even as the percentage of English language learners jumped to about 42 percent from 28 percent of the schools population. The six-year graduation rate was slightly better in 2010 at 64 percent.

There are 37 languages spoken in the building. Students can enroll in a bilingual Chinese or Spanish language program, and there are numerous ESL classes. The school also provides free English and computer classes for parents.

Freshmen keep the same core teachers all year and take many of their classes with the same students. The school is hoping this approach will keep students from getting lost and will improve a below-average attendance rate that hasnt budged for several years. Teachers of first-year students have lunch at the same time, allowing them to meet to discuss students. Teachers have agreed to give up their lunch periods to meet with parents who want to sit down with all of their childs teachers at one time. The staff also promises a two-day turn-around time for any parent phone calls, a guidance counselor said.

High performing students can take honors classes as well as AP classes in eight subjects including biology, Chinese, statistics, and U.S. history. In 2011 there were 300 students enrolled in the schools College Now program at CUNYs Kingsborough Community College.

The guidance office has 12 counselors, including one for special education students, one devoted to college applications and a full-time financial aid advisor. The majority of graduates enroll in two- or four- year colleges. Many of our kids are motivated and want to attend college, said a guidance counselor. They just need extra time and help learning English.

The schools population has declined in recent years, but overcrowding is still an issue. A staggered schedule keeps freshmen in school from 9:30 a.m. until 4:10 p.m. and the rest of the students go from 7:45 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The cafeteria packs 600 kids in at once, but teachers say things dont usually get out of control.

FDRs large size allows it to offer 30 clubs, including Chinese cultural, mock trial, film, chess and cheerleading. Golf, wrestling, softball, handball and bowling as well as champion soccer and cricket teams are among FDRs 20 sports teams.The school is proud of its newly finished football field. (Meredith Kolodner, high school fair, October 2011)

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 10 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 9 licensed arts teacher in Music, Theater, and 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?

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
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

STEAM -Robotics/Programming
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students will explore the field of robotic design using a variety of hands on activities. Students begin with an introduction to the tools used to create robotic devices. As they progress through the series of classes, computer programming becomes an essential and vital element. This culminates in a capstone design project and teaching assistant positions for students to mentor our incoming engineers. Our Robotics Academy offers opportunities for scholarships and research opportunities.

STEAM-Environmental Studies
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

This is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in understanding the natural and urban environment and environmental ethics through hands-on and project-based learning. Students will develop analytical and process skills that will prepare them for college and a career in environmental science and emerging green industries. In addition, students will explore the real-world use of hydroponics and the importance of green living. This culminates in a Capstone Project for Seniors.

STEAM-Performing Arts
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Theater and music preparation program with courses in acting, movement, music theory, technical theater, and theater history. Students have the opportunity to perform in school plays, recitals, talent shows, multicultural shows, and Sing!

STEAM-Multimedia Design
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Our mission is to prepare students for college and career opportunities in fields such as advertising, graphic arts, publishing, journalism, television, and film/theater. Courses are centered on a learning environment comprised of state of the art facilities including Mac labs, the complete suite of Adobe Creative Suite software, 3-D modeling printers, advanced photography laboratories, and a Black Box Theater. There is a capstone project where students finalize their portfolio.

STEAM-Science Research
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

This program will allow students to explore the natural world through hands-on and project-based learning. Students will record observations, develop questions, design and conduct experiments, collect and interpret data, and propose new ideas from their conclusions. Students will have the opportunity to use multimedia to present their research articles or findings as a Capstone Project to panels of their peers in class, science fairs, research symposiums, and competitions throughout NYC.

Technical Theater
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

This is a comprehensive program that is designed to expose students to the multiple functions that go into theatrical productions. Courses include: stage design, theater business, theater management, and lighting/sound design. In addition to the annual spring musical, students may showcase their talents in SING, holiday and spring concerts.

Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee
Program Description

Comprehensive academic program.


Language Courses

Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Statistics, AP U.S. History


Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Handball, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf

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

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5800 20th Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11204
Borough Park (District 20)
Trains: F to Bay Parkway-22nd Ave; N to 20th Ave
Buses: B11, B8, B9


Melanie Katz
Parent Coordinator
Stephanie Ozman

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.