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Edward R. Murrow High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
1600 Avenue L
Brooklyn NY 11230
Phone: 718-258-9283
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Huge variety of courses and activities, including impressive arts programs; on-site planetarium

The Downside

Overcrowding

Best known for its music, theater and art departments, Edward R. Murrow High School is a massive school that caters to all types of students: budding scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs, as well as insecure teens unsure of their interests.

The school keeps kids engaged by giving them lots of options and the space to explore them. Unlike schools that require students to specialize, students here don’t have to choose between studying art and conducting science research or taking business courses. They may take art classes and perform in school productions even if they are not enrolled in the arts programs. Being able to participate in the arts helps kids make new friends and “get a break from cliques,” according to a parent.

There are myriad Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses, as well as class settings for students who are struggling. Rather than taking a traditional two-semester course, those needing extra support in classes such as algebra and living environment are taught the subjects over three semesters.

Group work and projects dominate in some classes, though in many classes teacher-directed lessons remain the norm. Regardless of the class structure, teachers try to 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 school’s honors math and science program that grooms students for the Intel Science Talent Search and other science competitions. Many students in MSTAR are also enrolled in one of the screened arts programs.

Those 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.

Murrow’s performing and fine arts programs are top-notch 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 school’s 980-seat main theater and in the more intimate black box theater. Both venues are 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 school's box office. Visual arts studios and classes abound; a lot of impressive student artwork is on display throughout the building.

A music technology program was created with support from Levi’s and performer Alicia Keys. Students learn all the technical aspects of music production in a state-of-the-art recording studio. Music technology classes follow an inclusion model, with half the seats reserved for students with special needs.

Despite overcrowding, Murrow manages to maintain a complex scheduling structure. Though conflicts are inevitable, in general students are not locked into a set of courses or locked out of others because of the program they’re 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 television production room hosts film and broadcasting classes. Environmental science classes, after-school clubs and the hydroponics program make use of the school’s rooftop greenhouse. Astronomy, one of the school’s most popular classes, is taught in the cutting-edge planetarium, which draws a live data feed from the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space. Many students spend their free time in the school’s student center, where there’s plenty of space for them 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 that there’s something for everyone. Students also participate in all kinds of competitions, including art, performance, writing, math and mock trial.

In 2012, Murrow introduced PSAL sports teams for the first time in the school’s history and since then have expanded its options.

There’s 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 (integrated collaborative teaching) 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 students who are unable to take a traditional academic load because of severe disabilities. As with the rest of the Murrow population, students in the alternative assessment programs may take arts classes and participate in school productions.

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. Admissions to the communications arts program is via the educational option formula designed to enroll a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students, with priority (but no guarantee) given to students living in the school’s residential zone. 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; updated via interview and web reports February 2018)

 

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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 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
84%
77% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
87%
85% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
33%
36% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
88%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
96%
81% Citywide Average

From 2016-17 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
90%
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
6.3

How do students perform academically?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
83%
80% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
68%
44% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
66%
39% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
74%
66% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
29%
13% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
3789
Asian
25%
Black
23%
Hispanic
21%
White
28%
Other
4%
Free or reduced priced lunch
70%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
9%

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
23%
38% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
49%
63% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68%
68% Citywide Average


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

Programs & Admissions

Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers.

Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin) Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Screened: Language
Program Description:

A two year comprehensive academic transitional bilingual program open to English language learners. Classes in two major content areas taught in Mandarin and English. This program emphasizes college and career readiness.

Bilingual Spanish Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Screened: Language
Program Description:

A two year comprehensive academic transitional bilingual program open to English language learners. Classes in two major content areas taught in Spanish and English. This program emphasizes college and career readiness.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Course Grades: English (80-100), Math (75-100), Science (78-100), Social Studies (78-100)
  • Audition
Program Description:

A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance, and musicianship.

Fine and Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (79-100)
  • Art comparision
  • Audition
  • Individual Interview (on-site)
  • Portfolio of Student Work
Program Description:

A discipline-based visual art education which includes studios in drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, animation, digital media, photography, fashion, art history, and portfolio development.

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Course Grades: English (70-100), Math (75-100), Science (75-100), Social Studies (75-100)
  • Audition
Program Description:

A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance, and musicianship.

Studio Theater
Admissions Method: Audition
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: English (90-100), Math (90-100), Science (89-100), Social Studies (90-100)
  • Audition
Program Description:

A program that explores all the collaborative components of theater. Students learn all the aspects of theater including acting, technical theater, musical theater, and theater management.

Academics

Language Courses

French, Italian, Mandarin, Other Language, Russian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP French, AP Italian, AP Macroeconomics, AP Music Theory, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP U.S. History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Bowling, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Cross Country, Soccer, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Golf

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

Contact & Location

Location

Midwood (District 21)
Trains: Q Line to Ave M
Buses: B11, B49, B6, B68, B9

Contact

Principal
Allen Barge
Parent Coordinator
ROSALIND DE INNOCENTIIS

Other Details

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No

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