John Dewey High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Expansive facilities; nice array of programs and activities

The Downside

Too much old fashioned instruction that doesn't encourage student discussions

John Dewey is a large high school that serves students from across Brooklyn. It was founded in 1969 as a progressive school that gave students wide latitude over their high school education. These days Dewey is very different. There’s lots of structure and a more traditional curriculum, though there are still plenty of opportunities for students to pursue their own interests.

Principal Connie Hamilton took the helm in 2015 after serving as principal of the well-regarded Kingsborough Early College School for several years. Since her arrival, the school appears to have moved past a tumultuous period that included possible closure for low performance and a grade-fixing scandal. Teachers give Hamilton high marks for her leadership, based on their responses to the NYC School Survey; the school’s graduation and college readiness rates have risen steadily in recent years.

Dewey is housed on a spacious campus with lots of facilities to support its academies in business and tourism, law, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and pre-med. Each academy functions as a mini-school with its own theme and course offerings, as well its own assistant principal, dean, guidance counselor, staff of teachers who get to know their students well and a community coordinator who helps oversee academy activities.

Students get training in business, entrepreneurship and culinary arts in the Academy Business and Tourism/Hospitality. They focus on theater, dance and visual arts in the Academy of Fine and Performing Arts as well as participate in school productions. In Law and Justice, students take law-related classes, intern at law firms and participate in Mock Trial, Model UN and NYU’s High School Law Institute.

Two science-themed academies, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and Pre Med, offer a range of advanced science courses as well as opportunities such as robotics, CPR training and internships at hospitals.

A sixth program in Chinese bilingual instruction aims to transition English language learners into English-only classes across all subjects as soon as they’re ready.

Regardless of their program, all freshmen take a double period of ELA, which allows ample time for independent reading, teacher-led lessons and group work as well as time for the teacher to address students at different skill levels. To accommodate the double period of 9th grade English, students double up their history classes in 10th grade, taking both global and American history.

Dewey was praised in its most recent Quality Review for establishing a culture of high expectations. However, it was noted in the same report that teachers are relying too heavily on old fashioned instructional methods that don't leave time for student-led discussions, which encourages independent learning.

Typical of large schools, Dewey has something for everyone. In addition to courses tailored to each academy’s theme, there are many Advanced Placement courses and a broad range of extracurricular activities, including clubs, theater performances and sports teams open to all. To help students manage their stress, the school created a mindfulness room where students can go during their free periods to meditation or participate in breathing exercises and other calming activities.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Dewey offers self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes as well as support services. There’s a dedicated guidance counselor for special education and English as a new language (ENL) services. Many special education and ENL classes as well as services are concentrated in a wing of the building that’s also staffed with psychologists and social workers. ACES (Academic Career Essential Skills), is  a skills-building program for students with special needs, where they take on jobs at the school, such as working in the cafeteria.

ADMISSIONS: The Academies for Law and Justice, Fine and Performing Arts, and Business and Hospitality/Tourism accepts students based on the educational option formula, which aims to admit a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. The STEM and Pre-med academies admit students based on a review of their grades, test scores and records of attendance and lateness as well as an interview. The Chinese transitional bilingual program is open to students who are still learning English.

Students may apply to switch to a different academy after completing one semester at school. (Linda Littlefield and Laura Zingmond, interview and web reports, September 2018)



School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

The Academy for Business Management and Culinary Arts

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

The Academy of Business Management and Culinary Arts focuses on preparing students with the technical skills they need to apply to future careers and everyday situations. We offer paid and unpaid internships, job shadowing, mentoring and partnerships through the National Academy of Finance and Careers through Culinary Programs.

Chinese Transitional Bilingual Educational Program

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

This program will strengthen their home language as they continue to improve their academic English skills. Social studies and science courses are taught using both Chinese and English, and students take Chinese as a Native Language courses in addition to their English as a New Language classes. Please note this is a General Education Bilingual Program for ELL students.

The Academy of Teaching and Learning

Admissions Method: Open

Program Description:

The Academy of Teaching and Learning at J.D.H.S. gives students the opportunity to explore fields in education. This program's 4 year sequence will provide a strong foundation for students who are interested in becoming educators. Students have the ability to take several classes that are focused on pedagogy and a focus on social emotional growth for teaching children. In partnership with Kingsborough Community College students will have the opportunity to earn college credits while taking classes at Kingsborough through their Education Department.

STEM Academy

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

The STEM Academy provides students with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with opportunities to explore the disciplines of computer science, engineering, and robotics and to take AP and college level courses. Courses will prepare students for colleges, career paths, and more. With significant opportunities for hands-on learning, students will gain fluency with the design process. All applicants are interviewed; information available at [email protected]

Pre-Med and Health Academy

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

The Pre-Med Academy equips students with knowledge and competencies that allow them to excel in college pre-med and health professional programs. Students experience an immersive clinical internship, study anatomy, medical technology, medical ethics, and take AP and college-level courses. Students graduate with certifications in CPR, first aid, and others accredited by the American Red Cross. All applicants are interviewed; information available at [email protected]

The Academy of Law and Justice

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

This is an opportunity for students interested in law and exploring the struggle for justice and human rights. Program electives focus on the criminal justice system. Through our affiliation with the Justice Resource Center and Facing History & Ourselves, students visit criminal and juvenile court, work with lawyers and politicians, and participate in moot court, mock trial, and Model UN competitions. Students will also have the opportunity to apply to a variety of law related internships.

The Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Students will experience a unique journey in Visual, Theater, or Dance Arts. Students will be introduced to learning the basics of each field and advance by learning new techniques and skills in their focus area culminating in an Endorsed Diploma. Theater Arts students will participate in acting, scene study, and play writing. Dance will include traditional and modern dance, jazz, interpretive dance, and choreography. Visual Arts classes include studio art, ceramics, and photography.

John Dewey High School D75 Inclusion Program

Admissions Method: D75 Special Education Inclusive Services

John Dewey ACES Program

Admissions Method: ASD/ACES Program


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Microeconomics, AP United States History, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Macroeconomics, AP Calculus AB, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science A, AP Physics 1, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP English Language and Composition, AP Art History, AP Psychology, AP Calculus BC, AP World History: Modern, AP Biology

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Table Tennis, Tennis, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


50 Avenue X
Brooklyn NY 11223

Trains: D Line to Bay 50th St; F Line to Ave X; N Line to 86th St

Buses: B1, B4, B64, B82, X28, X38


Principal: Connie Hamilton

Parent Coordinator: Elizabeth Santana


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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