James Madison High School

Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

A wide variety of classes, activities and sports

The Downside

Few spots for students outside the school's zone; metal detectors

The alma mater of senators, a Supreme Court justice, Nobel Prize winners and Chris Rock, the almost century-old James Madison is a popular high school with a wide array of classes, sports and activities. It is one of the city's biggest schools. It boasts good attendance and a high graduation rate.

Perks here include three gymnasiums, a football field, a swimming pool and tennis courts. It is “a good school for a kid who is independent and can find their own way,” a parent wrote on our site. “Get involved in something right away—theater, sports, a club. There you will meet other focused kids.”

Most seats go to students living in the surrounding Midwood neighborhood, though the school has two small “screened” programs open to children from elsewhere in Brooklyn: Information Technology and Law Institute. Both programs attract dozens of applicants per seat. Zoned students also may select these programs.

Children in the zoned program select one of seven “houses” upon admission, with guidance from staff, who consider grades, interests and needs. The International House is for kids learning English and includes the school’s foreign language offerings: Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French and Italian. The Academy of Citizenship and Community Service offers a double period of English for incoming students with low tests scores. The Instructional Support House welcomes students with disabilities. Academy of Finance, Liberal Arts House and Bio-Medical Institute round out the offerings. Students take many—but not all—of their classes with others in their house.

Madison offers more than a dozen Advanced Placement classes. According to the school's yearly plan, teachers make sure all eligible students have access to these classes by hosting a fair and conducting assessments to determine ability and willingness for participation.

The school fields about 30 interscholastic varsity and junior varsity sports teams for boys and girls. Students stage a number of performances, including SING!, a musical competition, a Shakespeare Festival and an “oratory olympics,” in which kids learning English perform recitations from the canon of English poetry and prose. Other activities include robotics, math club, gardening, newspaper and band.

Attendance is fairly high for a large high school. Students who are late to class are sent to a special room for that period. Some children raise concerns about safety and bullying on school surveys. Principal Jodie Cohen said she and her staff take feedback from surveys seriously. The school has seen improvement in these areas, including fewer suspensions, according to the yearly plan. "The past three years has been an upward trend," Cohen said. 

All students must pass through a metal detector.

College representatives visit the school every week, and graduates go to a wide range of colleges. Some win scholarships to competitive programs, such as CUNY'S Macaulay Honors College.

ADMISSIONS: Zoned school. Two small screened programs accept students from elsewhere in Brooklyn but there is little room for children outside the zone. (Lydie Raschka, web reports & interview, February 2018) 

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
92%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
83%
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
 
81%
Average daily attendance
 
90%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
24%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
88%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
94%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

3851
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
76%
Students with disabilities
 
15%
Multilingual learners
 
12%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
90%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
29%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
23%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
96%
8.0
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
192
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?
 
85%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 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

Calculus

 
5%

Computer Science

 
7%

Physics

 
17%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
23%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
19%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
10%

Music

 
57%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
66%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
84%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
67%
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?
 
53%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 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

Medical/Health Professions

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Explore the world of Science through a challenging and comprehensive sequence of courses, including focusing on careers in the medical/health professions. Courses of study will include: AP Biology, Living Environment Honors, AP Chemistry, Physics Honors, Anatomy and Physiology, AP Psychology, Forensics and AP Environmental Sciences.

Law Institute

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

This is a four-year honors program, introduces students to legal concepts and terminology that include, but are not limited to, constitutional law, criminology, international law, and family law.

Zoned

Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee

Program Description:

Guaranteed offer to students who live in the zoned area.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Computer Science A, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Statistics, AP European History, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Macroeconomics, AP English Language and Composition, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Chemistry, AP World History: Modern, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Biology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Art History, AP Calculus BC, AP Calculus AB, AP Psychology, AP Seminar, AP Human Geography, AP United States History, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Research, AP Environmental Science

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Golf, Stunt

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

3787 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11229

Trains: B Line, Q Line to Kings Highway

Buses: B100, B2, B31, B41, B44, B44-SBS, B49, B7, B82, BM3, BM4


Contact

Principal: Jodie Cohen

Parent Coordinator: Rita Troiso

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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