Frederick Douglass Academy

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Frederick Douglass Academy 1
2581 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10039
Type Public (Screened) College Preparatory
Motto "Without Struggle There Is No Progress"
Established 1991
School district Community School District: 5
Dean Ms. Grant, Mr. Williams, Ms. Joyce
Principal Joseph Gates
Grades 6 - 12
Number of students 1666
Color(s) Maroon and Gold
Athletics Baseball, Basketball, Fencing, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Softball
Athletics conference PSAL
Mascot Lion
Information 212-491-4107

Frederick Douglass Academy (also known as FDA), is a co-educational public school for grades 6-12 located in West Harlem, New York City. The school offers an SAT prep course program and a variety of Advance Placement (AP) college courses that you can apply for starting in 10th grade. It is also one of the first high schools in Harlem to make wearing a uniform in a public school mandatory (compulsory) but not enforced.


Frederick Douglass Academy was created in 1991 by Dr. Lorraine Monroe (a former Deputy Chancellor of Instruction for the New York City Board of Education) and several other members of the New York City Board of Education.[1] The founding principal was Monroe, who left in 1991 and was succeeded briefly by Dorothy Haime prior to the appointment of Dr. Gregory Hodge in 1996.[1] Hodge remained in the position until his retirement in 2011,[2] to be succeeded by Joseph Gates.


Frederick Douglass Academy is a college preparatory school that stresses academic achievement. It offers Advanced Placement courses which allows students to receive college credit. Some of these AP courses offered are:

The school shows a 94% graduation rate giving FDA an "A" rating for College and Career Readiness on the 2012-2013 NYC Progress Report. It is a Daily News "Best High School," and a New York Post "Top 25 High School" in 2012.[citation needed]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Frederick Douglass Academy offers a few extracurricular activities ranging from an anime interest club to robotics. As of 2010, it offers the following among many other activities:

In 2006 FDA students launched The North Star school newspaper named after Frederick Douglass' newspaper.

Varsity sports[edit]


Frederick Douglass Academy's business partnerships include a variety of companies.

  • HBO—The HBO mentoring program in FDA is an important asset to the school as it pairs high school students with HBO employees. In such manner, students gain insight to the professional world and receive advise such as how to write a resume or prepare for a college interview.
  • Gap—The Little Shop of Scholars is FDA's school store—affiliated with Gap—which has everything from school uniforms to holiday gifts. The merchandise are gifts from Gap. The monetary proceeds go to graduating seniors in the form of scholarships.
  • Harlem Children Society—This program partners FDA with Harlem Children Society—indirectly with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the renowned cancer research institution. FDA students part of the program are able to be paired up with research mentors and are placed in research labs. Students take part in research ranging from nutrition to neurology. This program gives students who have an interest in science and medicine a great hands-on experience. Students involved in the past have been able to assume important roles in the lab as they have done tasks ranging from performing perfusions on lab mice to DNA ligations.
  • Columbia University—As a college preparatory school, FDA spends a great deal of effort in providing SAT-prep courses catered mostly to juniors and seniors. With Columbia University, the school has a Let's Get Ready chapter. The program has been proven effective as it generally increases the students' SAT scores by placing the students in appropriate groups that target the students' specific problems, be it math or the verbal section.
  • The New York Times—Every year a senior is offered a scholarship for outstanding scholarly articles awarded by a New York Times affiliate. Thus, seniors are motivated each year to compile their most outstanding written pieces in hope of winning the prestigious scholarship.
  • Sullivan & Cromwell—This partnership is a very fundamental one given that the law-firm company is the main provider of Advanced Placement-course textbooks.
  • Futures and Options—This nonprofit organization serves as an umbrella to several other programs in the school as it offers "paid semester internships at private sector and not-for-profit sites in the city." [1]


Based on the success of Monroe's original model, the New York City school system created seven other "Frederick Douglass Academies" around the city:

  • Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School (Manhattan) (H.S. M860)[3]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy III Secondary School (Bronx) (H.S. X517)[4]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy IV Secondary School (Brooklyn) (H.S. K393)[5]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy V Middle School (Bronx) (M.S. X273)[6]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School (Queens) (H.S. 260)[7]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy VII High School (Brooklyn) (H.S. 514)[8]
  • Frederick Douglass Academy VIII Middle School (Brooklyn) (M.S. 452)[9]


  1. ^ a b "About Our School". Franklin Douglass Academy. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Evans, Heidi (July 14, 2011). "School's out for Frederick Douglass principal Gregory Hodge: Tough-love head retiring after 31 years". New York Daily News. 
  3. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy II Secondary School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  4. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy III Secondary School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  5. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy IV Secondary School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  6. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy V Middle School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  7. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  8. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy VII High School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  9. ^ "Frederick Douglass Academy VIII Middle School". New York City Department of Education. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°49′27″N 73°56′12″W / 40.824117°N 73.936767°W / 40.824117; -73.936767