The Brown School

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This article is about the public school in Louisville, Kentucky. For other uses, see Brown School (disambiguation).

The J. Graham Brown School, usually called The Brown School, is a small public school located in downtown Louisville,KentuckyUSA. It has approximately 750 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, and attracts students (and teachers) from all over Louisville. It is a part of the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) system. The stated mission of the J. Graham Brown School is to recognize, respect, and foster the unique potential of each student in an informal environment which reflects the diversity of its community.

The school tries to maintain an informal and relaxed atmosphere despite its exclusiveness. Students can call their teachers by their first names, and every Friday the principal escorts the seniors to lunch at a nearby entertainment facility. The school's location facilitates attending on-site college classes, job shadowing, community service, and walking field trips. Other features are extensive community interactions, cross-age groupings, and a highly diverse student population.

Brown School is the only school in JCPS to fully implement Springboard, the College Board's official Pre-Advanced Placement curriculum in both English language arts and mathematics classes, beginning in the sixth grade. All students in the school are enrolled in an "advanced-level" curriculum. All high school students are required to take Advanced Placement classes. Several dual-credit classes are offered on campus, and many students walk to Jefferson Community and Technical College for additional free-of-charge college courses.


Newsweek magazine listed Brown as one of the "Best Schools in America" in both 2009 and 2010, placing them in the top 4% of schools nationwide. Brown was honored by U.S. News & World Report with a Bronze Medal Award in 2007, 2008, and 2009. As of 2013, every year Brown School had placed in the top three or four schools across the Commonwealth of Kentucky in both the ACT and the Kentucky Core Content Test. Brown High School was the state's top scorer in the 2009 CATS testing cycle.


The school was founded in 1971, with classes first held in the Brown Hotel at Fourth Street and Broadway in downtown Louisville. Brown was the first "magnet school" in the JCPS district, and it enrolled students from all parts of Jefferson County. As the school grew the neighboring Brown Building was rehabilitated to accommodate it. The lower nine stories of the ten-story Brown Building were ultimately used by the school during its first ten years, before it moved to its present location on S. First Street, south of Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

The founding director of J. Graham Brown School was Murray State University graduate Martha Ellison, who, during her earlier teaching career, was the English teacher of playwright Marsha Norman. Upon her retirement, Ellison was succeeded by her longtime assistant director, Douglas Proctor. The Martha A. Ellison Peace Green, across First Street from the school, is named in her honor. As of 2016 the principal of Brown School is Dr. Angela Parsons.[1]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brown School - Angela Parsons". Retrieved 2016-02-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°15′1.02″N 85°45′10.37″W / 38.2502833°N 85.7528806°W / 38.2502833; -85.7528806