James Madison High School is organized in accordance with the House system. There are eight houses, each having a Teacher Coordinator, a Guidance Counselor, and an Assistant Principal assigned to supervise and assist students.
Most students who apply to James Madison High School have the opportunity to apply into a specific "House". The most notable houses in Madison are:
Law Institute: The Law Institute is designed for successful Social Studies students. In addition to being taught reasoning and communication skills, the students develop an understanding of American Legal institutions. Students in the Law House take classes/participate in activities such as Model U.N, Mock Trial, Moot Court, We The People, Legal Economics, CriminologyAdvanced Placement Economics[disambiguation needed]. This is by far one of Madison's most popular programs.
Bio-Medical Institute: The Bio-Medical Institute is generally referred to as simply, Bio-Med. In this honor program, students who are interested in the Sciences take such classes as Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry Honors, AP Chemistry, Physics Honors, Pathology,Laboratory Techniques, and Science Research. Students in this program are offered internships in health science facilities as well as the opportunity to participate in local and national science competitions.
Math Academy: The Math Academy has students who are given the opportunity to study mathematics and computer science. Students in this House take some of the following classes: Advanced Placement Computer Science, Advanced Placement Calculus AB and Advanced Placement Calculus BC.
Music House: The music house features a staff of highly qualified teachers, who serve in affording students with the opportunity to participate in courses such as: Music Technology, Jazz Band, Marching Band, String Ensemble, Orchestra, Beginning Guitar, Jazz Guitar, Classical Guitar, Chorus, Musical Theater Workshop, Percussion and more. The music house holds a minimum of 6 annual concert performances at the Sonia Lerner auditorium within the high school. The music program also hosts concerts outside the school building and facilitates a variety of displays of student achievement within the community.
The Humanities House: provides overall historical context to the program. This program offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning; it combines the best of both English literature and social studies.
Information Technology House: One of the newer houses at Madison. Known informally as the I.T. House, it is one of the only programs in NYC high schools that offers students the chance to take the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel certification exams for free.
Academy of Finance
Some of the other houses include:
The International House (for students of limited English proficiency)
Madison also offers a wide number of music/art electives, which students are allowed and encouraged to take.
James Madison High School will be a learning community that embodies Madison’s philosophy that, “Education is the true foundation of civil liberty.” Through an instructional program that promotes high achievement and provides equal access through motivation, academic rigor, appreciation of the strength of diversity, inquiry, scholarship a celebration of originality and the development of nobility of character, we will nurture and support a community of lifelong learners.
James Madison High School is a six floor red brick building with many rooms.
Subbasement: Boiler Room and storage areas.
Basement: The cafeteria is located in the buildings basement.
1st Floor: On the first floor main offices such as guidance and programming are located. As is the main entrance to the theater. The Music Department is in the back on the 1st floor. The library and swimming pool are also located on this floor.
2nd Floor: English Department, Access to Gym 1
3rd Floor:Science Department, IT House, Language Department, Teachers Cafeteria access to Gym 2.
4th Floor: Science Department, Math Department, Social Studies Department, Law Department.
5th Floor: Science Department, Computer Repair Room, Art classes, Social Studies Department.
6th Floor: Offices and Photography.
Athletic fields: Football Field, Soccer Field, Baseball Field, Tennis Courts, Track, Lacrosse Field, Roller Blading, and several more athletic facilities.
James Madison High School has a number of clubs which are listed here in alphabetical order:
African Heritage Club
African Heritage Club
Asian Student Union
Cheering Squads: Twirlers Cheerleaders Boosters
Christian Culture Club
Chinese Cultural Services
Gay Straight Alliance
Performing Arts Club
The Moment (Newspaper)
Science Research Club
S.A.V.E. Leaders Corps
NYS Science Honor Society
The End Hate Project
The End Hate Project is a campaign made up of high school and college students encouraging the reduction of bullying and discrimination within schools. Inspired by the 2010 Gay Teen Suicide Epidemic, The End Hate Project's mission is to provide a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is accepted. Whether it be race, religion, color, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, dress, body type (etc.), this club dedicates itself to raise awareness and provide resources for students bullied and undergoing hate activity.
In May 2010, The James Madison High School Mock Trial team, became the New York State Champions, while representing their region of New York City in Albany. The team beat out about 600 schools, also competing for first place. It was Madison's second time appearing in Albany after 5 years, and their first time, actually winning. It was also the first time any New York City school, had ever won for the State. The team accomplished their victory with the help of attorneys from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, who always had a long standing solid relationship with James Madison.
Madison also offers a wide range of Boys And Girls PSAL Varsity and Junior Varsity Sports Football, Soccer, Basketball, Track and field, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball, Swimming, Cross Country, Handball, and Lacrosse.
The James Madison Baseball Team is the most successful team in the school ranked fourth in the New York City PSAL and sixth including Catholic High Schools. They have been in the final four three years in a row. In 2008, the team made it to the finals but fell short. The program has put a lot of their players into college baseball and three professional players Frank Torre, Cal Abrams, Harry Eisenstat.
James Madison High School is home to a very successful Swim Team. It has won countless competitions. It is currently coached by Mr.Davis who is retired but continues to train the swim team for each winter swimming season. He was retired in 2009. Mr.Tigre is the current swimming teacher at James Madison High School and has been for 2 years now. This is one of Madison's most prosperous teams.
SING!, a musical competition between the grades, has been a Madison tradition for over 50 years. On November 15, 2008, the Senior/Sophomore team lost to the Junior/Freshman team for the first time in 6 years, on the 60th anniversary of SING!. The SING! theme that year was “It’s Never Too Late to Change.” It is one of Madison's Most popular clubs.
Distinguished alumni of James Madison High School include:
Joel Zwick (born 1942, class of 1958), film, television and theater director.
Pauline Privitera ('74)
Allegations of inappropriate conduct by educators
In the beginning of December 2009, it was reported that two female teachers, Alini Brito and Cindy Mauro, had been found naked in a classroom by a janitor in November, while most students had been attending a talent show elsewhere in the building. Department of Education spokeswoman Margie Feinberg stated that the teachers were reassigned pending an investigation.
The following day it was reported that another teacher, 31 year-old Allison Musacchio, was having an inappropriate relationship with a male student. The school learned of the relationship in March 2009, when a female student saw that Musacchio's cell phone contained the phone number of the male student, and several text messages to and from him. School officials found over 200 phone calls and text messages to the student in the teacher's cell phone. Musacchio adamantly denied these allegations. As with Brito and Mauro, spokeswoman Margie Feinberg stated that Musacchio was reassigned pending an investigation.
On January 28, 2010, it was reported that Lisa Guttilla, a 37 year-old physical education instructor, was being investigated for allegations of sexual contact with a 14 year-old female student who attends Poly Prep Country Day School. The New York City Police arrested Guttilla on January 22, 2010, charging her with sexual abuse and child endangerment. Guttilla was a part-time volleyball coach at Poly Prep Country Day School, but a full-time teacher at James Madison High. She was reassigned pending an investigation as was the case with the other teachers.
New York Magazine points out that teachers under investigation are still being paid while in the "rubber room" to which they have been assigned in the interim. Several newspaper editorials have commented on the incidents, many having taken to dubbing the school "Horndog High".
^ abcdefghijklAbruzzo, Shavana. "Judge Judy inducted with elite alums on Madison's wall of fame", New York Post, June 1, 2010. Accessed June 11, 2013. "Joining Judge Judy on the 2010 roster are late Brooklyn Dodger Cal Abrams (‘42), former US ambassador to the United Nations Herbert Okun (‘47), sportswriter Maury Allen (‘49), University of Maryland Dental School professor and pain research pioneer Dr. Ronald Dubner (‘51), historian and “dean” of presidential experts Dr. Robert Dallek (‘52), retired Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court Deborah Tobias Poritz (‘54) and director Joel Zwick (‘58), whose screen and credits include “My Fat Greek Wedding,” “Laverne & Shirley” and Broadway’s “Oklahoma!”.... No small wonder when the school’s august alums include educator Stanley H. Kaplan (‘35), former American Federation of Teachers President Sandra Feldman (‘56), radio personality Bruce “Cousin Brucie” Morrow (‘48), opera star Elaine Malbin (‘48), Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ President Sidney Ganis (‘57) and Paul L. Krinsky (‘46), who served as the superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy from 1987 to 1993, attaining the rank of rear admiral."
^Dickson, Michael M. "Roy Albert DeMeo – Leader of the Gambino Family Murder for Hire", American Mafia History, October 18, 2012. Accessed June 11, 2013. "Roy Albert DeMeo was born on September 7, 1942 in Bath Beach Brooklyn to working class Italian immigrants. In 1959 DeMeo graduated from James Madison High School with an accomplished loan shark business bringing in hundreds of dollars each week."
^Rock, Tom. "JETS, Ellis spreading Pride in NFL", Newsday, October 21, 2006. Accessed June 11, 2013. "He was a basketball player - small for that sport, too - when Jeffrey Ishmael, the football coach at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, saw [Devale Ellis] grab a defensive rebound, dribble the length of the court and make an acrobatic layup."
^Tebbel, John Robert. " What, Me Gone?", Instant Classics, June 5, 1992. Accessed June 11, 2013. "I spoke earlier about the influence he had, and I just thought of one incident. Bill and I both, as I said, went to James Madison High School in Brooklyn."
^Autobiography of Martin L. Perl, Nobel Prize. Accessed June 11, 2013. "I was sixteen when I graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn in 1942. My sister, who is now a well known writer in the United States, moved through school even faster - she graduated at fifteen and one-half."