Midwood High School

Midwood High School

Coordinates: 40°37′58″N 73°57′8.5″W / 40.63278°N 73.952361°W / 40.63278; -73.952361

Midwood High School at Brooklyn College
Midood Main Building.JPG
2839 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Type Public
Motto Verus, Bonus, Et Pulcher
(The True, the Good, and the Beautiful)
Established 1940
School board New York City Public Schools
School number K405
Principal David Cohen
Faculty 206
Grades 912
Enrollment 4100[1]
Color(s) blue      white      and red     
Mascot Hornet
Newspaper ''Argus''
Yearbook ''Epilog''

Midwood High School, at Brooklyn College, is a public, urban, co-ed high school located on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, New York City.

Midwood High School was for many years the recipient of multiple accolades because of its competitive educational programs and for the achievements of its students and graduates. Midwood is noted for its strong academic programs, having produced many notable alumni.

Midwood High School celebrates a long tradition of academic excellence. The school, which is administered by the New York City Department of Education, has an enrollment of 3938 students.[2] Its H-shaped building, with six Ionic columns and a Georgian cupola, was constructed in 1940 as part of the Works Projects Administration.




Midwood High School has nearly 4000 students, is currently ranked in the top 150 high schools in the nation and considered "The School Of Excellence" by U.S. News and World Report.The School is ranked within the top 5% in New York City. In the early 1990s Midwood was chosen as a Blue Ribbon Secondary School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.

Students from the two selective programs often attend top-ranked colleges, many on significant scholarships.[3] Typically nearly 12% of the seniors are admitted to one of the Ivy League colleges and 25% of seniors admitted to schools like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NYU, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. The average SAT scores in Midwood High School (2007) was 620 Verbal, 650 Math, and 610 Writing.

The New York Times reported in an article on June 29, 1986, that: "Getting into Midwood High School ... is about as easy as getting into an Ivy League college. More than 12,000 eager eighth graders applied this year for 450 fall openings in Midwood's highly touted programs in the medical sciences and humanities."[4]


As many as 3938 students are packed in a building designed for 2,800. Classes are held in three overlapping sessions, with some students,as of Fall 2011, arriving as early as 7:15 a.m. and finishing at 1:30 p.m., and others arriving at 9:40 a.m. and staying until 3:20 p.m. The first lunch period is at 9:45 a.m.; practice for band and orchestra starts as early as 7 a.m. Advanced Placement courses are so oversubscribed that only students with near-perfect grades are permitted to take them.[5]

A new science annex, built across the streets from the original building, opened in the summer of 2008 which can ease the overcrowd problem. The building houses new science labs that replaced the antiquated labs in the original building. The annex also hosts a new library; the library in the original building is now a theater. The annex is connected to the southern end of the original building by a glass bridge that connects the second and third floors of the buildings.

Special programs

Midwood is composed of three "institutes" – Medical Science, Humanities, and Liberal Arts. Liberal Arts, Humanities and Medical Science students are placed into classes specifically for their course. Placement in the Medical Science and Humanities Institutes is highly competitive and dependent upon strong academic performance.

The Medical Science Institute (MSI) is for students interested in science or the medical field along with mathematical interests. It requires 5 years of science and 5 years of math. As of 2007, incoming freshman of the Medical Science Institute must choose from three different tracks: Medical, the Research, or Engineering. The Medical Science Institute also has its own website which is part of the main school website. Click Here For Midwood Science's Home Page

The Humanities Institute is mainly for students interested in English language arts, literature, and social studies. It requires two foreign languages, including Latin. Also, 5 years of English, and 5 years of social studies. Although students in the Humanities Program find the program challenging, especially due to the extra foreign language, they feel that it is worth it in their academic career.

The Liberal Arts & Science Institute (formally called the Collegiate Program),serves students who reside in the geographical catchment area. Students in the program choose among four main areas of study: Law/Leadership/Community Service, Pre-engineering/Technology, Performing Arts and Communication/Media Arts.[6]

These are supported through the school's courtroom, robotics lab, chemistry lab, drama classrooms and television studio.

Advanced Placement Courses

Midwood claims to offer over 15 Advanced Placement courses, and 5 years ago the College Board listed it among the best schools in the nation in terms of AP courses offerings. The School is one of the high school in the City with the highest number of Advanced Placement exams taken, and scoring on the Upper Quartile.[7] Midwood offers Advanced Placement courses in

Intel Science Talent Search Competition

Midwood has two classes that specialize in introducing students to scientific research, culminating in the creation of projects for the Intel Science Talent Search (formerly the Science Research and Social Science Research). In 1999, Midwood had more semifinalists in the Intel STS and Siemens-Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition than did any other high school in the nation. In 2000, it tied for first place for STS.

Across the United States, 11 secondary schools have produced 20 or more semi-finalists over the years 2002–2010. All of the 11 schools are public schools, and 7 out of the 11 (64%) are located in the greater New York area.

Secondary schools of finalists and semi-finalists (2002–2010)[8]
School Location Semi-finalists Finalists
Montgomery Blair High School Silver Spring, MD 108 16
Stuyvesant High School New York, NY 103 13
Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY 85 11
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Alexandria, VA 75 7
Bronx High School of Science Bronx, NY 59 6
Paul D. Schreiber High School Port Washington, NY 50 3
Byram Hills High School Armonk, NY 46 10
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Denton, TX 43 7
Great Neck North High School Great Neck, NY 31 3
Illinois Math and Science Academy Aurora, IL 29 8
Midwood High School Brooklyn, NY 23 3

Extracurricular activities


Midwood's Official PSAL page

Midwood has several PSAL sports teams. They include teams in baseball, bowling, basketball, cricket, football, golf, cheerleading, handball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, wrestling, and volleyball.

Midwood's handball team has won 2 consecutive city championships in 2008 and 2009. Midwood Girls' Handball team has won finals in 2009 and city championship in 2010.[9] Midwood's lacrosse team has won several city championships, including 2006, 2007, and 2008. The team has made the championships the past 5 years and is the measuring stick for city lacrosse. Midwood also started the first Girls Lacrosse team in Brooklyn.

The Midwood Boy's Volleyball Team, considered to be one of the best and the "team to beat" in the PSAL, has gone undefeated in their division for the past 13 years with 4 city championships in 1996, 2001, 2007, and 2009 (the most Volleyball Championships ever by a PSAL team).

The Midwood Boy's Track and Field Team won its first ever indoor track championship in winter 2008. Under current coach Marc Cohen, the track and field team also managed to win its first ever outdoor track title in June 2010, upsetting some of the fastest high schools in the city and solidifying the legacy of Midwood Track and Field.

The team is given the nickname "The Midwood Hornet" or simply "Hornet".


SING!, an annual student-run inter-school musical theater competition was conceived at Midwood by Bella Tillis, a music teacher, in 1947.[10] It is still being produced at Midwood. It's also a tradition for many New York City High School seniors, juniors, and "soph-fresh" (freshmen and sophomores working together) who compete against each other to put on the best performance at their own school. The 1989 movie Sing, which starred Lorraine Bracco, was based on SING!. SING has been responsible for hours of dedication and hard work, as well as fierce competition, among New York City's high school students.

In the summer of 2004, the film The Squid and the Whale was filmed in Midwood High School's auditorium, using students from the school's Drama Club as extra seat-fillers, in 80s-style costumes. The production also used background scenes on the stage that had been painted for the Drama Club's production of Bye Bye Birdie two months prior. The film production crew also enlisted the help of a former Drama Club and SING! lighting manager to help them light the stage for the scene.


Midwood has nearly 100 clubs, including Key Club, Asian Society, Akiva Club, Philosophy, Amnesty International, Latin Club, Young Democrats, West Indian Society Club Environmental Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Anime Club, Black Heritage Alliance (BHA), Young Writer's Club, Women in Power Club, Model Congress, ASPCA Club, Jewish club, Model United Nations, Hellenist Society, Slavic Society, Eastern Orthodox, Snowboard Club and Robotic Club. Lots of talented students complained that the school doesn't have an official Math Team, so a group of students established an unofficial group for students with an interest and talent in math.


The headline picture of Midwood's newspaper ARGUS

The Argus is Midwood's official school newspaper. The paper is published monthly and gives student journalists a chance to have their articles published. Editors are chosen by Midwood's journalism teacher in June from amongst the junior Journalism class. It contains different things such as news, features, op-ed, arts & sports, photography, school info, and web info, all per student request/input, as well as updated news about PSAL sport events and other events occurring in and outside the school. The newspaper also has its own website for students who didn't get a chance to read the latest paper edition.

Notable alumni


  • Admissions policy: neighborhood school; screened; MUST have 90 or higher on all major subjects, either a level 3 or 4 on both New York State Math and English exam to be considered as an applicant.(For Medical Science+Humanities)and an 85 or above on all subjects and at least a level 3 on both The New York State Math and English Exam to be consider on the Bilingual program (Part of the Medical Science Program).
  • Grade levels: 9–12
  • Graduation rate (2009–2010): 91%
  • Class size: 24–33
  • Ethnicity: 25% W, 34% B, 11% H, 30% A
  • Average SAT score: 1880/2400
  • Free lunch: 28%

Transportation Information


  • Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College (2 5 trains).
  • Avenue H (Q train).


  • B6 or B11 to Glenwood Road – Bedford Avenue.
  • Q35, B41 or B103 to Glenwood Road – Flatbush Avenue.
  • B44 to Glenwood Road – Nostrand Avenue.


  1. ^ "New York City Department of Education". Schools.nyc.gov. August 9, 2007. http://schools.nyc.gov/SchoolPortals/22/K405/default.htm. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ ".". http://schools.nyc.gov/OA/SchoolReports/2009-10/Progress_Report_Overview_2010_HS_K405.pdf. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  3. ^ "H.S. 405 Midwood High School". insideschools.org. http://insideschools.org/high/browse/school/935. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Jane Perlez (June 29, 1986). "Education Watch; Philosophical Objections To Elite City High Schools". New York City: The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50713FC38580C7A8EDDAF0894DE484D81&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fOrganizations%2fC%2fColumbia%20University%20. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ "New York Metro: Best High Schools in New York". Nymag.com. October 22, 2001. http://nymag.com/urban/articles/schools01/school9.htm. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Midwood High School, K405, Borough of Brooklyn, Zip Code 11210". Schools.nyc.gov. October 31, 2009. http://schools.nyc.gov/ChoicesEnrollment/High/Directory/school/?sid=4088. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Best High Schools in New York". New York Metro. October 22, 2001. http://newyorkmetro.com/urban/articles/schools01/school9.htm. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Results of the Intel Science Talent Search". Society for Science & the Public. http://www.societyforscience.org/sts/results. 
  9. ^ "Playoff Brackets". Psal.org. May 17, 2010. http://www.psal.org/psalsports/psalbracket/psal_32bracket.asp?csport=020&lid=668&season=2010. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ George Cifrancis III. "Jessica Steen Sing Article". Jessicasteen.com. http://www.jessicasteen.com/singsingsing_art.html. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°37′58″N 73°57′8.5″W / 40.63278°N 73.952361°W / 40.63278; -73.952361

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