Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men is an all-male school for grades 6-12 that offers a wide range of academic and athletic activities for students. Douglass moved up 6 percentiles on the State of Michigan Top-to-Bottom List in the 2013-2014 school year and was recognized as a top 10 Detroit high school by Excellent Schools Detroit. The school’s mascot is the ibis, and the team name is “Hurricanes”. Students wear uniforms.
School of the Week: Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men
Customize, Care and Challenge all a part of the Young Men of Frederick Douglass Academy
“Winning With a Tie!”
The 23 graduates of the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men, pictured in the lobby of the school with red and blue bow ties and blue blazers, completed the program with both a love of learning, and a love of discipline.
Both are necessary ingredients in an educational environment focused on successful young men. That focus is made clearer and sharper when one major distraction is removed from the school setting: young women.
“They simply don’t have to show out all the time for the girls,” notes third year Principal Berry Greer during an hour-long conversation throughout the school last Thursday.
Teaching young men how to tie a bow tie, and discipline in general, is key for Greer, a veteran DPS teacher, administrator, King HS Band Director for 13 years, and also former military police officer with stations at Fort Bragg, Ft. Knox, Ft. Riley and during Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.
Sixty percent of Douglass’ men choose to participate in the JROTC program, not to follow Greer’s military footsteps but for its impact on their self-esteem and character.
“We let the kids know this is a leadership program. They learn how to conduct themselves properly and develop that love of discipline,” Principal Greer says. “They grow. They go home in that uniform and people say to them, ‘Man, you look good in the neighborhood,’ and as a result they look at themselves differently.”
The weekly Wednesday ROTC uniform is a necessary regimen. When Count Day, a Wednesday, became a school-district wide emphasis on an eased dress code, Frederick Douglass’ men returned the following day on Thursday in the green and black uniforms.
“We work very hard to try to stay away from that ‘casual register,’ “ says Greer.
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Sports include football (JV and varsity), tennis and golf, cross country, track and field, and basketball (middle, JV, and varsity). The 2014 varsity basketball Hurricanes were State Regional Champions. Douglass also offers an award winning journalism program (2014 High School Program of the Year – Detroit Free Press), robotics, chess, foreign language classes, film study, and a very strong and active Army JROTC.
There are a variety of clubs and services offered, including after-school tutoring, after school credit recovery, night school, Accelerated Reading and Math, National Honor Society/National Junior Honor Society, Drama Club, Media Club, Science Club, Debate Team, Student Government, mentorship and community service programs, and the Art, History, and Culture Club, directed by award winning teacher Okezie Iroha (in partnership with U of M).
Douglass offers a private school atmosphere in a public school environment. The student uniform is business attire – monogrammed blazers, ties, dress khaki slacks, white dress shirts, a black belt and black dress shoes. The school is unique because of small class sizes, which allow for individualized learning.
- We Care for ALL students
- We Customize academically, socially, emotionally
- We Challenge with academic rigor
Through this unique model we engage the learner to be successful beyond the secondary level and ready for the various institutions of higher learning.
Frederick Douglass College Preparatory Academy for Young Men will promote the vision of “Meeting Challenge with Effort” whereby creating a learning environment which emphasizes the development of skills, focuses on process to outcome, and provides accurate and useful feedback from instructional coaches who strive to facilitate learning that will produce men who believe that effective effort is the basis of increasing one’s ability.
Frederick Douglass College Preparatory Academy for Young Men will offer a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum that allows young men to think critically and creatively as they matriculate through the enriched, performance-based, constructivist and differentiated learning environment. These young men will be equipped to compete in a global society.
The young men of Frederick Douglass are honorable men of integrity. We demonstrate courtesy and respect for all and fear of none. We firmly commit to the principles of Ngoro Saba as we declare that “No ground is too barren for the seeds of a fertile mind” HARAMBEE!
We believe all students, regardless of circumstances, can learn.
We believe we should be judged by results in student achievement.
We believe parent and community involvement are critical to our success.
We believe that shared leadership & collaboration among all the stakeholders is critical.
We believe that we can make a rapid turnaround and increase student achievement significantly.
The Name We Honor
Frederick Douglass was a 19th century Civil Rights Leader and Abolitionist, who became a leader of the abolitionist movement. He gained notoriety for his powerful oratorical style and incisive antislavery writings.
“Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”