Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School

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Why Fannie Lou?

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School is a community that focuses on teaching students to use their minds well and preparing them to live productive, socially useful, and personally satisfying lives. We serve students in grades 9 through 12 to develop and pursue their interests with well-developed literacy, quantitative and critical thinking, as well as problem-solving skills.


FLHFHS's academic program stresses intellectual development and political and social involvement in our society. At FLHFHS we believe that students learn best by investigating authentic issues in ways that require collaboration, personal responsibility, care for others, and a tolerance for uncertainty. These crucial habits of mind and work are nurtured in classrooms where students are engaged in a curriculum centered on projects they design and carry out themselves and by work that students undertake outside of traditional classrooms through internship learning.


Classrooms are organized so that teachers and students establish personal learning objectives for each student and technology is used to maximize individuation, independence, and depth of learning through feedback and access to academic resources. Our teachers and students know each other well through this collaborative work and through an advisory system that supports personal connections.

  • We have been included in the Christensen Institute's national Canopy project. The Canopy identifies schools across the United States that are leaders in innovative approaches to student-centered learning.
  • We are a Children’s Aid Community School.  Children’s Aid provides students and families with extensive services, ranging from social and economic support to medical health and dental to college and career to an array of extracurricular activities.
  • Our Advisory system provides for comprehensive support of students and frequent communication with families, ensuring that no student is overlooked.
  • Our well-staffed Student Success Center ensures that all students, grade 9-12, receive assistance with college and career planning and financial aid.  For our Class of 2018, 97% applied and were accepted to college and they received over $2 million in scholarships.
  • Writing is highlighted in all subjects. All students graduate by completing performance-based assessment tasks, such as, a college-level history research paper and a student-designed science experiment. 
  • Public speaking is also emphasized in our curriculum.  All students develop graduation portfolios in the core subjects.  Students present and defend their work to committees through panel presentations.  Students cannot graduate without completing this rigorous process.
  • Our school greatly values students’ social-emotional well-being. We have an extensive counseling department and offer various student and family support services.
  • We have small class size and an 8 to 1 teacher to student ratio.
  • We handpick and selectively screen all of our teachers in order to provide one of the strongest teaching staffs in New York City.  Teaching matters and we hire only the best.
  • We are a highly collaborative professional learning community.  All teachers receive extensive professional development, support and common prep/planning time.
  • Students earn college credits though our partnership with College Now at Hostos Community College. Students to take college-level coursework while still in high school and gain valuable experiences.
  • Excel at NYU allows rising seniors to take classes and seminar at NYU to acclimate to college academics and college life.
  • Our school emphasizes getting students involved in Extended Learning Opportunities outside of school, focused on building students’ experiences, resumes and learning beyond the classroom.  We have partnerships with dozens of organizations with whom our students participate in programs after school, for internships and during the summer.
  • Because of school support, over 50% of our students participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), one of the highest rates in the city.