GreatSchools Rating

Brien Mcmahon High School

Public | 9-12 | 1731 students


Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
Based on 1 rating
No new ratings
Based on 1 rating
Based on 1 rating

Teacher quality

Principal leadership

Parent involvement

Rate this school

Click on stars to rate
Please select a star rating for this school.
    Helpful reviews answer questions:
  • What do you think others should know?
  • What do you like?
  • How could your school improve?
    Review Guidelines
    GreatSchools won’t post reviews that contain:
  • Inappropriate language
  • Allegations of criminal conduct
  • Names of students, teachers or staff
1200 characters remaining
Please read and accept our Terms of Use to join GreatSchools.
Please indicate your relationship to the school.
Registration is required to post your anonymous review
We will not display your name, photo or email address with your review.
Your email address will never be published or shared.
Indicates a required field

18 reviews of this school

Sort by:
Show reviews by:
Posted June 2, 2014

Brien McMahon High School is very good. The faculty prepares students and gives them a good base for many walks of life. Yes you have a diverse student population as you have in town, but the students achieve at the next level, some in the Ivy league, some in trade school. I fully recommend the school and everything it offers the students and the community.

Posted January 15, 2012

seeing the most recent review i'm very confused. i'm currently a junior at this school and i have to say this is a very good school. i cant imagine myself going to any other high school. I have to say that our school is very diverse and no matter who you are and what you like there is always someone to talk to. i love that we have a beautiful school and i actually think that our counselors are very helpful. we even have a school to career center. i take very hard classes and i think that my teachers are amazing. i know many people from other towns that join CGS just to be able to go to Mcmahon . . . we also have a great sports program with great lax teams and we have really great clubs like spanish club, Peace project, build on , and much more . . . . the only complaint i have is our strict administration . . . it sucks that we have to have a golden ticket in order to use the library, i hate having lunch at 10am and that we get detention for being late to lunch and other strict rules but otherwise than that i'm proud to be a Senator.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 5, 2011

Brien McMahon should not be the school of choice for anyone with a choice. It is weak praise indeed to suggest a child will succeed Despite having attended Brien McMahon. The teachers are uncaring and uninspiring. They are unresponsive and uninterested i nteh kids. Administrators are bean counters more concerned with maintaining a prison lockdown environment than in fostering an environment for college preparation or educational success. My honors student has become depressed and completed turned off to learning due to a failed social experiment on the parent of her parents that led them to decide to remain in Norwalk and not flee to surrounding communities that actually get it. Brien McMahon is mediocre at best. Her siblings will attend private school in the fall. However, Norwalk taxes are very expensive to have to send one's children to private school in order to secure a decent education let alone a great one! We are involved parents and are more appalled each day. No college counseling. No thought beyond pushing kids through the hallways and out the door.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 28, 2009

Brien mcmahon is the best high school iaround because you have staff that really cares like mrs. Waterhouse, miss. Benoit and mrs. Wood they really helped me and my son out all the way up into graduation. All three staff members deserve a huge raise and a plaque for job well done. Thank you
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 30, 2008

This school is Simply amazing. Classes are wonderful, and community is great. As a Senior, I am actually very glad about my decision to attend BMHS. My teachers prepared me for everything; college, and even life in general. This school is more or so a doorway to the real world. Sure, people may think it's 'Dirty' par say, but who are they to say? The obviously haven't been there in awhile. We have a lot of new teachers, and everything is simply very smooth. Guidance counselors are easy to a hold of via appointment, and are extremely helpful. I love this school, and dread the day of my graduation.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 26, 2007

As a graduate from the class of 2007, i can honestly say that BMHS is a great school. The teachers prepare students for college and life. The teachers are always willing to help. Graduates from BMHS have gone onto great colleges and have found themselves fully prepared. There are also many extracurricular activities and sports to get involved with. The school also has many fun activities throughout the year, such as a talent show, fashion show, and a holiday fair. The school is like a community in which everybody gets along and is very close. BMHS is like a home away from home for many students. The school environment has also changed a lot. I highly recommend this school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 5, 2007

My wife, daughter, and I are all BMHS alumni. With my own personal experience, and the knowledge attained by speaking to many parents and students who have attended this school, Norwalk High School, and high schools in neighboring towns, I cannot say BMHS is a great high school. I can say, however, that it is a very good high school (inner-city, or otherwise). I have always maintained that if a child wants to learn, they will. My wife and I can both attest to that, as we both went on to establish ourselves in lucrative careers beyond high school. My daughter, now attending UConn, can also proclaim BMHS to have been a stepping stone to higher learning. Most of the many good friends and acquaintances we established at BMHS have also excelled in learning and gone on to very respectable careers. I would rate BMHS an 8 on a 1-10 scale.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted May 3, 2006

A student's experience at McMahon is truly what he or she makes it. BMHS is a diverse community that becomes a second family to many students. Athletics are great as are the many, engaging after school activities. The upper level courses have been challenging, yet extremely engaging for my child. A positive attitude and a willingness to learn and be involved are all that is needed to be successful at BMHS. Parent involvement is encouraged and kids have been very receptive to efforts such as PGP and fashion shows. My child chose BMHS over private school and never regretted the decision. It has been a great place for my kids to grow as leaders and as people.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 10, 2006

I love this school from the moment I walked into the front doors in 2003 to now in 2006, with the opening of our newly renovated origional building, Mcmahon has helped me alot with people who truly care. World class education if you are a good student.
—Submitted by a student

Posted February 26, 2005

I am a parent as well as a former student. Yes BMHS is dirty, but it is also under renovations and has been since 2003. Academically I think BMHS is a great school for an inner city PUBLIC school and has been improving every year. I have never had an issue with the administration nor safety. There are rules that have been implamented to minimize skipping, fighting etc. The instructors on numerous occassions have contacted in regards to behavior or missed homework, which shows me that they are concened. Many disgruntled parents believe their children do no wrong, unfortunately these usually are the wrong doers. As responsible adults we should all show the instructors respect and the children will follow.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 26, 2005

Brien McMahon is a very bad school. As a senior I had to endure four years of suffering at this school. One excellent proof is the average SAT score of this school, which is around 940. One excellent product of this school is the previous reviewer who spelled Brien McMahon as 'Brian McMahon.' AP and Honors classes are over-hyped; almost any average students can be admitted. Additionally, the racial diversity in this school As 'racially diversity', racism is widely present in the school. As for the teachers, they are overpaid and most of them never made it to the real world themselves. The condition of the school is dirty -- it is extremely dirty. So what if there is a new addition, This school deserves D- rating.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 20, 2005

i am a freshmen January 20th, 2005 at Brian McMahon. Brian McMahon is racially diverse school and participates in city wide activites. The teachers are helping and most of all excillent in their teaching abilities. There are many sports to participate in and extracuricular activities. overall this school can be a great experience.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 14, 2005

I am a student at BMHS,and its a great school to study. There are courses for everyone. There is many different kind of pple at the school. Even though the school is old, and many things are very dirty, they give the education that you need. The number of people in this school is the same. There is the same amount or even more number of minorites then white so you get to meet all kinds of people.
—Submitted by a student

Posted January 12, 2005

As a parent of freshman, i am more than pleased with bmhs so far. I have found the classes challenging, the teachers caring and the administration responsive. I must also add, that i am a very involved parent and make it my business to attend meetings and keep in the touch with teachers. I am rather surprised by some of the negative comments in the reviews, but i noted that they are very badly written and my guess would be that they were written by disgruntled students not parents. Like anything else in life, you get out of things what you put in. If you want a quality education, it certainly can get attained at bmhs in a real world setting.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 4, 2004

brien mcmahon is a very good school, way better than norwalk high, norwalk high from what i've heard from students coming from there is you can get away with alot more there. there are problems at brien mcmahon. there are good things about the school but if the administration knuckled down just a little more we would have an exellent inner-city school.
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 10, 2004

Ooooh my god. In all honesty, my child has not gone to a worse school. It is dirty, disgusting, and the administration can't be bothered. A teacher followed my child to the bathroom and stood outside the door and waited for him, because he thought my kid would run off or something.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted September 29, 2004

McMahon is a very good high school. It isn't perfect, but after the renovation it will look amaing. The schools students will be entered into a whole new unused environment. The best of the best. Stars such as John Mayer have gone to the school and because of McMahons amazing chorus have come out stars. McMahon's Senotors have gone all the way to the top every year, and is my personal favorite High School in all of Norwalk.
—Submitted by a student

Posted August 25, 2003

This school is terrible! My child can't even go to the bathrooom when she needs to, you get a wait or no! And lots of kids skip and hardly get caught and most of the time there is punishment because parents have to keep calling and asking about cut slips! And how stupid is it to get suspended for skipping! They can't where tank tops when there is no air conditioning I mean girls have built in bras now and who is atracted to shoulders??? I mean there should be a rule on how low it goes but still the teachers aren't the parents and didn't buy there items!
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 79% in 2013.

421 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Reading was 81% in 2013.

423 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Science was 82% in 2013.

422 students were tested at this school in 2013.









The state average for Writing was 89% in 2013.

422 students were tested at this school in 2013.








Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Connecticut used the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) to test students' skills in reading, writing, science and math in grade 10. The CAPT is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Connecticut.

Source: Connecticut Department of Education


All Students74%
Asian American85%
Economically disadvantaged61%
Not economically disadvantaged82%
Students with disabilities16%
Students without disabilities79%
English language learners21%
Proficient in English78%


All Students77%
Asian American85%
Economically disadvantaged64%
Not economically disadvantaged85%
Students with disabilities15%
Students without disabilities82%
English language learners29%
Proficient in English80%


All Students80%
Asian American85%
Economically disadvantaged67%
Not economically disadvantaged89%
Students with disabilities27%
Students without disabilities85%
English language learners13%
Proficient in English86%


All Students86%
Asian American89%
Economically disadvantaged77%
Not economically disadvantaged92%
Students with disabilities43%
Students without disabilities90%
English language learners48%
Proficient in English89%
Scale: % level 3, 4, or 5

About the tests

In 2012-2013 Connecticut used the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) to test students' skills in reading, writing, science and math in grade 10. The CAPT is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Connecticut.

The different student groups are identified by the Connecticut Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Connecticut Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Hispanic 34% 20%
White 32% 61%
Black 27% 13%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 6% 4%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 42%N/A35%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Oops! We currently do not have any teacher information for this school. We rely on the state Department of Education, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and in some cases school administrators such as registrars and principals for this data.

What makes a great teacher? Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher. Here are some characteristics to look for »

This school has not yet provided program information.

Help other families

Millions of families turn to GreatSchools for help with their
school search. You can help these families by providing
a few details about this school.

Administrators & teachers: Let your school shine!

Help your school shine online by adding program highlights, photos and more on GreatSchools! Get started »

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events found for this school
Searching for school events...
  • {{date}}
Export calendar
Microsoft Outlook
iCal Format
Google Calendar
Print Calendar
Uploading, please wait...
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

300 Highland Ave
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 852-9488


Compare this school
to nearby schools

Compare schools »


Add this school to compare

Nearby schools

Briggs High School
Norwalk, CT

New Canaan High School
New Canaan, CT

St Thomas More School
Montville, CT