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9-12
Public
Vienna, VA
Students enrolled: 2,002

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2500 James Madison Dr
Vienna, VA 22181

(703) 319-2300
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Map of Madison High School address.

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December 17, 2014
Math department is horrible and in general all this school seems to do is to give quizzes and tests with no feedback to the students about what they did wrong. I don't understand how it gets the ratings that it does. If I had to do it over again, I would never send my child here.

- submitted by a parent
November 16, 2013
My daughter is a freshman this year. I'm really grateful for enrolling her into this school as they encourages students to acheive success and made the students enjoy in school while working hard. It's the best school one will ever want to enter. GO WARHAWKS!!

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2013
I graduated from Madison in 2012 as the oldest of three. I played 3 varsity sports, I was actively involved in various clubs and took multiple AP courses. I'm an average student, not a genius but Madison was a great school, they teach you to be independent, to manage your time wisely and to strive to be successful. Not only is a great place for an education, but for a social life as well, work hard during the week and enjoy the great sports teams and friends on the weekends. I didn't realize or appreciate all that I had been taught until I was 1. Accepted into All 7 of the universities I applied to 2. worked full time and 3. tackled 18 credit hours my first semester while making new friends. It's true that there are competitive, over protective, "Helicopter" parents (and students!) all over the place.... but this is Northern Virginia....the suburbs of the Nations Capital. There are so many advantages to being a Madison student. BUT! It is up to you (the student) you must utilize the NUMEROUS materials, opportunities, and resources they provide. Its not a cake walk, but with a little hard work you'll eventually appreciate the rewards. Go Warhawks!

- submitted by a student
August 22, 2013
Madison High School is a perpect match for a student who wants excel and study hard. My son has been attending Madison since 9th grade and we are pleased with the school so far. Most teachers are great at their subjects and they are willing to go the extra mile to teach their students the best way they can. But the child should be willing to learn, other wise, the pace is fast, it might be hard for an a avarage student to catch up. They don't hand out the grades right away like Montgomery County schools and the parent portal is not as good as edline, but it is about Fairfax county school system, not just Madison. So your child needs to follow everything very carefully, they want the students to be independent. It is hard for a parent to follow their grades and warn the student before hand. As long as you child is responsible and hard working the school has everything. Good teachers, discipline and it is very safe...and great sports teams. The only thing I'd like to see more of is paying more attention to arts...I recommend Madison for sure to everybody.....

- submitted by a parent
May 26, 2013
I agree with the Student who submitted the Dec '12 review: JMHS is a high-stress school with NoVA overachiever parents pushing kids to do better than well. There is an emphasis on sports and grades on SOLs at JMHS, which can lead to those kids in the middle, or those who are not in sports, to fall through the cracks. It also leads to "teaching to the tests" mentality, which does not exactly push learning. The Principal is a non-presence, in spite of drug and bullying issues at JMHS. The Guidance department is very good, which is a saving grace of this school. I completely agree with issues related to the teachers; one would think that a school of this calibre in this part of the county (and country) would attract high-achievers. Both my children have had real losers for teachers: teachers who do not teach, who are distracted by their other activities and interests, prima donnas who exhibit real vindictive streaks when called out, etc. Those should be weeded out and dismissed and the Front Office needs to be more engaged in this exercise as well. JMHS students perform above the average because we parents push them and are fortunate to have access to help outside the classroom.

- submitted by a parent
December 18, 2012
Madison is a high stress environment. Students are given large amounts of work that can be hard to complete and there's more push to get good grades and test scores than to actually learn material. Though some teachers are wonderful, others don't make any effort to help kids out at all. Many teachers behave inappropriately and most kids are incredibly stressed out. There's an emphasis on athletics when the teams aren't high achievers and the administrators can be really harsh. There's a system called Warhawk in good standing which basically makes it so some kids aren't even allowed to go to the bathroom during class and bullying isn't even addressed by admins. the biggest concerns seem to be not having kids in the hallways during sap and getting high test scores. I have heard Madison compared to a prison more than once with their strict regulations and lack of natural light or healthy student environments.

- submitted by a student
November 07, 2011
My son is a freshman at Madison. He is in all honors courses and came from the GT Center at Luther Jackson. He s found the academic transition to be easy thus far. He joined Cross Country, will run Indoor Track, and plans to try out for Lacrosse in the spring. He is also participating in Science Olympiad. He is very happy that he joined a team in August as it helped him to get to know a group of people before starting school. Most students come from Thoreau, so those kids do know each other well. So far he likes his teachers and is planning his high school career. He s fun-loving, but is a serious student, like many at Madison, which had one of the highest numbers of National Merit Semi Finalists in the state. Madison offers an amazing variety of AP courses from AP History and Literature to Physics, Psychology, Computer Science and more. There are many different activities, so a student can find his place whether it be in the band, sports, chorus, theatre, Model UN, or a political club.

- submitted by a parent
November 06, 2011
Both of our children went to Madison and received excellent education: accademic, cultural and social. I am surprized at the number of parents who blame the school for their, and their childrens, difficulties...!

- submitted by a parent
February 27, 2011
Honestly, I am disappointed in the quality of education here. Essentially, taking an honors class just means that you get more homework. Juniors and seniors are taking more AP classes than even most college kids take a semester. The focus here is more on a college application, and not on college preparation. The principal was formerly on the baseball team during his years at Madison (and therefore lets them get away with all sorts of stuff and funds them more than any other club despite their losing record). He isn't present during the day and the administration is really unorganized. I was especially disappointed on my first day of school, seeing as I had no instruction as to where to go and I was totally confused. The activities office is totally unprofessional and disorganized as well. The only reason why test scores are so high at this school is because the kids are really smart. However, there is a pretty diverse environment considering there are many kids from other countries who come here (usually their parents are diplomats or military personnel). All in all, this isn't an atrocious place to be but there are definitely better places to go to high school.

- submitted by a student
January 06, 2010
After the rigorous preparation of the GT program at Kilmer MS, the academic side of life at Madison HS is very disappointing. Even in honors classes, the students are not motivated, the teachers are frustrated, and some of the work is so basic that it is positively insulting. The administration is cold and not especially sympathetic or helpful and seems to prize athletics above all else, a strange thing considering that the mission of the school is supposed to be to EDUCATE. Needless to say, my daughter will be switching into the IB program at Marshall HS next year. A great disappointment overall!

- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2009
I've had my two children graduate from Madison High School and both received an excellent education at Madison HS and are thriving at their respective Virginia universities. The classes that both of my children took challenged them every day (both honors, AP and regular classes). I commend all the dedicated teachers of this high school for coming in early and staying late so that they could be available for their students and offer extra academic support when needed. The school also offers SAP (Student Assistance period) for 20 minutes every day and any student can go to their teacher and review any material with them during this time or if students didnt' need this help they could work on their homework. The opportunities for extra-curricular activites offered at Madison are numerous. The counselors get to know every one of their students and assist them in the college application process.

- submitted by a parent
no rating September 06, 2009
My child finished his first year. He is not an athlete and has been in the honors courses. We have been unexpectedly pleased with the teachers. We have no issue with many of the rules, particularly after hearing the principal explain the reasons why they are there. The ones that I find too strict (draconian penalties for drug use in particular--as if no one every makes big mistakes in her life) were imposed by Virginia voters, not the principal.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 13, 2009
My son graduated from this school. He was involved in athletics so I appreciate the support that he got from mostly a very strong boosters program. But unlike schools I attended Athletes were not given any .'free rides.' He was also a middle of the road non AP student with ADD, but no IEP His teachers(except one) were all wonderful and helpful. Many coming to school early or staying late to give him that extra one on one attention that he needed to get through the demanding curriculum. My main complaint would be the grading scale. Why is 92% a B? This school prepared my son, who does have educational and learning challenges for college. in fact, the did claim most of college was easier than high school. He graduated and is now on to post graduate studies. I thank James Madison High School for that.

- submitted by a parent
no rating July 01, 2009
The education at Madison is exactly what you make it. The years I took honors and AP classes and put forth a lot of effort I felt challenged, but the years that I took regular classes I didn't really need to study and I didn't learn much. If you can get yourself or your child into TJ you will definitely be better prepared for college.

- submitted by a student
no rating April 25, 2009
Overly concerned about rules and outward discipline and less concerned about creating a strong sense of self -dispcline among the students. The depictions of Madison High School in the Banana News (www.bananaws.com) story on Teens and Birds, captures it just right. However, good content within the classes.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 21, 2009
The administration I found to be incredibly cold and needlessly strict, favoring the jocks and convientently forgetting about all the rest. Academics were rigorous, prepared me well for college. The student population as a whole was not diverse, and also echoed the theme of jocks reign supreme. While I enjoyed my time here, I found that it had many ridiculous rules and the administration was too overpowering and everpresent to ever really learn any real life skills

- submitted by a community member
February 05, 2009
A very tough school with an unexpectedly challenging curriculum. My son is a freshman with all honors classes, and he is feeling pressure like never before - it precludes all but one extracurricular activity (strings). The integration of Blackboard and regular reports (not exclusive to Madison) lets parents track their kids' progress, but I haven't see a lot of evidence that the school administrators are very proactive about making sure the students are on track if their grades or assignment completion rates dip. The sum - four stars because of a challenging curriculum and 'sink or swim' approach that tracks a little more closely with real life, but one star off of perfect because these are still kids, and they need instruction, encouragement, and life training that I haven't really seen. And PS - I am not a sports parent, so I don't ever see that side of things.

- submitted by a parent
January 19, 2009
It's an OK school, but probably overrated. We were told moving into Vienna that Madison was among the top schools in the county. If that's correct, it doesn't speak too highly for the rest of the county. There's a lot of emphasis on athletics, so the jocks reign supreme. The principal of the school is a former student there, with all the insularity and lack of perspective you might expect.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2008
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- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2008
A poor choice for any student. The tops students who attend this school would do better at Jefferson, while the bottom students fall through the cracks. Atheletes are diefied by the student body, and there are way too many egos floating around the school. My child has found many of the teachers to be incompetent, the school building quality subpar, and has had an all around bad experience. There are many snobs, and the affluence of the community has led to an ever increasing drug problem. Do not send your child to this school. Even in Fairfax county, there are many better options.

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2008
Madison is a solid high school in the solid Fairfax County Public Schools. My son spent four years here and as a middle-of-the-road student he fit in well with the overarching culture of student involvement. Madison, like all FCPS schools, loses what would be its very best and most gifted students to Thomas Jefferson, the county's nationally-known magnet school. This strongly harms Madison's reputation with college admissions offices, and all Fairfax schools save Jefferson lag in admissions to top-tier colleges. The faculty is solid and involved with its students in many ways, and as several parents have noted, the sports programs are a particular strength. There are not many social problems that are present in other local high school districts that have higher proportions of non-English speaking students and students from impoverished backgrounds. Students at Madison tend to come from upper-class, professional families, reflective of the community that surrounds the

- submitted by a parent
March 07, 2008
This school is just bad. As a former student and now a parent, I have quite a bit of experience. My children are not in any sports programs, and are therefore pushed to the side. Also, way too many of the teachers are unqualified, and those who aren't are often incompitent. The science equipment is not up to par with schools in the surrounding communities. Students are valued only for the funding that their high test scores can bring to the school. Over all, a very cold environment.

- submitted by a parent
January 30, 2008
This is a very over achieving high stressed and highly educated town. The sports programs are great but the Pricipal puts way too much emphasis on them and seems to favor the talented football and baseball players. More and more new teachers are previous Madison graduates and went to school with the principal. Being such an involved school, there is something for everyone, many many clubs and community opportunities. Parents are very involved in after school activities. The cirriculum is very intense - what they have to learn is much more intense than what friends high schools in other parts of the country are learning. Most graduates find college easier than high school. Great thing, it's not 'are you going to college' but 'where are you going to college'. A great school but can be intimidating for some

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2007
Madison High School is a very challenging and rigorous school. The students are highly motivated and competitive, which sometimes causes problems. Academically it is one of the top in the country, producing pass scrors on the AP exam ninety percent of the time. Overall a perfect school that balnces many activites at once.

- submitted by a teacher
June 15, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2007
The school here is excellent when it comes to the academics. The teachers are challenging and push their students to do their best. A very strict, academic school is what every child needs to secure a future no matter how much they may not like it. Grades are the only thing that matter to me and my daughter.

- submitted by a parent
March 04, 2007
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- submitted by a staff
March 04, 2007
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- submitted by a former student
March 04, 2007
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March 04, 2007
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March 04, 2007
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- submitted by a student
March 04, 2007
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March 04, 2007
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March 04, 2007
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- submitted by a former student
February 20, 2007
Political correctness and AP classes seem to be the only things this school cares about. It's also a very cold atmosphere where us parent have no input. However, the sports are alright and while my daughter is struggling here, my son is doing well.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2007
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- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2007
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- submitted by a administrator
January 27, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
January 27, 2007
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- submitted by a former student
January 27, 2007
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- submitted by a staff
January 03, 2007
We hand picked Madison when we learned that we were moving to the area. I must say that all the hype is undeserved. Fairfax County schools, and Madison in particular, are focused exclusively on test scores. Students do not have to learn, simply regurgitate for the test and move on. Teachers are for the most part unimpressive and the school is dangerously overcrowded to the point where teachers are pushing carts from room to room because there aren't enough classrooms to go around. The administration is unresponsive at best. Teachers can choose whether or not to show daily announcements so students are uninformed. The course offerings are excellent.

- submitted by a parent
January 02, 2007
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- submitted by a teacher
February 10, 2006
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- submitted by a teacher
September 15, 2005
I am a freshman at Madison, and this is what, the second week of school. I must say that I have not been there long, but I love it. The teachers are tough,and overall great. Kids, sports, teachers are great. And trust me the school is lookin good after the renovations. :)

- submitted by a student
August 14, 2005
Madison has proved to be a very tough school academically, although it's emphasis on AP classes is way too large. It's definately not an 'easy-A' type of school, you really have to work hard for the grades that you get. The music department is also incredible, they have a wonderful marching band and concert bands as well, although the emphasis placed on sports is crazy. From what I've seen of my daughter's school, it seems to be very much a 'preppy' school.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2005
This small community school can offer much more to the promising students it serves if the administration would hire qualified teachers. Some of the academic classes are taught by teachers with little or no experience or training. The science department lacks equipment and supplies to meet today's technology and advances especially in the living sciences.

- submitted by a parent
June 01, 2005
My daughter attended Madison all 4 years - she loved it. I have to say that she always did feel like a poor person in comparison to the other families in the area, but all-in-all she received a good education which prepared her for college in a safe environment. Thank you Madison HS.

- submitted by a parent
May 18, 2005
A 'hometown' school, well supported by the community. Individual teacher quality varies. Only one out of four teachers of Honors classes for my ninth grader has gifted certification. Twice-exceptional children not well served. Principal not agreeable to providing supports to disabled children in Honors classes. One size fits all approach to meeting individual child's needs. Parents not encouraged to participate in planning successful IEP's. Little understanding or tolerance of individual differences and how they affect a child's ability to 'access' the curriculum. Teacher training optional. No accountability for qualifications of those who are in control of the curriculum. Adherence to Special Education regulations questionable.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2005
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- submitted by a teacher
January 23, 2005
Madison has some wonderful teachers, but the administration is a pain, very rigid, lots of dumb rules. Political correctness has a firm grip and forces kids to waste time doing silly things that prepare them for nothing.

- submitted by a parent
December 21, 2004
I believe that the school is much better than many of the other schools in the area because of the enviroment the community gives the school. The school also has done a wonderful job of giving students a wide variety of electives, including Combating Intolerance, which has helped my class and I notice the problems that people have faced and face today, and is not just an easy A class.

- submitted by a staff
March 25, 2004
For good or ill, the curriculum at this school tends to be skewed heavily toward Advanced Placement courses. Very few academic courses besides AP courses compliment the base math/science/english/history curriculum. For example, no British Literature elective, no Geography elective, no European History elective. College-bound students, in order to be competitive for top universities, must take AP courses, beginning in 10th grade. Not all counselors stress this fact to their students, much to my surprise. For ill to be sure, political correctness has made inroads into the curriculum. For as I point out that there is no Geography or European History electives in the social studies department, there is a course called 'Combating Intolerance.' Give me a break. For the athletically inclined, the school invests very heavily into its athletic teams.

- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2003
We had 4 graduate from this school and each was given exceptional opportunities to learn through academic courses, clubs and sports. All 4 graduated from college and their only common complaint was that h.s. chemistry did not prepare them for college chem. Their mutual compliments go to the math and English departments--one of the kids took his degree in Applied Mathematics.

- submitted by a parent
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Madison High School
2500 James Madison Dr, Vienna, VA  22181
(703) 319-2300
Last modified Madison High School is a Public school that serves grades 9-12. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 9 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Madison High School Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 54 reviews. Top