Brown School News

  • Brown Weekly Message #15

    You can read the Brown School Weekly Message #15 HERE!

    Brown School Principal
  • Order your transcript on Parchment!

    Guidance Program
  • Brown Weekly Message #14

    You can read the Brown Weekly Message #14 HERE!

    Brown School Principal
  • Help Brown School Win a Grant!

    Our PTSA has submitted a grant proposal to Metro Louisville to receive funding to help in developing our K-12 green space at Peace Park.  Right now, you can provide your feedback/support for our grant, which will help us get funded!  Please take a moment and go to the link below and leave your message of support. The name of our grant proposal is Martha Ellison Peace Park Renovation, and it is located in the section for grants of $5000 or more. The link is Please forward this link to your friends and colleagues.


    Brown School Principal
  • FAFSA info

    Seniors! If you haven't completed your FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, there is still time. See the attached documents for instructions and best practices. Even if you don't think you will qualify for aide, you must STILL fill out the FAFSA!! Many scholarships are based on FAFSA information, whether or not federal aid is received.

    Guidance Program
  • Vogt Scholarship Taking Applications!

    Scholarship winners will receive a one time award of $10,000 to be used for tuition, books, and academic fees at any accredited four-year undergraduate program that leads to a BA/BS degree.

    Qualified applicants include any high school senior attending a JCPS high school who have:

    *Demonstrated leadership in school, extra-curricular and community activities

    *A cumulative (weighted) GPA of 3.2 or higher

    *An ACT score of 25 or higher, or an SAT score of 1200 or higher (redesigned SAT)

    *Completed and/or enrolled in Advanced Placement or equivalent college level curriculum


    The application process is completely online. Go here to submit your application!



    Guidance Program
  • Special Announcement - Fall Festival

    Read a special announcement about our Fall Festival HERE!

    Brown School Principal
  • Brown Weekly Message #13

    You can read the Brown Weekly Message #13 HERE!

    Brown School Principal
  • Brown Weekly Message #12

    You can read the Brown Weekly Message #12 HERE!

    Brown School Principal
  • Brown Weekly Message #11

    You can read the Brown Weekly Message #11 HERE!

    Brown School Principal


The Original Magnet School

Our Program

The J. Graham Brown School, the Original Magnet School,  is a district-wide magnet school for students who thrive in a  Self Directed Learning environment. Brown enrolls approximately 720 students in grades K through 12. Brown was recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education as a Distinguished school at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

J. Graham Brown students engage in an aligned college preparatory liberal arts curriculum based on our three tenets of Self-Directed Learning: Independence, Empathy, and Initiative. Our academic program cultivates critical, open-minded, and creative thinkers who are willing to take risks and are eager for new knowledge. Our learning environment develops compassionate, tolerant, and respectful human beings who value cultural diversity and contribute to the community. Grade level academic performance and age appropriate social skills are expected for success in this informal educational setting.

For detailed information about Self Directed Learning at Brown, click here:  Self Directed Learning Framework 


Our Students

Brown School Students . . .

  • Are interested in pursuing the most rigorous academic program available to prepare them for liberal arts study in college. They are developing a strong work ethic.
  • Are willing to take risks and stretch their comfort levels when pursuing academic study. They want to learn to challenge themselves, work hard, and self-regulate their own study.
  • Prefer a smaller learning community where relationships are developed over time with all community members. They want to be known by their teachers, administrators, and fellow students.
  • Want to work in an environment where students support one another in academic, activities, and athletics. They support each other to be better in all things and challenge each other to grow and excel, thus maximizing everyone's potential.
  • Prefer a school culture where differences are recognized and unique talents of individual are appreciated.
  • Are comfortable around people who are different from themselves. They are secure in their own place in the world and are not uncomfortable with differences found in others.
  • Know they are in a college-ready environment and are supportive of this focus in the educational program.
  • May be average ability students with the desire to achieve at high levels, or gifted students wanting to be challenged. They are ready to learn how to be better students. They are willing to learn how to take on rigor as students and thrive in this environment.
  • Are developing habits of self-direction. They practice self-regulation in completing tasks and do not have to be monitored closely for their study. They can complete homework assignments and long-term projects with little supervision and reminders.  Their parents understand and value learning beyond the school day. Parents have an intrinsic value of homework to strengthen student skills.
  • Value relationships with adults and are comfortable with teachers that challenge them to be the best they can be.
  • Like to be a participant in activities and athletics, and not merely an observer.
  • Are comfortable knowing everyone and being known by everyone in the school community.


What is the J. Graham Brown School?  The J. Graham Brown School is the district's oldest magnet school, beginning in 1972. It is a unique learning community that serves students in grades K-12. Brown provides a self-directed learning, with a classic liberal arts focus, delivered in a small informal learning community. Brown does not provide a career readiness program, so all students must be on grade level. The curriculum is a college preparatory experience and is patterned to maximize the talents and interests of the individual student.

What is self-directed learning?  Brown's self-directed learning environment sets the stage for students with that learning style to flourish. Self-directed learning is very different from Montessori, as it encourages students to choose non-preferred learning activities that are difficult and intellectually challenging. However, students in both programs must demonstrate the ability to work independently and possess the ability to focus without teacher redirection. Our program is undergirded by focused development in the areas of independence, empathy, and initiative. For more information about self-directed learning, click HERE.

Do Brown School students get to learn at their own pace?  No. Student learning is at a minimum pace with the curriculum maps provided by JCPS. In most classes at Brown, learning is accelerated or goes much deeper than that in the JCPS curriculum maps. Any student not demonstrating proficiency on grade level curriculum may be required to attend after-school tutoring, participate in additional online remediation while at home, and enroll in during-school remediation classes in lieu of additional electives.

Does Brown have a uniform policy?  No, Brown students do not wear uniforms. The Brown School community values the individuality of all students. A standard dress code does exist and can be found in the Student Dress Policy. Students are expected to refrain from wearing any clothing that would be demeaning to others, disruptive to the education process, or is considered indecent or vulgar in nature.

Is school bus transportation provided to Brown students?  No, the JCPS district does not provide bus service to the Brown School. Students and parents are responsible for getting students to and from school on time. TARC tickets are provided to students who need them.

Can students living outside Jefferson County attend Brown?  No, all Brown School students must be Jefferson County residents.

What are Brown's school hours?  School begins at 8:00 AM and dismisses at 2:40 PM. Students may be dropped off as early as 7:30 AM and must be picked up by 3:00 PM unless participating in a supervised after-school activity or enrolled in the YMCA CEP program.

Does Brown offer the Advance Program or Advanced Placement?  Yes. Brown offers the Advance Program beginning in 4th grade. For high school students, a catalog of Advanced Placement courses are offered. Students may also take college and dual-credit classes at local universities and online.

Can Brown High School students take college classes?  Yes. Brown High students have numerous opportunities to take college credit and dual-credit courses. Juniors and seniors can walk from Brown to JCTC and take dual-credit classes. Juniors and seniors can also drive or ride TARC to the University of Louisville to take dual-credit classes. Brown also has a unique partnership with Western Kentucky University; students, as early as their sophomore year, can enroll in dual-credit classes that either meet face-to-face on the Brown campus or can take classes online. Most of these opportunities cost as little as $52 a credit hour, which is about a 90% discount over normal tuition. Some students may be able to take advantage of Kentucky's Dual Credit Scholarship and could take classes for free.

Is Brown for everyone?  Not necessarily. No school is a perfect fit for every individual. A Brown School student should be one who prefers a smaller learning community where everyone is known. Students should possess the interest and ability to learn independently and be self-directed in their studies. They should value inquiry and enjoy being challenged by other points of view and opinions. They should be students who are serious about finding their academic passions and care about doing well in all they experience.

Do you accept "second choice"  or late applications?  Yes and no. Our admissions committee reviews second choice and late applications for prospective high school enrollment. We do not review second choice and late applications for prospective elementary and middle school enrollment.

Do students really call teachers by their first names?  Mostly. There are many teachers and staff members at the Brown School who go by first names. There are also teachers who prefer going by last names. Our philosophy is that respect is much more than the names by which we are called. We encourage everyone to be called by the names with which they are comfortable.

Is the student population diverse?  Yes, Brown School students come from all parts of the school district and represent a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Geographic diversity is valued and is a consideration in the admissions process.

Are there athletics and activities at Brown?  Yes. Brown does offer a wide variety of athletic and extra-curricular activities. Currently, there are 39 athletic teams and 44 co-curricular activities across elementary, middle, and high. Visit our Athletics page and Student Activities page for more information.

Is Brown a public school?  Yes. We are one of many public schools within Jefferson County Public Schools.