Madison High School Mission Statement

  • Madison Senators Logo "At Madison, all students will access an engaging and inclusive education defined by diversity and respect. All students will graduate from high school empowered with critical skills necessary for success in higher education, career, and community engagement."

  • SCHOOL: James Madison High School is one of nine comprehensive high schools in Portland Public Schools. We serve neighborhood students and many transfer students grades 9-12. Campus demographics (2019-20 year): White/Not Hispanic: 34%, Latino/Hispanic: 25%, Asian: 15%, Black/African American: 14%, Multi-ethnic: 9%, Pacific Islander: 2%, Native American: 1%.


    SCHOOL ORGANIZATION: 70 minute block periods run four times a day. Students can enroll in up to 8 classes. Madison uses an 18-week semester calendar. Each semester course can earn 0.5 credit.


    GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS: Twenty-four credits are required for graduation (0.5 credits for each semester course successfully passed), though Madison students are encouraged to work beyond core requirements. Courses required for graduation are as follows:

    Language Arts                4 credits                                    Mathematics                  3 credits

    Social Science                3 credits                                    World languages            2 credits

    Laboratory Science         3 credits                                    Health Education            1 credit

    Physical Education          1 credit                                     Electives*                      7 credits

    * 1.0 of elective credit must be earned in fine arts, a 3rd year of a world language, or career & technical education.


    MARKING SYSTEM: Grades (A through F) are given twice a year, at the end of the fall semester in January and at the end of the spring semester in June. The grade point average, computed at the end of the sixth semester, includes all subjects in which a student has received a letter grade. The transcript reflects a standard and weighted GPA/Rank. Weighted GPA is calculated by adding one point for each AP course completed (beginning 2nd semester 2009-10).

    A          (4 points)   (5 pts)                      P/Pass*             (no points)         NP/no pass**                        

    B          (3 points)   (4 pts)                      WX/Withdraw*   (no points)         WF/Withdraw/Fail**           

    C          (2 points)   (3 pts)                      NG/No grade*    (no points)                               

    D          (1 point)    (2 pts)                      INC/Incomplete*(no points)               

    F          (0 points)   (0 pts)                                    

    *P, WX, and INC designations are not calculated in the cumulative GPA.

    **Students receiving a NP, WF elected to drop the course after the first 3 weeks of the semester. WF and NP designations are calculated in the cumulative GPA.


    MADISON GRADUATES: In the past, over 44% of our graduates planned to enter a four-year college or university while another 41% planned to attend a community college. Graduates have had final transcripts sent to the following institutions of higher education:

    Boston University                       Johns Hopkins University                        University of Portland                             

    Univ of Puget Sound                   Brigham Young University                       Lewis & Clark College

    Portland Comm College              University of San Diego                          Carnegie Mellon University    

    Linfield College                          Portland State University                         Western Oregon Univ

    Clackamas Comm College           New York University                               Reed College                                   

    Whitman College                        Concordia University                               Northern Arizona University   

    Scripps College                          Willamette University                              Cornell University                                  

    Seattle Pacific University             Dartmouth University                             Oregon State University                         

    Seattle University                       George Fox University                             Pacific Lutheran University    

    Southern Oregon University        Gonzaga University                                 Pacific N.W. College of Art      

    Grambling State                         Pacific University                                    University of Oregon

    Northwest Nazarene                   University of Arizona 


    CURRICULUM: James Madison High School offers a full range of college preparatory core content

    classes as well as unique elective options in the areas of Mathematics, Performing & Visual Arts, Science,

    Social Science, and World Languages. Students may challenge themselves by enrolling in Advanced

    Placement and Dual Credit courses. Dual Credit courses are taught by Madison faculty who work in

    partnership with Portland Community College (see courses below with *).


    Language Arts                                     Mathematics                            Science

    English 1-2                                            Algebra 1-2                                Biology 1-2            

    English 3-4                                            Geometry 1-2                            Foundations of Physics & Chemistry

    English 5-6                                            Bridges to Advanced Algebra       Chemistry

    American Literature Honors                     Advanced Algebra 3-4                 Forensic Science

    Film & Literature                                    Math 95                                     Physics

    Contemporary Writing                                                                             Human Body Systems

    Intro to Sustainable Agriculture

    Urban Farming


    Social Studies                                      World Languages                     Upper-Level Electives

    Modern World History                             Spanish 1-6                               Top Notes

    U.S. History                                           French 1-6                                 Drumline

    U.S. Government                                                                                   Speech & Debate



    Advanced Placement & College-Level Courses: Madison High School encourages students to take advanced courses when they feel prepared for the rigor and challenges these courses offer. Students may begin taking AP courses their sophomore year, but most students begin their junior year.


    AP Literature & Composition                    AP Language & Composition        AP Human Geography

    AP Psychology                                       AP Chemistry                             AP Environmental Science

    AP US History                                        AP Calculus AB/BC                     AP Music Theory

    AP Statistics                                           AP Spanish                                College Writing 101*

    Spanish *                                              Pre-Calculus*                             Probability & Statistics*


    Health Services

    Madison’s Health Services program is an Oregon State Approved Professional Technical Program of Portland Public Schools. It is a 4-year program that provides students with basic medical knowledge, medical terminology, and the opportunity to explore a wide variety of medical careers. Our program provides instruction and experiences designed to assist students in qualifying for post-secondary education and for entry-level positions in health care. Upon completion of Madison’s 4-year health services program, the students will receive a health services endorsement in addition to their diploma. They will also receive 1.0 Health Credit if enrolled all four years.


    AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is an international program designed for students who are underrepresented at 4-year universities. This elective course prepares students for college and the challenging high school courses such as honors and Advanced Placement, which advance learning and open doors. Ninety-five percent of students who complete at least 3 years of AVID enter college and 60% of AVID graduates enter 4-year universities. Students benefit from additional writing tasks, numerous field trips to colleges around the state (and potentially out of state), study skills, and college research. Twice weekly, AVID tutors, who are generally college students, work with small groups and challenge them to think at deeper levels about their course material.


    Academic Letters

    In an effort to acknowledge academic success from students at every level of achievement, Madison started the Academic Lettering Program in 2011. Each year students can be recognized for academic excellence if they meet the following criteria:

    1. Earn a 3.5 grade point average for at least three of the four quarters in a single school year, and
    2. Students must take at least five classes that are graded on the grading scale of A through F (i.e. courses taken Pass/No Pass courses do not count).