The mission of the General Brown Central School District is to prepare and inspire each student to meet future challenges.
The General Brown Central School District is located in rural Jefferson County, about three miles northwest of Watertown, and includes portions of the towns of Brownville, Hounsfield, Lyme, Pamelia and Watertown and the villages of Brownville, Dexter and Glen Park.
The district is comprised of three school buildings with enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 12. Dexter Elementary School is located in the village of Dexter and serves students in prekindergarten through grade 2. Brownville-Glen Park Elementary School, located in the village of Glen Park, serves students in grades 3-6, and General Brown Junior-Senior High School, in the town of Brownville, serves students in grades 7-12.
Of the district’s total K-12 enrollment of 1,401 students, 0% were English language learners, 16% were students with disabilities and 38% were classified by the state as economically disadvantaged, according to the 2017-18 New York State School Report Cards. (In 2018-19, the district had seven English language learners (ELLs) enrolled, and 10 ELLs are enrolled for the 2019-20 school year.) Thirty-five percent of the district’s students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch. In addition, to its K-12 enrollment, the district also served 58 students in its half-day prekindergarten program.
In May 2019, district voters authorized a 2019-20 operating budget of $25.2 million that supports the district’s many programs and services. General Brown offers a robust instructional program and is committed to maintaining and building its reputation as an exemplary rural school system that fosters academic excellence, leadership and community service. The New York State Next Generation Learning Standards are infused into all instructional areas with the goal of making each student college and career ready. The district’s 2018 graduation rate was 91%.
General Brown Junior-Senior High School students have the opportunity to participate in a number of extracurricular activities, including athletics. Student-athletes gain invaluable educational experiences as members of a team or club, as student leaders and as young adults setting and reaching goals. Athletics participation enriches students’ high school years and develops their personal standards of discipline. General Brown offers nine boys sports and 10 girls sports.
In addition to athletics, students can choose to join a wide variety of clubs and organizations. At the Junior-Senior High School, offerings include Chess Club, GB Gazette, Marching Band, National Honor Society, Performing Arts Club, Robotics Club, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Student Council.
At the elementary level, students may choose to participate in Advanced Art, chorus and band.
The district has modern facilities with a completely wireless infrastructure. Every classroom is outfitted with a SmartBoard, and teachers and students have access to mobile laptop carts, allowing the district to bring state-of-the-art technology into the classroom.
Support for military families
The General Brown Central School District participates in the Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) program. MFLCs are fully licensed professionals who are assigned to schools with significant student populations of children of military service members and Department of Defense civilians.
The MFLC program was established in 2004 to provide support to families dealing with the unique challenges of military life. Counselors serve as a resource for military students, their parents and their teachers and can help with short-term, non-medical counseling support on such issues as anger management, conflict resolution and parenting, as well as issues unique to military families, such as relocation adjustment, coping skills and deployment stress.
Who was General Jacob Brown?*
When the Brownville-Glen Park Union Free School District and the Dexter Union Free School District merged, the decision was made to name the new district for General Jacob Jennings Brown.
Brown was an early pioneer in the area, traveling north in 1799 into the wilderness toward the Black River from New York City to establish roots in what would eventually become the village of Brownville.
Brown and his family members constructed a general store, grist mill and saw mill near their cabin, which they constructed near the banks of a waterway, which Brown named Philomel Creek. As more pioneers settled in the area, Brown helped obtain approval for construction of a state road in 1803 that ran from Utica through the Black River Valley, passing through his settlement in Brownville and on to the St. Lawrence River.
Brown, who became a leader of the growing community, was commissioned in 1807 as a captain and then a colonel in the 108th Regiment of Militia of Jefferson County. Ultimately, he was named a Brigadier General of the militia during the War of 1812, commanding 600 militiamen assigned to defend more than 300 miles stretching from Oswego to St. Regis. Brown is credited with leading his troops in successfully defeating the British in several battles along the Northern border, including the Second Battle of Sackets Harbor in 1813.
In 1821, Brown was appointed Commanding General of the United States Army and held that post until his death in 1828 at the age of 52. He spent his final years in Washington, D.C. where he also served as an advisor to President John Quincy Adams.
*Source: “Major General Jacob Jennings Brown” by C. Gerard Hoard, 1979