Newtown High School

48-01 90 STREET
QUEENS NY 11373 Map
Phone: (718) 595-8400
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school; screened; ed opt
Principal: JOHN FICALORA
Neighborhood: Elmhurst
District:24
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: GRISELDA ZAPATA
Engineering
Visual Art & Design
Zoned
Business

Buses: Q29, Q38, Q53, Q58, Q59, Q60, Q72, Q88

What's special:

Lots of support for 9th graders; many sports and activities

The downside:

Many graduates need remedial courses in college

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Newtown High School opened in 1897 as a small, farm-town school in Elmhurst, Queens. Today it is a large high school with a diverse student population that includes many English language learners and recent immigrants. Like many big, urban schools, Newtown faces tough challenges including overcrowding, spotty attendance and many students arriving ill-prepared for high school work. There are signs of improvement: Its graduation rate, which lagged for many years, has risen above the citywide average.

In 2011, the Department of Education identified Newtown as a low-performing school and decided to reorganize it into small learning communities instead of closing it. A year later the DOE changed course by deciding to close Newtown in June, 2012 and reopen in it September, 2012 with a new name and a majority of new staff. Legal action against the city put those plans on hold, so at least for now, Newtown remains open, keeping its name, much of its faculty and its longtime principal, John Ficalora.

Despite Newtown’s uncertain future, teachers and staff have invested a lot in building up its small learning communities. Each one has its own group of classrooms and a set of teachers. All incoming freshman are enrolled in the Ninth Grade Academy designed to help new students ease into the high school experience and stay on track. Starting in 10th grade students enroll in one of the themed, communities in engineering, math and science, media studies, business, visual and performing arts, and one for English language learners.

Students are responding favorably to the changes based on their answers to the Learning Environment Survey. Notably, they are satisfied with the variety of classes and activities, feel supported by their teachers and safe in school, though some fights and bullying occur. Some students we spoke to at the high school fair said they benefit from the extra help they get through Newtown’s partnership with City Year, which sponsors recent college graduates to commit to one year of fulltime service in a high-needs school. Students said they really like the City Year corps members who assist teachers in classrooms, provide tutoring and help organize and lead student activities.

Advanced Placement courses are offered in biology, calculus (AB and BC), United States history and language studies in English, Spanish and Chinese. Students may also take courses at Queens Borough Community College.

There are many sports teams and a wide array of activities and after-school clubs such as debate team, photography, play production, senior council, school newspapers and math league. The school fields a successful robotics team (which has its own website) and the music program’s guitar ensemble performs at many community events.

Special education: The school offers both team teaching and self-contained special education classes.

College admissions: Most graduates who attend college enroll in CUNY and SUNY schools. Many must take remedial courses at CUNY because of low scores on Regents exams, SATs or college prep course.

Admissions: Zoned students have priority admissions to the school, but not to a specific themed program. Queens residents have priority consideration for the themed programs. Students must meet additional criteria for admissions that vary by program. (Laura Zingmond, statistics and interviews at high school fair, December 2012).

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the International High School for Health Sciences

Number of Students 2074

Average Daily Attendance 86%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
26%

Black

  
9%

Hispanic

  
60%

White

  
4%

Free Lunch

  
70%

Special ed

  
11%

English Language Learners

  
32%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.70 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

29 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

72% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

92% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

86% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

90% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

34% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

61% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

67% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

68% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

10% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

64% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

13% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

16%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

18%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

17%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

19% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

391
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

49%

SAT math scores

441
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

83% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

42% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

38% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

70% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

94% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to Queens students or residents
  2. For Zoned program only: priority to students who apply and live in the zoned area.

Source: High school directory

Major Art

Audition

Art, Commercial Art, Fashion Design and Illustration, Drawing, Painting, 3-D Design, Computer Art, Printmaking.

Pre-Engineering & Computer Technology

Screened

Drafting, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Assisted Drawing, A+ certification (computer repair), Network Cabling (Telecommunication), Digital Electronics, Computer Applications.

Selection Criteria

  • English (80-100) , Math (80-100) , Science (80-100) , Social Studies (80-100)
  • Math Levels: 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 2-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Business Institute

Ed. Opt.

Accounting, Electronic Information Processing, Desktop Publishing, Web Page Design, e-commerce, Microsoft Office certification training.

Zoned

Zoned

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chinese Language and Culture, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, World History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Chinese, Chinese Native Language Arts, French, Spanish, Spanish Native Language Arts

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Arista, Art Portfolio, Art Shows, Bengali Club, Chess, Chinese, Concerts, Dance, Foreign Language Club, History Club, Key Club, Leadership Class, Literary Magazines, Math and Language Magazines, Mediation and Negotiation, Moot Court, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), Multicultural Show, Photography, Poetry, Principal’s Scholars, Robotics, School Play, Science Fair, Spanish Club, SPARK Peer Helpers, Student Organization, The Tower School Newspaper, Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball & JV Volleyball

Other schools sports: Baskeball, Bowling, Handball, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling, Girls Softball, Track

Source: High school directory

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