Benjamin N. Cardozo High School

An Insideschools pick
57-00 223RD STREET
BAYSIDE NY 11364 Map
Phone: (718) 279-6500
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/ed opt/screened
Principal: Gerald Martori
Neighborhood: Bayside
District: 26
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: BARBARA NUNZIATA
Performing Arts
Science & Math
Law & Government
Zoned
Communications
Screened

Buses: Q27, Q30, QM5

What's special:

Large school with top-notch science research program

The downside:

Like most large schools, not much hand-holding in college office

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Benjamin N. Cardozo is a large, successful high school open to students who live in its attendance zoned as well as others in Queens who can apply to several themed programs. Home to the highly competitive Da Vinci Math/Science Institute and popular programs in law, journalism and dance, Cardozo offers classes for students of all skill levels including many advanced and college-level courses. Students who do best here find their niche among the wide selection of clubs, activities and athletic teams.

Once a massively overcrowded school with enrollment that exceeded 4,000, Cardozo now serves a more manageable student body of 3,400. “I call us a big, small school,” said Sheila Clark, the assistant principal of guidance. A single session of nine periods is enough to accommodate all classes for the day. Guidance counselors meet with students to help them select classes for the following year, according to Clark.

One downside is the reduced budget that accompanied the school’s drop in enrollment. Though there’s still a nice variety of classes and extra curricular activities, several staff members said the school had to scale back on some offerings such as fewer foreign languages (now three options, down from eight) and fewer Advanced Placement (AP) courses, though there are still roughly 15 options. There are art classes, but Cardozo no longer has a fine arts program. (Framed paintings by former fine arts students still hang in the hallways.)

On the day of our visit, the tone throughout building was very calm. Class sizes remain large, averaging over 30 students, but overall Cardozo doesn’t have the crowded, hectic feel of many large schools. It was easy to hear the soft music playing over the public address system during change of classes because the hallways never got too crowded or noisy. You could hear a pin drop in the library even though it was filled with students.

Instruction reflects a mix of teaching styles. Some classes we visited were traditional, with students sitting in rows. In others, group work and discussions drove the lessons.

In a 12th grade economics class, the teacher’s enthusiasm for the lesson kept students engaged throughout a discussion on topics ranging from 401ks and credit card debt to fixed annuities and variable rate mortgages. In the physics lab, students, with ropes in hand, spread out across the room and in the hallway to conduct experiments on wavelength and frequency. Students in AP English were eager to offer their thoughts on a passage from Othello.

Many classes, especially honors, go well beyond the Regents curriculum. Da Vinci students take a challenging load of research, honors and AP classes, but qualifying students from any program can take honors, AP and College Now classes. In addition to their regular English class, all freshmen take a reading/writing seminar; sophomores take a class devoted to writing. Each department offers specialized and elective classes, though some are reserved for students in a particular program such as Constitutional law and Criminal Justice, which are open to law program students only.

Beyond core academics there’s plenty to keep students engaged. Art and music classes as well as bands, an orchestra and choir keep musically inclined students busy. There are academic teams such as debate, moot court, mock trial, model UN, science Olympiad, robotics and math as well as more than 30 PSAL sports teams and an impressive range of clubs.

The sprawling building is located in a quiet, residential neighborhood and is surrounded by extensive outdoor facilities—sports fields, handball courts and a full-size track—more commonly found at suburban high schools.

Like most large schools, there isn’t a lot of hand-holding in the college office, but counselors do their best despite huge caseloads. Guidance counselors visit English classes to guide 11th graders through the college admissions process. Each fall, parent volunteers pitch in to help process college applications. Graduates go on to CUNY and SUNY schools as well as highly selective private colleges and universities.

Special education: In addition to SETSS, there are self-contained and ICT classes in many subjects.

Admissions: Open only to Queens students and residents. Guaranteed admission to students in the school’s zone who apply to the “Zoned” program. The Da Vinci Math/Science Institute screens for strong grades, standardized test scores and attendance. Admission to Performing Dance is based on an audition and review of grades, test scores and attendance. The Mentor Law and Humanities program admits students based on the educational option formula, which is designed to admit a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. Journalism and Media Studies does not consider grades or test scores but gives priority to zoned students who attend an open house, followed by Queens students who do the same. (Laura Zingmond, April 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 3646

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
44%

Black

  
21%

Hispanic

  
19%

White

  
15%

Free Lunch

  
58%

Special ed

  
11%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.86 2.38 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

30 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

54% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

92% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

77% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

84% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

19% 36% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

91% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

41% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

92% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

3% 10% 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?

30%

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?

59%

Are students ready for college?

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

64% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

505
423 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

84% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

563
431 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

66% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

59% 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

60% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

62% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

97% 97% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

55% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open only to Queens students or residents
  2. For Q16B only: a. Priority to students who live in the zoned area who attend an information session b. Then to Queens students or residents who attend an information session c. Then to students who live in the zoned area d. Then to Queens students or residents
  3. For Zoned Program only: Guaranteed offer to students who apply and live in the zoned area

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Mentor Law and Humanities Institute

Ed. Opt.

Program dedicated to fostering interest in the legal field. Open to wide range of academic performance levels. Students will engage in a sequence of history courses in topics including civil, criminal and constitutional law. They will also participate in activities such as mock trial and law internships.

DaVinci Science/Math Research Institute

Screened

The DaVinci Program offers four years of Honors level and AP Math and Science courses along with research opportunities and competitions.

Selection Criteria

  • Math (Scores 85-100) , Science (Scores 85-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 3.0-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 3.0-4.5

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

Performing Dance

Audition

Students study ballet, modern and jazz techniques along with choreography. Students also have the opportunity to explore additional forms of dance by attending live performances and participating in school productions.

Selection Criteria

  • Math (Review) , Science (Review)
  • Math Levels: Review ; English Language Arts Levels: Review

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

School of Journalism and Media Studies

Limited Unscreened

Zoned

Zoned Guarantee

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Economics, English, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Spanish, Statistics, United States Government and Politics, United States History, World History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Arista, Leaders, Yearbook, The Verdict, American Red Cross, International Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Bumblebee, Health Occupation Students, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band, Science Olympiad, Science Newsletter, Badminton, Black Student Union, Chess, Chinese Club, Christian Seekers, Community Service, Debate, Drama, Fitness, French Club, Gateway, Gay-Straight Alliance, Jewish Student Union, Korean Club, Mock Trial, Muslim Students Association, South Asian Culture, Stage Crew, Balloon Twisting, Table Tennis, Model UN, Anime, A‰ÛªCappella, Ukulele, Autism Speaks, Teens Against Bullying, Praise Dance, Rock

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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