Francis Lewis High School

An Insideschools pick
58-20 UTOPIA PARKWAY
QUEENS NY 11365 Map
Phone: (718) 281-8200
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood/screened/ed opt
Principal: David Marmor
Neighborhood: Fresh Meadows area
District:26
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: CONSTANC MIAOULIS
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Science & Math
Law & Government
Zoned
Screened

Buses: Q17, Q30, Q31, Q88

What's special:

JROTC program; wide array of courses

The downside:

Overcrowding

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

One of the most popular schools in Queens, Francis Lewis is also one of the most overcrowded.  It has demanding, highly selective programs in humanities and science as well as a sought-after law program and a large Junior ROTC program.

While the hallway at the main entrance accommodates the school’s more than 4,000 students quite well, the side corridors get very congested and students are barely able to move. The school day runs from 7:30 a.m. to 6:55 p.m. with students attending in four sessions to reduce crowding. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited twice a day to accommodate the overlapping  sessions.

The benefit of the large size is the wide array of courses offered.  Students may choose from eight foreign languages. There are many Advanced Placement classes, a College Now program at nearby Queensborough Community College, and a work study program. The science program is strong, and students may present research projects at an annual symposium. There is a bilingual Chinese program for social studies, math and science. Gym electives include golf and ultimate Frisbee and there are 30 sports teams and more than 50 clubs, a Broadway show performance, an international festival and a spring instrumental concert.

A zoned neighborhood school, Francis Lewis also houses three very small, very popular programs that are open to students outside the attendance zone:  the Jacob K. Javits Law Institute; the University Scholars Program (in which all students study at least two foreign languages) and the Math and Science Research program in which students study advanced mathematics and statistics.

Since 2008, students who are not in one of the small specialized programs join one of eight Small Learning Communities (SLCs): Art Institute, Sports Science, Dance, Engineering, Math, Science, International Studies or Forensics.  Students select a major (their SLC) but can also “minor” in other areas by taking one class per year. This system is designed to give students a sense of a college atmosphere. Adding to that feeling is the ease with which students come and go. On the day of our visit students streamed in and out as shifts changed or they wanted to smoke a cigarette with friends. “We don’t want kids to leave, but we don’t stand at the doors to stop them either,” commented Principal Musa Ali Shama.

Classes are a blend of traditional and progressive. In one English class, students presented pop songs that related to classic literature, justifying why they felt that Michael Jackson’s “You are not Alone” best captured the feelings of Gregor Samsa, when he awoke as an insect in The Metamorphosis. However, many classes were preparing for Regents exams and in one third year honors Spanish class students filled in a worksheet while the teacher spoke to them in English.

The school is known for its JROTC program, which requires no commitment to serve in the military, has a 100 percent graduation rate and its 700 students have won several national awards.  More students attend West Point than any other high school in the country, Francis Lewis officials say. JROTC “is the reason why Francis Lewis is what it is. JROTC is the backbone of the school,” said Assistant Principal Annette Palomino.

Graduates attend a variety of colleges including CUNY, SUNY and Ivy League schools, not to mention West Point. Shama emphasized that the school also tries to meet the needs of students who want to enter the workforce and plans to add technical certificates to some of the SLC programs.

Special Education: The school offers self-contained classes, Collaborative Team Teaching (CTT), a resource room and an alternate assessment program. A Late in the Day program began in 2009 for students at risk of dropping out. It begins at 12:30 p.m. and Shama says it has been successful at getting students to come to school more regularly. 

Admissions:  A zoned neighborhood school. Three small programs each accept 100 students a year who may live outside the attendance zone. Students are admitted to the Jacob Javitz Law Institute based on the educational option program designed to admit a mix of high and low achieving students. University Scholars and the Math and Science Research Program accept students with high standardized tests scores and good grades and attendance records. (Aryn Bloodworth, May 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 4058

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
53%

Black

  
8%

Hispanic

  
24%

White

  
14%

Free Lunch

  
75%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
14%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.30 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

31 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

81% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

93% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

98% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

20% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

86% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

91% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

89% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

53% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

89% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

4% 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?

34%

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

28%

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

62%

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?

63% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

484
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

83%

SAT math scores

552
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?

87% 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?

61% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

55% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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. Priority to Queens students or residents
  2. Then to New York City residents
  3. For Zoned Program only: priority to students who live in the zoned area

Source: High school directory

University Scholars

Screened

This program provides an honors-level sequence of courses which engages students in a rigorous scholastic experience in the Liberal Arts & Humanities. Each term students are programmed for a second language or an additional English/Humanities course.

Selection Criteria

  • English (85-100) , Math (85-100) , Science (85-100) , Social Studies (85-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

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

Jacob K. Javits Law Institute

Ed. Opt.

This program distinguishes itself with recognition in Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions. A small learning community which offers law-related courses including: You and The Law, Constitutional & Business Law, Mock Trial, Debate Team, & Bioethics.

Math and Science Research

Screened

Our award winning Math & Science Research Institute has received high honors in the National Siemens Competition. Each term students are programmed for advanced honors-level courses in authentic Science Research or advanced Mathematics & Statistics.

Selection Criteria

  • English (85-100) , Math (85-100) , Science (85-100) , Social Studies (85-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

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

Zoned

Zoned

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Computer Science A, Economics: Macro, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, French Language, Government and Politics: United States, Japanese Language and Culture, Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Physics C: Mechanics, Psychology, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Statistics, United States History, World History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Modern Greek, Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, Conflict Resolution, Peer Mediation & Negotiation, Principal’s Consultative Council, National Honor Society, Student Organization, Publications, Math Team, Authentic Science Research, Mock Trial, Debate Team, Moot Court, Yearbook, Winter & Spring Concerts, School Play, SING, Holiday Spectacular, Computer Programming, Newspaper, Drama, Performing Arts, Dance, Marching Band, Concert Choir, Mixed Chorus, Jazz Band, Honors Orchestra; Clubs: Robotics, Acoustic Band, African Heritage, American Red Cross, Anime, ASPCA, Art, ASPIRA, Breakdance, Bridge to Medicine, Book, Caribbean, Cheerleading, Chinese, Christian Solution, Writers, Dance, Desi, Fashion Design, French, Science, Hearts on a String, Hebrew, Hellenic, Henna, Horticulture, International Cuisine, International Voice & Movies, Italian, Japanese, Key, Korean, Korean K-Pop, Cancer Cure, Music, Make-a-Wish, Media Production, Model UN, Movie, Muslim, Nu Gamma Psi, Parkour, Pre-Med, Remedy, Science Olympiad, Science & Technology, Seekers Christian Fellowship, Solitaire-Anti-Bullying, Step Squad, Table Tennis, Tech Crew, Teen Leadership, TVB Cantonese, UNICEF, World Music & Art, World Vision

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

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

Other schools sports: We have a full program of intramural school sports.

Source: High school directory

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