John Adams High School

101-01 ROCKAWAY BOULEVARD
QUEENS NY 11417 Map
Phone: (718) 322-0500
Website: Click here
Admissions: Ed opt, zoned
Principal: Daniel Scanlon
Neighborhood: Ozone Park
District: 27
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Rose Ann Arteca
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Performing Arts
Health Professions
Computer Science & Technology
Zoned
Business
Communications
Environmental Science

Buses: Q11, Q112, Q37, Q41, Q53, Q7

What's special:

Small learning communities, innovative efforts to improve school culture

The downside:

School still has a way to go

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

For years, John Adams High School teetered on the brink of closure and struggled to attract students. Its administration and faculty now believe the worst is behind them and see the school gradually rebounding, thanks to stronger academics, new programs and a more welcoming environment.

Signs of progress: The graduation rate jumped from less than 55 percent 2014 to nearly 62 percent in 2015. Attendance improved in the 2015-16 school year. Most important, in 2016, the state removed Adams from the list of schools threatened with state-takeover.

In fall 2016, in hopes of attracting stronger students, Adams launched a selective program featuring the International Baccalaureate, a challenging curriculum that stresses student projects.

Principal Daniel Scanlon came to the school in 2013 after serving as an assistant principal at Hillcrest High School and launched a review of everything going on in the building, followed by a major turnaround plan that school administrators say will take five years to implement.

Staff learned from student feedback that many children did not want to be at Adams, which Scanlon himself described as having been punitive and drab. That has led to such changes as the offering of research electives where students work on topics of their own choosing, and installing game tables in the cafeteria to relieve boredom at lunch. While rates of chronic absenteeism remain high, attendance is increasing.

To improve discipline, Adams has implemented Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), which focuses on rewarding and reinforcing positive actions. (For a prize-winning video by Adams students that came out of this approach, visit the school website.) School officials say the program has slashed suspension by 80 percent in the last three years.

The building retains an institutional feel, but is now enlivened by student murals which decorate many hallways. Adams has a health clinic operated by North Shore LIJ health network. Adams has added more sport teams, such as golf, lacrosse and badminton.

Adams now is divided into a number of "small learning communities" at each with its own teachers, guidance counselor, dean and designated area of the building. With the communities, the school hopes to provide students with the variety of programs and activities they would get in a large school along with the sense of community and individualized attention they would find in a small one. There are learning communities for English language learners and for seniors who need an extra boost to graduate on time.

Most of the communities, though, are geared to a particular theme and offer electives in that area. S.T.E.M. and Art History and Fine Arts screen students for admission, as does the International Baccalaureate, which will have its own learning community in 2017.  Adams also has programs in environment and science, law, health careers, media and communication and business and has started an Air Force ROTC that has attracted a fair amount of interest. A new career and technical education offering focuses on computers, giving students the opportunity to build their own computers.

"We want to try to make opportunities available to kids," Scanlon said. "We're trying to find something for every student."

Adams has many English language learners, including students who speak Spanish, Bengali and Urdu and has a large Bengali program. It also has many young people over-age for their grade. "We try not to focus on the negative," Assistant Principal Scott Silverman said. "We need to figure out what's going on emotionally" with students who act out or who have struggled "and support them and empower them." The school tracks students to quickly detect who is faltering academically or failing to come to school. Different levels of interventions then come into play.

Adams offers college credit courses in conjunction with York College and also gives Advanced Placement classes. In an AP Spanish class we visited, students worked intently, drafting an essay in Spanish about social media.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Adams offers a range of services and supports, including self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes.

ADMISSIONS: Criteria vary among the learning communities, with some screened programs and others using the educational option method, which seeks to ensure admission to students with a range of academic abilities. There is also a zoned program for students living in the area. Given a shortage of applicants, most students who apply to the education option programs will be admitted. (Gail Robinson, March 2015, updated March 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 2634

Average Daily Attendance 82%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
27%

Black

  
24%

Hispanic

  
38%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
87%

Special ed

  
16%

English Language Learners

  
20%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.23 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

26 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

58% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

82% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

71% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

65% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

47% 36% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

62% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

6% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

64% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

16% 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?

2%

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

30%

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

13%

Are students ready for college?

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

20% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

401
423 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

44% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

418
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?

68% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

39% 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

50% 57% 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?

92% 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 to New York City residents
  2. For Zoned Program only: Guaranteed offer to students who apply and live in the zoned area.

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Art History & Fine Arts

Screened

There are three tracks to the fine arts program: art history (includes visual arts), theater and technical music. Students take the three-year Art Regents exam. Music students also have the opportunity to participate in New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) activities while developing their instrumental and vocal skills.

Selection Criteria

  • Math (Scores 75-100) , Science (Scores 75-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2.0-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2.0-4.5

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

Medical and Fitness Careers

Ed. Opt.

Includes approved curricula in Medical Laboratory Assisting and a new curricula in Sports Medicine.

Environmental and Science Investigative Institute

Ed. Opt.

Prepares students for careers in engineering, science research and the environment. Students can take courses in science research, environmental science and anatomy.

Business Institute

Ed. Opt.

Prepares students for careers in business and computer science. Students will participate in Virtual Enterprise, Co-Op Tech and internships.

Media & Communication Arts Institute

Ed. Opt.

Prepares students for careers in journalism, video production, studio recording, writing, theater, fine arts. Students will participate in the school paper, yearbook, play productions and the literary magazine.

Law and International Studies Institute

Ed. Opt.

Prepares students for careers in social sciences, law and international relations. Students will participate in Model UN, Moot Court and Mock Trial.

S.T.E.M. Academy

Screened

Students have the opportunity to learn a diverse set of computer, engineering, robotics and research skills. Students participate in competitions throughout the year and are prepared to sit for a proficiency exam to earn industry certification.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 75-100) , Math (Scores 75-100) , Science (Scores 75-100) , Social Studies (Scores 75-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2.0-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2.0-4.5

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

Zoned

Zoned Guarantee

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, English, Environmental Science, Spanish, United States Government and Politics, United States History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Drama Productions sponsored by Laguardia Community College, Mock Trial, Police Athletic League (PAL) Neighborhood Cleanup, Yearbook, Robotics, Afro-American, Archon, Arista, Artsonia, Asian, Callandra, Newspaper, College Summit, Debate, Explorers, Film, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, Foreign Language, Google CS First, HS Science Research Pathways, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Key, LBGTQ, Liberty Partnership, Math Team, Mock Trial, Model Congress, Model UN, Moot Court, Multicultural, National Honor Society, PBIS Ambassadors, Peer Tutoring, Photography, SAT Prep, Saturday Literacy Center, SAYA!, School Leadership Team, Student Government

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Intramural Sports Soccer Tournament, Chess, Badminton Tournament.

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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