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: Kerrie Desposito
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Performing Arts
Health Professions
Engineering
Zoned
Business
Communications

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

What's special:

Programs for struggling students; large athletic program.

The downside:

Low attendance and college readiness rates.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

John Adams is a large, comprehensive high school that serves many students who need extra academic and social support. The challenges have only increased as the city has closed large neighboring schools. Many local kids choose to go to more popular schools, such as Benjamin Cardozo. But even though the graduation rate isn't great, it has improved markedly since 2008. The staff has been working hard to help struggling students, and there are strong programs where students can access what they need to succeed and move onto college.

In 2011, the Department of Education designated Adams a "restart school" and assigned the private organization New Visions to manage it. Although funding remains uncertain, the partnership has brought new resources to Adams, including additional social workers and a program to help English language learners acclimate to the city.

(Adams was set to receive $1.8 million under a federal program to help schools improve, but a fight between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teacher put that funding in jeopardy in early 2012. The school could face considerable changes, although it will remain intact and open -- at least for the time being.)

The school's program to boost achievement takes place on several fronts. It concentrates on 9th grade -- dubbed "Jump Start Academy" -- since principal Grace Zwillenberg said, many students fall behind that year and never catch up. To zero in on academics, 9th graders have a combined two-period English and social students class and a double period in math.

For the higher grades, Adams assigns all students to groups -- called Small Learning Centers -- with an assistant principal, teacher leaders and guidance counselors. The teams get to know the students and take a close look at their work to see what sort of help the teenagers need.

A Senior Academy targets at-risk students and provides them with regular meetings with the assistant principal and additional help. Another Adams program features extra instruction for seniors who passed the English and math Regents with low scores and seeks to boost their scores on CUNY assessment tests so they can avoid having to do remedial work in college.

Adams offers selective programs concentrating on special areas, such as environmental science, but it must accept anyone in its zoned area, including so-called "over the counter students" in the middle of the year and overage students -- Zwillenberg cited one 17-year old who had just completed 8th grade. "We're not a Stuyvesant. We're not a school that chooses our kids," she said.

Some students concede they did not want to attend Adams but once there found things to engage them, such as sports, which, one boy said, helped him adjust to being in such a large school.

Students participated enthusiastically in some classes, notably a business course and a leadership session, while the teenagers appeared less involved in more conventional math and English classes.

Adams seeks to make a virtue of its size and diversity. With a number of electives and 29 sports teams, it "affords a lot of our students opportunities to do lots of things," one teacher said. These include programs for students in business, health, law, environmental sciences and mass media and communication arts. Adams students starred in a United Nations Association video on their role at the Model UN, and its students represented New York City in a recent national math competition.

There are nine Advanced Placement courses and five foreign language offerings, including Bengali and language arts for native Spanish speakers

Adams tries to ready its students for college, including the nitty gritty of the application process. In one class, a teacher walked students through a financial aid form. Previous sessions, students said, had covered selecting colleges and preparing for the SATs. Every year, the school sends a group of student leaders to visit colleges and then report back to their peers on what they saw.

The school offers a number of special education options, including team teaching and self-contained classes. It offers bilingual classes in Bengali and Spanish, as well.

College admissions: Zwillenberg estimates that 50 to 60 percent of graduates go on to college. Many opt to stay in Queens -- attending LaGuardia Community College, Queens College or St. Johns.

Admissions: District 26 students have priority for the environmental, health careers, law, media and business institutes. Those programs use the educational option method, designed to include students with a range of performance levels. The rest of the school is zoned. (Gail Robinson, January 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 2838

Average Daily Attendance 80%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
26%

Black

  
26%

Hispanic

  
39%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
86%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
19%

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

19 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

59% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

85% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

68% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

71% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

49% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

52% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

70% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

53% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

5% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

67% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

16% 12% 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?

5%

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

20%

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

11%

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?

15% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

392
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

50%

SAT math scores

417
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?

67% 75% 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?

37% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

43% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

70% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

89% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

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

38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

57% 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

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.

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.

Health Careers

Ed. Opt.

Health Careers includes an approved curricula in Medical Laboratory Assisting and a new curricula in Sports Medicine; students in this Career and Technical Education (CTE) program may have the opportunity for paid internships in hospitals and medical offices.

Environmental and Science Research Institute

Ed. Opt.

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

Zoned

Zoned

Art History & Fine Arts

Screened

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

Selection Criteria

  • English (75-100) , Math (75-100) , Science (75-100) , Social Studies (75-100)
  • Math Levels: 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 2-4

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

STEM Engineering Academy

Screened

Students will have the opportunity to bring computer-generated images to reality in an engineering environment. Students will participate in competitions throughout the year and will be prepared to sit for a proficiency exam to earn industry certification.

Selection Criteria

  • English (75-100) , Math (75-100) , Science (75-100) , Social Studies (75-100)
  • Math Levels: 2-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 2-4

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

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, Spanish Language, United States History, World History

Online: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, Spanish Language, United States History, World History

Language classes: Bengali, Spanish, Spanish Native Language Arts

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: College Now, Drama Productions, Mock Trial, Police Athletic League (PAL) Neighborhood Cleanup, Robotics, Yearbook, Afro-American Club, Archon, Arista, Artsonia, Asian Club, Callandra, Campus Newspaper, College Summit, Debate, Environmental, Explorers, Film, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, Foreign Language, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Key Club, Liberty Partnership, Math Team, Mock Trial, Model Congress, Model United Nations, Moot Court, Multicultural, National Honor Society, Peer Tutoring, Photo, SAT Prep, Saturday Literacy Center, SAYA!, School Leadership Team, Student Government

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

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Double Dutch, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball & JV Softball, Swimming, Volleyball & JV Volleyball

Other schools sports: Cheerleading, Intramural Sports

Source: High school directory

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