Staten Island Technical High School
STATEN ISLAND NY 10306 Map
Staten Island Technical High School
Buses: S57, S74, S76, S78, S79-SBS, X1, X9
Staten Island Technical High School (SI Tech) combines the rigor and activities of a big specialized high school with the friendly atmosphere of a neighborhood school. It’s a welcoming place for high achievers of all stripes—independent go-getters, kids who like to tinker, and even creative and artsy types. Students tackle college-level work as early as 9th grade and many graduate with anywhere from 16 to 60 college credits thanks to the school’s extensive range of Advanced Placement classes and partnerships with universities.
In keeping with the school’s name, all students take introductory courses in robotics, research and technical writing, electronics and TV/movie production—the latter taught in a recording studio equipped with professional-grade technology. Students also study CAD (computer-aided design) and have the opportunity to earn industry certification in AutoCAD software, as well as take a course in career and financial management. Upper-grade options include advanced courses in electronics, computer science and TV/movie production. An engineering research program prepares students for the Intel Science Talent Search and other science competitions.
Since 2013 all incoming freshman have been given an iPad mini and keyboard, which they use for all four years in all their classes. The level of use of the iPad mini's varies by class—we saw plenty of old-fashioned note-taking with pen and pencil too—but in general students and teachers consider this a boon for the school. “We planned for a year before we rolled this out so we have a 100 percent buy-in from the staff,” said Principal Mark Erlenwein.
Despite the school’s emphasis on engineering and technology, the arts have a strong presence, something Erlenwein, a SI Tech alumnus (class of 1992), believes is important for a well-rounded high school experience. Roughly one-third of students participate in one of the school’s seven bands and many students perform in school concerts. Drama classes are taught in the school’s black box theater; SING! is a popular annual event.
Instruction that we observed reflected a mix of teaching styles, and we saw lots of group work. “More and more teachers are setting up their classrooms this way,” said Erlenwein. Regardless of the class structure, we saw a lot of teachers build in time for student discussion and reflection. They also do an impressive job of tapping into students’ creative sides. Hallways were lined with interesting projects that students enhanced with colorful hand drawings and computer-generated graphics.
There’s a nice range of Advanced Placement courses in all subjects including two levels each of calculus (AB and BC) and physics (B and C). All students take AP world history and United States history. Additional college courses for credit are offered both on- and off-site through partnerships with the College of Saint Rose, College of Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College.
All students study Russian for three years and sit for the Advanced Placement exam at the end of 11th grade. Seniors can take a fourth year of Russian and earn college credit for the course through a partnership with SUNY Albany. One year of an online language course in Latin, Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Spanish may be taken instead of a fourth year of Russian.
The school is not a pressure cooker, but students still feel the weight of challenging work and the desire to achieve. They say that their homework load averages two to three hours at night plus weekend projects, papers and studying. To help keep tabs on students’ social and emotional needs, the school has boosted its guidance efforts. All guidance counselors and deans are concentrated in one wing of a floor, to create more of a center—a safe place where students can find lots of people on-hand to address problems. Students also have gym class daily, which Erlenwein says is important to help them manage stress and stay healthy.
Beyond classes, students have plenty to keep them engaged. There are roughly 100 clubs and a nice range of school-year and summer internships. SI Tech and McKee High School have a joint PSAL sports program with over 40 teams.
Virtually all graduates go on to four-year colleges. In addition to CUNY and SUNY schools, graduates have attended competitive public and private colleges and universities including all of the Ivy League schools.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are few students with special needs requiring services under an IEP (individualized education program), but many more needing accommodations and other supports that are overseen by the guidance staff.
ADMISSIONS: Admission is based on the SHSAT (specialized high schools admissions test) given in the fall. An open house is held in October. Most SI Tech students live on Staten Island, though roughly 25–30 percent of the student body travels from Brooklyn. The school actively recruits students as early as elementary school as part of a borough-wide initiative to increase college attendance over the next decade. Elementary- and middle- grade students attend events at SI Tech run by graduates of their schools who are current SI Tech students and alumni. (Laura Zingmond, October 2014)
At a glance
Number of Students 1247
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Metal detectors? No
INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.90 2.38 CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Safety & vibe
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average english class32 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?98% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?
How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?99% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How Many Students are Chronically Absent?6% 36% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Class of 2015
How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?100%
Is the guidance counseling helpful?
How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?94% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
Programs and Admissions
School admission priorities:
- Open to New York City residents
Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their guidance counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.
AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Economics, English, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Studio Art, United States History, World History
EXTRACURRICULAR: Dance, Drama, Literary Magazine (Trope), Ensembles, National Honor Society, Orchestra, Parent Leadership Academy, Peer Mediation and Conflict Resolution, Publication (Tech Times), Showcase, SING, Spring Musical, Student Government, Symphonic Band; More than 90 clubs, activities, and special events
BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball