Ralph R. Mckee Career and Technical Education High School

290 ST MARKS PLACE
STATEN ISLAND NY 10301 Map
Phone: (718) 420-2600
Website: Click here
Admissions: Selective/ed opt
Principal: Sharon Henry
Neighborhood: St. George
District: 31
Grade range: 9-12
Engineering
Computer Science & Technology
Visual Art & Design
Architecture
Vocational

Buses: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98

What's special:

Well-equipped career education programs, supportive environment

The downside:

Declining enrollment, no athletic fields

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Ralph McKee Career and Technical High School is a nurturing school that prepares students in trades such as carpentry, graphic arts and automotive technology. Some students get union jobs in the construction trades when they graduate, while others go on to college. "Many high schools lose the great middle,” said Principal Sharon Henry. “This school is for them.”

Many students enter with poor academic skills, but teachers work hard to help them catch up. Students take double periods of math and English in 9th grade, then begin the career classes in 10th grade.

AVID, a growing national college preparatory program, plays a key role in the effort to boost academics at McKee. AVID students, who generally scored well below grade level on their 8th-grade state standardized tests, take most of their academic subjects together, along with a special class that provides extra support in problem-solving and note-taking. One parent whose daughter is headed to Spellman College in Atlanta, said, "AVID takes kids who are 75, 80 even 70 students and transforms them."

The school has an honors program for higher-performing students and a pathway to AVID for 9th-graders who are deemed not ready for the full AVID program. The school offers calculus and chemistry, but not physics. A few Advanced Placement classes and some college-credit courses also are available. The only foreign language offered is one year of Italian.

The shop classes reinforce academics. "If you have real world applications of math, students are going to learn it faster," said Assistant Principal Ralph Guarinieri. "For some kids it's just algebra and geometry but when you put it in a project, it hits home." That applies in the humanities as well; in graphic design, for example, every student must research a country and then submit possible designs for its money.

Automotive students repair cars brought in by teachers and area residents, and graphic design students prepare pamphlets and other materials for local businesses and organizations. Employers offer an array of internships. All the CTE (career and technical education) programs stress employability; that includes instruction in "soft skills," such as working with other people.

Some programs, such as auto mechanics, have far more boys than girls. At least one girl seemed to thrive on that. "I wanted to try something different," she said. "I didn’t want to be like other girls. I wanted to get my hands dirty."

The school has a strong sense of community. On the day we visited, parents at a bake sale chatted enthusiastically about the school. "You literally can come in here and say, 'I need to talk to my child's teacher,’" one said.  A recent graduate, who came back to coach students, recalled his time at McKee as "a loving family and support system. It gives you an edge." Shop teachers in particular seem to have a sense of mission, speaking proudly of alumni they see working in businesses around Staten Island—many of whom are going to college as well. However, the school’s enrollment has declined in recent years, something Henry blames at least partly on its location. The school has no athletic fields and shares some sports programs with Staten Island Tech.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: McKee offers ICT team-teaching classes mixing special education and general education students and self-contained classes. Some of the students in the self-contained program work at Café McKee.

ADMISSIONS: According to the high school directory, McKee screens students for some of the career programs, and for others it uses the education option method, designed to ensure a school will have students with a range of abilities. Given a low number of applicants, though, most students who apply will be admitted. (Gail Robinson, 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 650

Average Daily Attendance 87%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
5%

Black

  
31%

Hispanic

  
44%

White

  
19%

Free Lunch

  
67%

Special ed

  
26%

English Language Learners

  
3%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.29 2.39 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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

77% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

68% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

79% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

37% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

64% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

3% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

70% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

15% 9% 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?

0%

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

40%

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

4%

Are students ready for college?

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

14% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

429
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

52% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

420
432 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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

40% 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?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

Automotive Technology

Ed. Opt.

Students use an industry standard curriculum (NATEF) that covers all facets of automotive repair. Students will learn Steering and Suspension, Brakes and Electricity/Electronics and Engine Performance. Students must take industry exams for certification. Internships are available for eligible students. Internship partners include Blackler Air, DANA Lincoln/Ford, DemaÎês Auto, Gotham Motorcycles, Lombardi Harley Davidson, Max Fleet, Millers Tug & Barge, and MTA.

Architectural Drafting

Ed. Opt.

Study includes structures, space, color, and form. Focus on hand drafting, architectural design, model making, and sketching. Students will learn industry standard software (AutoCAD & Revit); seniors complete projects culminating in portfolios for college entrance. Internship partners include E.B. Pritchard Architecture & Glass, Island Engineering, IMC Architecture, and Steven Savino Architect.

Construction/Carpentry

Ed. Opt.

Integrated program that leads to industry based certification. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in construction trades. Curriculum includes carpentry and mechanical construction and CNC Router and MasterCam production. Students are prepared for college and industry positions. Internship partners include E.B. Pritchard Architecture & Glass, Millers Tug and Barge, NYC Division of School facilities, Scaran HVAC, and RGM Signs.

Electrical Engineering and Installation Program

Ed. Opt.

The Electrical Engineering and Installation Program instructs students in AC/DC circuit analysis, soldering, wiring of various circuits, residential wiring, commercial wiring, and motor controls.

Graphic Design

Screened

Preparation for art and media design careers using digital technology ÃŽ_ a blend of art, computers, and journalism; students will learn the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign etc.) animation, and video/audio editing. Students participate in internships and are prepared for advanced study and work in the field of graphic design. Internship partners include Blue Label Design, Froogle Printing, RGM Signs, Special Tees, and Wicked Stitches.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 55-100) , Math (Scores 55-100) , Science (Scores 60-100) , Social Studies (Scores 55-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.8-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.9-4.5

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

Software Engineering

Screened

The Software Engineering program (SEP) will give students training and experience in coding. The SEP core topics are Python, Scratch, HTML, CSS, processing, and Java. Additional programming electronics and robotics skills are learned with Arduino, and LEGO robotics. Within robotics, students learn LEGO Mindstorms, EV3, and digital fabrication. Within 3-D printing using Makerbot, students learn Flash, animation, and Action Script. Internship partners include NYC DIIT and Ernst & Young.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 65-100) , Math (Scores 65-100) , Science (Scores 65-100) , Social Studies (Scores 65-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 1.9-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 1.9-4.5

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

Computer Systems Networking

Ed. Opt.

Students become proficient in Cisco to take the Cisco Certified Networking Associate Exam (CCNA)Îãsuccessful completion of this program prepares students for computer repair and maintenance, network design, and infrastructure support to install computer connections, program routers, and maintain computer networks. Internships partners include ASI, Digital Edge, and State Senator Diane Savino.

Academics

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Black Box Theater, Key Club, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Peer Mediation, Robotics, Saturday School, SAT Prep, Student Government, SkillsUSA

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: Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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