Curtis High School

105 HAMILTON AVENUE
STATEN ISLAND NY 10301 Map
Phone: (718) 390-1800
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/integration variance
Principal: Gregory Jaenicke
Neighborhood: St. George
District: 31
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: THOMAS HEPWORTH
Humanities & Interdisciplinary
Performing Arts
Health Professions
Computer Science & Technology
Visual Art & Design
Law & Government
Zoned
Communications
JROTC
Screened

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:

Powerhouse sports, with strong school spirit.

The downside:

Crowded school building.

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

 

October 2015 update: Curtis High School's long-time principal Aurelia Curtis retired in June 2015 after 31 years at the school. She was replaced by assistant principal and math teacher Greg Jaenicke, who also coached the Warriors basketball team.

October 2006 review: In a century-old building on grounds with lawns and tall trees, Curtis High School draws a wide mix of Staten Islanders to its varied offerings. From rigorous academics to top-notch arts education and city-champion sports, the school is thriving, complicated, crowded, and lively. The school is divided into 10 "houses," which allow Curtis' 2,600 students to find niches, yet take advantage of school-wide offerings typical of a large, urban school, such as teams, clubs, and student publications.

All students take comparable basic academics, but may focus on computer science and technology, journalism, or performing and visual arts in programs that do not have auditions or minimum academic requirements. Other programs, including an International Baccalaureate/honors program, an international study program (that often includes overseas travel), and a nursing program, all accept students based on academic records and test scores. Curtis’ (Navy) Junior Officer Reserve Training Corps program enrolls about 60 students a year. Many seniors have a shortened day, having completed their graduation requirements.

Many faculty and staff are Curtis graduates. One guidance counselor we spoke with estimated that 40 percent of the adults working at the school were once Curtis students. Curtis’ popular principal, Aurelia Curtis, continues to teach, working daily with some of the school’s most at-risk students, and is a strong, dynamic leader, according to teachers at the school. Sports are “huge” in the school’s culture – of the school’s 2,600 students, over 1,500 are involved in sports teams.

With numerous musical groups, from guitar ensembles to jazz and symphonic bands, dance companies, and more, the school extends ample opportunities to motivated students. There are 16 Advanced Placement classes and a challenging International Baccalaureate program, which leads to a diploma recognized by many colleges and universities around the world provide a breadth of academic challenge. At the same time, most students arrive performing below grade level and the majority of graduates still need some remedial classes in college, according to CUNY standards.

There are some self-contained classes, but special-needs students are most often mainstreamed into general education classes.

Demand for the school is strong, guidance counselors say, and the building is crowded, at 130% of its official capacity. To help improve the flow of students in the building, the school staggers the time that students begin and end their school days.

Safety concerns at the school surface with regularity, including a 2011 incident that involved a conflict that began off-campus and included a student carrying a knife into the school building -- there are no permanent metal detectors. A minority of students come from challenging domestic circumstances, guidance counselors say – their life at school may be the most stable and predictable element in their complicated lives. Discipline at school is benevolent but instant: conflicts and fights are stopped “within 30 seconds,” a guidance counselor said, and “nothing lingers. We’re a family.”

Admissions: Interested students should apply by program on the high school application, ranking their most desired "houses" higher on the list. The nursing, International Baccalaureate, and School for International Service programs are selective, with admissions based on academic record, attendance, and standardized test scores.

This school is included in New York City's Best Public High Schools. (Helen Zelon, October 2006, updated October 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 2500

Average Daily Attendance 85%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
7%

Black

  
37%

Hispanic

  
37%

White

  
16%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
20%

English Language Learners

  
6%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.36 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?

91% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

75% 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?

38% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

77% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

15% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

81% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

11% 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?

24%

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

39%

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

25%

Are students ready for college?

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

34% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

458
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

65% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

453
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?

51% 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

56% 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

School for International Studies/Honors AVID Program

Screened

The SIS program offers a challenging curriculum in the humanities and the possibility of a student exchange with the Netherlands, Italy, France, and/or Spain. All students are expected to take Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a minimum of four AP classes, four years of a World Language, IB certificate classes, and graduate with a NYS Advanced Regents Diploma.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 60-100) , Math (Scores 65-100) , Science (Scores 70-100) , 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 Business Institute

Unscreened

The Computer Business Institute offers students the opportunity to learn Microsoft Office applications, E-Commerce, and an Introduction to Computer Science which includes web design and computer programming. The course sequence leads to an industry-recognized certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint along with an opportunity to participate in Co-Op education.

Practical Nursing/ Nursing Assistant

Screened

The Nursing program offers two State-approved CTE health career programs. The Practical Nursing program includes 798 clinical hours in addition to the curriculum. These students are then eligible to take the NCLEX State Board examination for Licensed Practical Nurse. The Nursing Assistant program includes 108 clinical hours along with a curriculum that allows students to take the NYS certification exam to be certified as a Nursing Assistant.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 73-100) , Math (Scores 70-100) , Science (Scores 72-100) , Social Studies (Scores 66-100)
  • 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

Human and Legal Studies

Unscreened

The Human and Legal Studies program offers students the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of law as the foundation of human society and our role as citizens in the justice system. In addition to standard academic curricula, students interact with representatives from the legal community, including district attorneys, judges, and special law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.

Naval Junior Reserve OfficersÎê Training Corps

Ed. Opt.

The Naval Junior ROTC program is a leadership and citizenship training program co-sponsored by the Department of Education and the United States Navy. The curriculum is divided into three areas: academic, military skills, and physical fitness.

Journalism Institute

Unscreened

The Journalism Institute offers students opportunities to explore the following: writing, layout design, photojournalism, documentary film, broadcasting, emerging technologies, and print production. Students publish 10 newspapers annually, a yearbook, and literary magazine. The program includes partnerships with colleges and local media.

Performing Arts

Unscreened

The Performing Arts program offers students the opportunity to study dance, theater, or music through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school performances and partnerships with Roundabout Theater, Battery Dance Company, Theatre for New Audiences, and The College of Staten Island. Course offerings include: IB Dance, Modern Dance, Ballet, Composition, Theatre I, IB Theatre, Chorus, Piano, Guitar, Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band.

International Baccalaureate/Scholarship Honors Program

Screened

The IB program offers students a unique, rigorous curriculum in Humanities and STEM-related fields authorized by the IB Organization. All students are expected to achieve an Advanced Regents Diploma and will also take numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses in addition to their 7 required IB courses.

Selection Criteria

  • English (Scores 76-100) , Math (Scores 75-100) , Science (Scores 77-100) , Social Studies (Scores 75-100)
  • Math Levels: Levels 2.1-4.5 ; English Language Arts Levels: Levels 2.3-4.5

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

Zoned

Zoned Guarantee

Comprehensive Academic Program

Visual Arts

Unscreened

The Visual Arts program offers students the opportunity to study fine arts or graphic design through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school programs and a design partnership with Roundabout Theater. Course offerings include: Drawing, Painting, AP Art History, IB Art, and/or CTE Graphic Design using Adobe Creative Suite.

Academics

AP COURSES: AP Calculus, AP English, AP European History

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Anime, ARISTA, Art, Asian Culture/Dance, Astronomy, Chess, Consultative Council, Design, Dreamers, Engineering, Environmental, Fashion, Go Chefs, Guitar Ensemble, Health Ambassadors, Jazz Band, Journalism, Kaleidoscope, Key Club, Law, Literary Magazine, Mathematics, Mock Trial, Moot Court, Multi-Cultural, Newspaper, Nursing, Orchestra, Peer Mediation, Pride, Robotics, Student Government/Organization, Symphonic/Concert Bands, Teen Health Educators, Theatre Arts, Vocal Ensembles, Writers, Yearbook

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

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Other schools sports: Cheerleading, Dynasty Step Team

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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