Academy for Careers In Television and Film

An Insideschools pick

1-50 51ST AVENUE
QUEENS NY 11101 Map
Phone: (718) 609-3330
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: Edgar Rodriguez
Neighborhood: Astoria/ LI City
District: 30
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent Coordinator: NILSA ARBOLEDA

Buses: Q101, Q102, Q103, Q104, Q66, Q69

What's special:

Professional sound stage and editing labs; film industry internships

The downside:

Limited space in a shared building

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

AUGUST 2013 UPDATE: ACTvF moved to a newly constructed building located at 1-50 51st Ave that is part of the city's Hunters Point South Development. ACTvF shares the new building with a special education school and the new Hunters Point Community Middle School. Situated near the East River, the new building features science labs, an auditorium, and music and art classrooms.

SEPTEMBER 2012 REVIEW: At the Academy for Careers in Television & Film (ACTvF) students get professional-level training in film production in addition to regular academics. The school is small, ethnically diverse and admits a wide range of students who almost all graduate on time and go on to college. Founded in 2008 by principal and seasoned educator Mark Dunetz and award-winning director Alan Metzger, ACTvF has quickly grown into one of the most popular and successful of the city’s new schools.

There’s a relaxed and close-knit vibe about the school. Students and administrators are on a first-name basis, and the teachers are lively and passionate. Most teach three or four sections, with an average class size under 25. The manageable student load helps teachers address the wide range of student skills and allows them to take on other responsibilities such as tutoring and enrichment.

Small advisory groups led by teachers meet four times each week, offering support for academic troubles, personal issues, and college preparation. “At first I wasn’t sure about the school’s small size, but now I really like it,” a 12th-grader said. “It’s so easy to contact the teachers and our advisors will always back you up.”   This collaborative atmosphere extends to the student body. Older students often mentor younger ones in group projects, and incoming students attend a three-day “summer bridge program,” or orientation, in August led by upperclassmen.

The school’s film production program is impressive. Students have access to a state-of-the-art film library and editing labs; a large sound stage; professional-grade audio and visual equipment; and several shops stocked with props, wardrobe, and heavy-duty equipment for set design and construction. Students take field trips to nearby production studios, film often in the neighborhood, and secure internships and paid summer work in the film industry. The New York Times featured the story of one ACTvF graduate who was able to pay for college thanks to a paid gig working on a film set.  

Students run the school’s non-profit production company, Next Step Pictures, which has produced films for clients including The National Dance Institute and Brooklyn High School for the Arts. ACTvF’s big-name partners include Silver Cup Studios, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Museum of the Moving Image.

Ninth and tenth graders rotate through classes in business production (budgeting and timelines); post production (video editing, sound mixing and motion graphics); production crafts (cameras, lighting, sound, and set design and construction); and screenwriting and directing. Students then major in one for 11th and 12th grade.

There are no accelerated classes in the lower grades, and Spanish is the only foreign language. For high achievers the pacing may seem slow. Teachers try to address this by giving more challenging assignments to top students. Upperclassmen may take Advanced Placement classes in calculus, English, U.S. history and psychology. Students may also take courses at LaGuardia Community College.

The school occupies the basement and part of the first floor of IS 204. The two schools share a gym, cafeteria and auditorium. ACTvF has exclusive use of its production facilities and a workout room filled with cardio and weight training equipment.

While many students stay after school to work on production projects, others join clubs such as drama, school newspaper and yearbook. PSAL teams include boys basketball, girls basketball and volleyball, and co-ed cross country.

Special education: There is one Integrated Co-Teaching class per grade. Students with special needs also have resource room support, physical and occupational therapy, counseling and speech therapy.

College: Nearly all students graduate on time, and most attend college after graduation. CUNY and SUNY schools are popular choices, and a few attend private colleges such as Emerson College in Boston and New York University, Dunetz said. There is a full-time college advisor.

Admissions: Preference is given to students who attend an open house. The school has far more applicants than seats available. (Laura Zingmond, September 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the IS 404 building

Number of Students 470

Average Daily Attendance 93%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
17%

Hispanic

  
56%

White

  
20%

Free Lunch

  
68%

Special ed

  
18%

English Language Learners

  
3%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.90 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

23 24 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

78% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

96% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

95% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

19% 34% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

97% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

96% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

12% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

NA 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

0% 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?

21%

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

26%

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

17%

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?

53% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

432
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 0 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

NA

SAT math scores

434
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?

89% 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?

83% 44% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

98% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 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. Priority to New York City residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Academy for Careers in Television and Film

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: Calculus AB, English Literature and Composition, Psychology, United States History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Academic Tutoring, Be the Change, Drama, Movie Screenings, Gay/Straight Alliance, Next Step Pictures, Screenwriting, Yearbook, Prom Committee, Acapella, Step Team, Creative Writing

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball

Source: High school directory

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