Hillside Arts & Letters Academy

167-01 GOTHIC DRIVE
QUEENS NY 11432 Map
Phone: (718) 658-1249
Admissions: Limited Unscreened
Principal: Matthew Ritter
Neighborhood: Jamaica/ Briarwood
District: 28
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Annis Dry
Humanities & Interdisciplinary

Buses: Q1, Q17, Q2, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q36, Q43, Q6, Q65, Q76, Q77, Q8

What's special:

Daily art classes for 9th graders, music for 10th graders

The downside:

Too soon to say how successful this new school will be

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Hillside Arts & Letters opened in the Jamaica High School building in 2010 under the direction of Principal Matthew Ritter. Ritter has brought skills and ideas shaped during his years as assistant principal and co-founder of Bushwick High School for Social Justice. He has “an open door all the time,” according to guidance counselor Marilyn Rodriquez-Ortiz. “Decisions are made as a team.”

“My heart is connected very much to the arts,” Ritter said. “It’s a really effective way of engaging all kinds of kids.” Hillside features daily art classes for 9th graders and daily music classes for 10th graders. Extracurricular activities include Mural & Art, Drama, DJ, Live/Recording and Guitar.

Daily advisory meetings – small, supportive group workshops – are a big part of the school’s culture. About 15 students meet with advisory leaders who keep in touch with families. Topics include identity, community building and respect. “Advisory really works in our school,” said Rodriquez-Ortiz. “We call our parents a lot,” said science teacher Anar Patel.

Attendance in the school’s first year was 87 percent, slightly above the citywide average. Some 77 percent of students responding to the 2010-11 NYC School Survey said they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms.

Special Education: Students with special needs are supported by SETSS (special education support services), ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching), and special services.

Admissions: Preference is given to Queens residents. (Lydie Raschka, interviews at high school fairs, September 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Jamaica Educational Campus

Number of Students 420

Average Daily Attendance 87%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
27%

Black

  
41%

Hispanic

  
22%

White

  
4%

Free Lunch

  
72%

Special ed

  
10%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.32 2.40 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

26 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

63% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

93% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

85% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

66% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

36% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

83% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 10% 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?

3%

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

17%

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

3%

Are students ready for college?

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

20% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

402
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

408
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

78% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

91% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Queens students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to Queens students or residents
  4. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

Hillside Arts & Letters Academy

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: Art History, Biology, English Literature and Composition

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Music, Student Government, Studio Art, Drama, Math Honors Society, Athletes Helping Athletes, National Honor Society, Literary Magazine, Yearbook, COSA, PM School and After-School Tutoring

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Football, Handball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Cheerleading, Cricket

Source: High school directory

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