Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School

Phone: (212) 391-0041
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option
Wheelchair accessible
Neighborhood: West Midtown
District: 2
Grade range: 09 thru 12

What's special:

Business classes

The downside:

Below average attendance

The InsideStats



Our review

Located near Times Square, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is one of a handful of high schools that offer business classes. The ideal JKO student, according to a teacher at the high school fair, is one who is “humble, willing to grow and take challenges.” Students at the fair said they feel supported through the college application process, but the school has struggled with a mediocre attendance rate and student performance over the years.

The school has two business themes: International Virtual Enterprise and Hospitality and Tourism. Students try each then choose one track. A student told us that they are required to take four business classes to graduate. In Virtual enterprise, students set up and run a mock business, trying all aspects of being an employee – human resources, accounting, product development, production, distribution, marketing, sales and etiquette. Edward Demeo has been principal since 2003.

Most students arrive with low skills. They seek out JKO for a variety of reasons. “My mom owns her own business,” said a senior at the high school fair. “Part of my family never went to college,” said a junior, “I want to go to college and support my family.”

Classrooms are locked after class starts and a number of misses or late entrances may result in suspension. The school’s high suspension rate has gradually decreased over the years.

The Roundabout Theater offers internships and workshops. But a teacher at the high school fair said only a small percentage of students do internships. Other partnerships include Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Junior Achievement and PENCIL. Students may take music or dance classes. In dance they learn a mix of styles such as Flamenco or merengue, resulting in an annual dance program. There are limited extracurricular activities including boys’ basketball, dance and various clubs.

For high achievers, the school offers advanced placement English, calculus AB, science, and European history. A.P. Spanish literature participants have done well on Regent’s exams. PM school is for students who need to catch up on credits.

Career Night, grade level dances, holiday dances and Big Brother/Big Sister Movie Night are fun whole-school events. They also hold community events such as Bollywood Night and the Annual Blood Drive.

College: The college office has a full-time counselor, who assists students with PSAT and SAT deadlines, College Now applications, resumes and internships. The school has three guidance counselors, but students at the fair said the “AVID teacher helps you even more.” AVID, or Advancement Via Independent Determination, is a program designed to prepare students in the “academic middle” for four-year colleges. Students said this teacher helps build vocabulary for the SAT, writes their recommendation and assists with the college essay. Most graduates attend CUNY and SUNY schools and a few private schools. A recent graduate attends New York University.

Special education: Students with special needs learn in a integrated team teaching classroom where general and special education students are mixed with two teachers, one of whom is trained in special education. A self-contained classroom is also available. Related services include occupational therapy, speech and language, and counseling.

Admissions: Educational option serving a range of academic performers. (Lydie Raschka, September 2012, interviews at the high school fair)

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