Queens Vocational and Technical High School

37-02 47 AVENUE
QUEENS NY 11101 Map
Phone: (718) 937-3010
Website: Click here
Admissions: Citywide
unzoned
vocational
alternative
Principal: Melissa Burg
Neighborhood: Astoria/ LI City
District: 24
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: MIRIAM BAEZ

What's special:

Prepares students to be plumbers, electricians and cosmetologists

The downside:

Most graduates require remedial courses in college

The InsideStats

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Our review

At Queens Vocational and Technical High School (QVTHS) students take a regular academic program while preparing for careers in plumbing, electrical work, computer and electronic engineering, graphic arts and cosmetology. Students may earn professional certifications that help them get good-paying jobs after graduation.

The school is housed in spacious facilities. A modern wing added in 2005 has workshops and labs fitted with state-of-the-art equipment. Students have a long day, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with 10 classes, some of them taught in three to four-period blocks.

In 2010, the Department of Education identified QVTHS as a low achieving school but chose to put in new leadership rather than close it. Melissa Burg was appointed principal in June, 2010, and has earned a good reputation among teachers, based on their responses to the school’s Learning Environment Survey (LES). Students also give high marks to teachers and staff, but complain of fights and instances of bullying at the school, according to the LES. Graduation and attendance rates exceed the citywide average.

QVTHS was one of 40 city high schools participating in the Expanded Success Initiative, a program to improve college and career-readiness rates for black and Latino boys. The school received a $250,000 grant to develop strategies to improve achievement and better outcomes for its male students.

The school is organized into four academies that provide a mix of academic and Career and Technical Education (CTE) instruction. Most 9th-graders enroll in the Exploration and Discovery Program, where they rotate through introductory classes offered in all the CTE programs. Exploration and Discovery has a dedicated staff who only teach 9th grade classes, which means teachers get to know the freshman well.

Starting in 10th grade, students major in one of the upper grade CTE programs and must complete an internship in their field of study. In Entrepreneurial Studies, students may study business, cosmetology or graphic arts. Skilled Building Trades focuses on plumbing and electrical installation. Computer and Electronics Engineering and Technologies offers students training in computer repair, copper and fiber optics network cabling, and robotics.

Juniors and seniors may take classes at LaGuardia Community College and Advanced Placement classes in psychology and Spanish language. The long school days leaves little time for extracurricular activities, but motivated students may participate in sports teams and an assortment of clubs and academic teams including music, poetry, Mock Trial, robotics, Gay-Straight Alliance and Virtual Enterprise.

College: The school encourages students to go to college, though a majority work after high school graduation. Among those who do attend college, most must take remedial courses at CUNY because of low scores on Regents exams. There is a fulltime college counselor.

Special education: The school offers ICT (Collaborative Team Teaching) classes and SETTS.

Admissions. Open to students citywide. Most 9th graders enroll in the Exploration and Discovery Program, which is accepts a range of students.   Screened CTE programs accept a limited number of 9th graders who meet the admissions criteria. Rising 10th graders apply directly to the screened CTE programs.  (Laura Zingmond, statistics, news reports and interviews, October, 2012).

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