August Martin High School
QUEENS NY 11434 Map
August Martin High School
August Martin High School is known for its unique aviation program where students learn to fly a plane and earn their pilot certification by graduation. In 2011, the school was deemed one of the lowest performing high schools in the city with only three percent of students considered "college ready."
Targeted for intervention, August Martin was designated a "Restart" school. It was given extra money and matched with a non-profit educational partner organization, the Institute for Student Achievement, that works with the principal and staff to improve the school by redesigning the curriculum, increasing teacher training and adding more academic support for students. "Since Restart, we've been given a lot of new resources and professional development," said Margaret Chew, director of the Culinary Arts Academy.
The school has always offered themed programs, but with the infusion of Restart money, it has created academy-style programs, each headed by an experienced teacher who oversees the program while also teaching a reduced schedule of classes. The themed academies start in the 10th grade. All 9th graders attend daily small group advisories and are enrolled in the Freshman Academy, designed to help them acclimate to high school.
In the Aerospace Academy, August Martin's well-regarded aviation program, students learn to pilot a plane and get to fly weekly, accompanied by an adult. Students can pursue solo and private pilot certification and can intern during the school year at local airports. Summer internships are available through the College of Aeronautics, York College, Dowling College and SUNY Farmingdale. Students interested in the program must earn at least an 85 average in 9th grade courses at the school to qualify.
The other academies focus on Business and Law, Communication and Culinary Arts. In the Business and Law Academy, students intern at Fortune 500 companies, law firms and law enforcement agencies. In Communication Arts, students get hands-on instruction in television and film production and editing in the school's television studio opened in May, 2011. In Culinary Arts, students learn to cook and study the business side of the industry by catering special events and running an in-school cafe.
There is a College Now program, but only four A.P. classes are offered – calculus, literature, U.S. history and world history.
Most parents and teachers did not respond to the Learning Environment survey, but students reported some gang activity and drug use during school hours, and about half said there were not enough activities and classes to keep them interested in school.
College: Culinary schools are popular choices for students in the Culinary Arts Academy. Some students in the Aerospace Academy take a gap year to obtain additional pilot certifications before going on to traditional two- or four-year college programs.
Admissions: The school is open to all city residents. Queens residents who attend an information sessions are given priority for the Aerospace Academy. (Laura Zingmond, interviews at high school fair, October, 2011.)