Excelsior Preparatory High School

QUEENS NY 11413 Map
Phone: (718) 525-6507
Website: Click here
Admissions: Queens priority
Principal: Lilly Narine Lucas
Neighborhood: Springfield Gardens
District: 29
Grade range: 09 thru 12

What's special:

Gateway Science Program

The downside:

Some safety concerns; students would like more variety in courses

The InsideStats



Our review

Excelsior Preparatory High School was founded in 2005 with the support of the Institute for Student Achievement, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving underserved urban schools and creating small high schools. Students who appreciate a small school environment and have an interest in careers in science and medicine might thrive here.

Lilly N. Lucas, a former assistant principal at Excelsior Prep, took the helm in 2010 after the departure of founding principal, Derek Jones. A former student in the building, Lucas graduated from Springfield Gardens High School. As principal, "she walks down the hall and knows every student's name," according to Malika Hibbs, director of student services for the network of schools that includes Excelsior Prep. Teachers gave Lucas high marks in the 2012 Learning Environment Survey.

Excelsior has a partnership with the Gateway Institute for Pre-College Education which helps students prepare for careers in science. Students work with professors at Queens College and are placed in science-related internships during the school year and summer. Select students also participate in the Medical Scholars Pipeline Program, where they attend a four-week program at Hofstra North Shore –LIJ School of Medicine. Through a partnership with the School for Cooperative Technical Education, older students can also pursue training in vocational and technical trade careers.

The school's small size allows it to provide personalized attention to students. A downside of the small size, however, is there isn't enough variety of classes to keep students interested in school, according to nearly half of those who took the annual survey in 2012. About one third of students said they felt unsafe in the hallways and on school property outside the building. The graduation rate and attendance are about average for city high schools.  In August, 2012, Excelsior Prep was among 123 New York City schools identified as performing in the bottom five percent state-wide.

For foreign languages, the school offers traditional classroom instruction for Spanish, and online instruction for Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, and Korean.
Excelsior is one of several small schools housed inside the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus Building. Other campus schools include George Washington Carver High School, the Preparatory Academy for Writers and Queens Preparatory Academy. All schools share use of the media center, gymnasium and cafeteria. Students must pass through metal detectors when entering the building.

After school: Students can participate in campus-wide sports teams, the school band, clubs and enrichment classes.

College admissions: The school encourages graduates to go to college. However many must take remedial courses at CUNY because of low scores on Regents exams.

Admissions: Priority to Queens students or residents who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, web and new reports and interview, August, 2012).

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