Staten Island Technical High School

Phone: (718) 667-3222
Website: Click here
Admissions: exam
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: Mark Erlenwein
Neighborhood: South Shore
District: 31
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: BARBARA MALENFANT

What's special:

Instruction in Russian;rigorous college prep

The downside:

May be too competitive for some; Russian is only language offered

The InsideStats


Our review

One of New York City's eight specialized exam high schools, Staten Island Tech accepts students based on their score on the Specialized High School Admissions Test. The school boasts 100 percent graduation rate, the highest in the city, and an attendance rate not far behind. Tech is a school full of motivated, high achievers who study an interesting array of courses, including four years of technology and Russian, the only language offered. The school was founded in 1988 and became a specialized school in 2005.

Students at Staten Island Tech take a lot of pride in their school, citing high rankings on national assessments. While not the pressure cooker that Stuyvesant and Bronx Science are reputed to be, Staten Island Tech kids do feel competition. Students may take Advanced Placement classes as early as the second semester of ninth grade (AP Global) and with averages of 90 percent or higher, may be eligible to enroll in an AP class in tenth grade. By 11th grade, most students take two or more AP classes, including AP Russian, which is offered mainly to native speakers. Students say they have, on average, 2 to 3 hours of homework a night, with weekend projects, papers, and studying.

Advanced Placement courses include calculus, advanced calculus, macro-economics, and physics. Students complain that getting into the school's 13 AP classes is too difficult – space is allotted based on a student's grade point average.

Tech's art requirement is fulfilled in technology and engineering classes, beginning with a required course in drafting and continuing with a sequence of engineering courses, including CAD, computer-aided drawing. The school has beefed up its more traditional art courses and also offers symphonic band, orchestra and dance.

We sensed old-fashioned school spirit at Staten Island Tech where school trophies abound. Students say the school is a close-knit community, with few cliques. Many Tech graduates work as teachers and administrators at the school. Sharing sports teams with McKee has allowed Tech to have an athletic program usually found only at large high schools. In a rarity for a school of its size, sports, especially for girls, are strong. Students say the combined teams lead to new friendships as well.

Virtually all Staten Island Tech graduates go on to four-year colleges. Of the juniors and seniors we spoke with, college plans included engineering and tech-focused schools like the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Rochester Institute of Technology, NYC-based programs like Cooper Union, Sophie Davis, McCauley Honors and NYU, and well-regarded public and private four-year colleges and universities.

Special education: Only 1 percent of students receive special education services.

Admissions: Specialized high school exam, which is given in October to 8th and 9th graders. Most students come from Staten Island, with a handful from Brooklyn. An open house is held in October. (Pamela Wheaton, October 2005, updated by Helen Zelon at high school fair, October 2011)

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