Tottenville High School

Phone: (718) 668-8800
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/integration variance
Wheelchair accessible
Principal: William Dugan
Neighborhood: South Shore
District: 31
Grade range: 09 thru 12
Parent coordinator: CONCETTA ASSENNATO

What's special:

Big, suburban-style high school with strong spirit

The downside:

Lots of seniors only have a half day

The InsideStats


Our review

Tottenville High School is a large, bustling zoned school on the southern tip of Staten Island. It has two small, selective institutes (one in humanities and one in math and science) for very high performing students and a Marine Corps Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program open to Staten Islanders who live outside the school zone.

Kids say they like Tottenville because it’s like a little city with something for everyone. “The teachers make it a great environment,” one junior told us at the high school fair. Sports are a big focus for the school community, and the school has a strong spirit. Many teachers are themselves Tottenville grads. Seniors can have a full schedule or a short day, ending school by noon, depending on their academic coursework; the school has one college guidance counselor, and individual guidance counselors that work with students over all four years of high school. Many students go to CUNY and SUNY schools; about 64 percent of graduates enroll in either 2- or 4-year colleges, according to the 2010-11 Progress Report.

Some ROTC students we spoke with plan to enter the military; others hope that the ROTC experience, including leadership training, will improve their college applications. (Students who are admitted as ROTC participants may transfer into Tottenville’s other programs after a year, if they elect to do so.)

The school serves a range of students, and offers some Advanced Placement courses, along with subject tutoring and daily after-school credit-recovery classes for students who need to make up required coursework. Credit recovery classes are smaller than regular classes, which often max out at the legal cap of 34 – one boy we spoke with said his credit-recovery English class started with 20 students in September but dwindled to five by late October, because kids dropped out.

Ninety percent of the students responding to the Learning Environment Survey said they feel safe at school, and most teachers agreed the school is orderly. Kids told us security steps in quickly to resolve the occasional fights in the stairwells, bathrooms or lunchroom.

Special education: The school has a wide range of special education services, including self-contained classes, OT, PT, speech therapy and counseling. Nearly 500 students have individual education plans.

Admissions: Zoned high school. Students with grades of 90 over above in their core subjects may apply to the Classics Institute or the Science Institute. Admission to the Marine ROTC program is by the educational option formula designed to ensure a mix of low- average and high performing students. (Helen Zelon, high school fair, October 2011)


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