The Queens School of Inquiry
QUEENS NY 11366 Map
The Queens School of Inquiry
Queens School of Inquiry (QSI) offers students in grades 6 - 12 challenging academics and lots of support. The school is designed as an early college program, which starts in earnest in the high school and culminates with 11th and 12th graders spending two mornings each week attending classes at Queens College. Motivated students can amass up to two years worth of college credits by graduation. Middle school students spend part of June attending classes at Queens College.
The school opened in 2005 and graduated its first class in June, 2012. Meredith Inbal became principal in 2010 after QSI’s founding principal, Elizabeth Ophals retired. Inbal taught 6th grade at the school and was a member of its founding faculty.
Teachers do a good job with a broad range of students. Struggling learners are supported and pushed to take on challenging work. High achievers benefit from accelerated instruction without the intensity and heavy workload encountered at super selective schools. Writing, research and projects are emphasized. Eighth graders take Regents Algebra and Living Environment, which puts them on track to tackle college level math and science before graduating from high school. Older students enjoy the independence that comes with taking classes at Queens College.
“You feel like an adult taking college classes,” said an 11th grader who proudly showed off his Queens College ID, which also gives him access to the college library and athletic center. “It’s also nice to have the freedom to pick up lunch on my way back to school.”
Staggered starts to the day help teachers offer personal attention. For instance, 6th and 7th graders begin at 8:12 a.m. for advisories that focus on academic support, test prep, enrichment lessons and independent reading. While 11th and 12th graders take classes at Queens College, high school teachers offer extra attention to 9th and 10th graders.
Middle school students get art and instrumental music lessons but no foreign language. Spanish instruction starts in the 9th grade. High school students study drama in 9th grade and can take elective classes in music and forensics and Advanced Placement courses in Psychology, Physics, Chemistry and Psychology.
One downside: limited extra-curricular activities. For middle school students, the school fields a basketball team and the Beacon Program sponsors after school activities. High school students can contribute to the literary magazine and participate in clubs that typically include robotics, dance, drama and community service. Spirit Squad, the school’s cheerleading team, organizes and cheers at events. There are no high school sports teams.
Special education: The school has self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes.
College admissions: The school has a full-time college advisor. Ninety percent of the school’s inaugural class graduated on time. All graduates went on to college, most to SUNY and CUNY schools including the McCaulay Honors Program. Some attend private colleges such as Syracuse and St. Johns University.
Admission: For middle school, priority to students zoned for the building. For high school, priority to continuing 8th graders and then to Queens residents. High school applicants must have at least a grade of 70 in core subjects and earned a 2 or higher on their 7th grade state English and math exams. Most QSI 8th graders stay for high school, but some leave to attend specialized high schools and Townsend Harris. There are usually 30 to 40 spots for 9th graders who attended other middle schools and a few seats for incoming 10th graders. (Laura Zingmond, June 2012)