High School of Applied Communication
Long Island City NY 11101
Small, diverse school with positive tone and environment.
Little music, tiny gym, erratic elevator.
At the High School of Applied Communications students write, use technology, and converse to get their ideas across. Round tables spark old-fashioned, face-to-face interactions. If youre an effective communicator, youll be better off at work and in college, said Principal Dan Korb, who sets a welcoming tone at this diverse, safe, orderly school.
Students and staff agree that the schools small size promotes strong teacher-student bonds. Students reel off the names their favorites from among the young, upbeat, male and female staff. Routines provide continuity and there is little misbehavior. Were firm but fair, said assistant principal Amy DeMarco. The social worker phones the home of every child who is absent.
Aside from the typical array of high school classes and three advanced placement courses, in U.S. History, English Literature, and European History, the school offers a few opportunities that fit the applied communications theme. There is an on-again, off-again journalism class with plans to publish an online newspaper. Students may become certified in Adobe and Microsoft Office in the computer design class. And together with Magic Box Productions, 10th graders learn to tell stories on film. The process of interviewing and shooting footage for documentaries has been so much fun that staff said English language learners are not aware of how much their English skills improve - until it shows up on test scores.
Staff share a common planning period each week to discuss lessons and student progress. Teachers strive to ensure that the lessons in one class support the lessons in another. The computer teacher, for example, may follow a theme in Global Studies by asking his students to create a brochure about Egypt or Spain. In most classrooms, we saw teachers roam around and crouch to eye level to expand the learning by asking how and why questions.
The number of students who score 65 percent or higher on Regents exams is on the rise, but theres still a lag in math and science, although there are extra periods of algebra for 9th graders, just as there are extra periods of English. Korb hopes a second science teacher will provide additional support and help boost scores even more. Extra science classes include anatomy and forensics.
An industrious art teacher and her students use the hallways as a canvas for flowers and bugs and portraits of school personnel. There is no music, aside from band club and open mic night. After school activities include student government, art, drama, dance team, technology, book club and peer tutoring.
HSAC is on the 5th floor of a beautifully renovated office building that is also home to Bard Early College and Academy of Finance and Enterprise, with whom it shares a cafeteria. HSAC has a tiny gym, but the campus as a whole has boys' and girls basketball, cross-country, track and field, wrestling, and a strong girls Rugby team.
Special education: Team-taught classes, which include children with special needs, are on each grade level. A drawback for the few children in wheelchairs is that the elevators occasionally break down and get very crowded after 9th period. However, students with special needs seemed to be fully integrated into activities.
College admissions: The majority of the graduates attend SUNY or CUNY schools like Borough of Manhattan Community College, LaGuardia or Stonybrook. Private school acceptances have included St. Johns University and Savannah College of Art and Design.
Admissions: Admissions to the school is open citywide and based on the educational option formula. (Lydie Raschka, May 2012)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
How many graduate?
Are students prepared for college?
How does this school serve English Language Learners?
How does this school serve students with disabilities?
Programs and Admissions
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP English, AP Human Geography, AP US History
Boys PSAL teams
Basketball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball