High School for Arts and Business

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed
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What’s Special

Nice selection of Advanced Placement, arts and business classes.

The Downside

No outdoor facilities.

Our Review

High School for Arts and Business is a medium-size school that offers some large school perks. Students can study commercial or fine arts, take courses in business management, participate in PSAL sports and after school clubs and choose from a selection of Advanced Placement classes on scale with many large and selective high schools. Founded in 1997 to help alleviate overcrowding at Newtown High School, Arts & Business still draws many students zoned for Newtown, but also attracts kids from across Queens and other boroughs too.

Most students come from poor families and many are immigrants or first generation Americans. Typical 9th graders start school performing below grade level, although Arts & Business is starting to attract high achievers, according to principal Ana Zambrano-Burakov. In recent years the school has added honors sections for select math and science classes. Stronger students take single-period English classes that cover more advanced work. Students needing extra support take double-period English classes that place more emphasis on fundamental skills.

What the school does best is ensure that all students enjoy opportunities beyond core academics. Starting in 9th grade students pursue concentrations in either arts or business. Art offerings include painting, drawing, photography, design and graphic design. In the Virtual Enterprise program, students take classes in computer applications and business management, and spend their senior year running a mock silver and gold trading company. Students can also take classes in dance, instrumental music, music theory and can participate in chorus or one of the school's two bands.

Since its inception, Arts & Business has been committed to offering Advanced Placement classes to all students, not just high achievers. About one-third of all students take at least one AP class before graduation, and a core group of motivated students take multiple AP classes, some as early as 10th grade. AP courses include American History, World History, Calculus, Computer Science, English, Environmental Science, Psychology, Spanish Language Arts and Spanish Literature.

Foreign languages taught include French, Italian and Spanish. For Spanish, there's a three-tiered curriculum with separate classes for native speakers, heritage speakers (educated in English, but exposed to Spanish in their homes) and non-native speakers (both educated and raised in English-only settings).

Despite the nice offerings, many students struggle. During our visit in early June, we observed several Regents review classes geared for students who failed the exam at least once before. Though the graduation rate is above average, the school is working to boost its college enrollment. Zambrano-Burakov said that more than 90 percent of graduating seniors are admitted to college, but some don't attend because of finances. Undocumented students present a particular challenge for the school. "We have smart students who get into college, but can't go because they can't afford tuition and they can't get a job to pay for it," Zambrano-Burakov said. "We have some who were born here, but their parents are undocumented, so they are too afraid to fill out aid forms."

In 2011, the facilities got a much-needed upgrade - windows. Prior to their installation the entire two-story building, a former bowling alley, was windowless. There are no outdoor facilities. Sports teams practice at Flushing Meadows Park. The building also houses a Young Adult Borough Center (also known as a YABC), which runs evening classes for Queens students who want to graduate, but were unsuccessful in a traditional high school.

The school fields several PSAL sports teams and offers roughly 30 different clubs and extra-curricular activities ranging from cooking and dungeons and dragons to chess, fitness club and student government.

Special education: There are ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes. For English language learners (ELLs), the school offers bilingual (Spanish-English) instruction sections for all math, science and social studies classes required for graduation.

Admissions: Priority to students zoned for Newtown High School, then to Queens residents, and then to students citywide. Students are admitted according to the educational option formula designed to ensure a mix of low, average and high achievers.

College admissions: Most students who attend college after graduation enroll in CUNY and SUNY schools. Some graduates attend private colleges including Ivy League schools. Each year the law firm of O'Melveny & Meyers awards scholarships to three graduates. To encourage more students to attend college, the parent association helps very poor students by sponsoring tuition for their first semester. "That gives them extra time to find a job to pay for the rest of college," said parent coordinator, Cira Herrera. (Laura Zingmond, June, 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
804
Asian
8.2%
Black
9.1%
Hispanic
75.9%
White
5.9%
Other
1.0%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
16%
English language learners
7%
Male
45%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
151%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
25%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
94%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
7%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
95%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
81%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
8.9
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
98%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
72%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
92%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
98%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
96%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 4 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music and Visual arts
This school has 4 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
80%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
58%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
82%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
90%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
20%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
4%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
40%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
85%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
78%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
87%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
62%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
94%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
97%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
87%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Arts and Business
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

French, Italian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Art History, AP Psychology, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Cross Country, Handball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Cross Country, Handball, Soccer

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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