Maspeth High School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

An emphasis on the classics and the fine arts

The Downside

Some students balk at the strict dress code

Our Review

Maspeth High School is a highly structured school with a classical curriculum that includes four years of Latin and fine arts. Students are held to high standards in their behavior, dress, and academic performance.

Founded with a 9th grade in temporary quarters in 2011, the school moved in 2012 to bright, spacious new building. Latin phrases are posted in the hallways, as well as signs warning For your own safety, please do not wear hats, hoodies or sunglasses in this building and Do NOT let your pants sag in this building. During transitions between classes, neatly dressed students pass through the halls while classical music or jazz plays over the intercom. The school is adding a grade each year and is designed to serve about 1,100 students. The building also houses a District 75 program for students with autism.

Maspeths curriculum seeks to balance math, science, humanities, and the arts. The importance of public speaking and writing are emphasized in all classes. In some ways the style of teaching at Maspeth is traditional. We have no fear of memorization here, says Founding Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir. However, teachers also seem to do a good job engaging students through projects and hands-on activities. One biology classroom featured several fish tanks, a live rabbit, and a variety of plants, which the teacher referenced in a lesson about how plants grown in relation to gravity and light. In a history class, students worked in small groups to debate the effects of imperialism on indigenous communities.

Because the curriculum requires students to take four years of Latin as well as four years of fine arts, there are fewer opportunities to take electives than in some other high schools. The classical curriculum can be hard to mesh with other models that offer many electives, explained Abdul-Mutakabbir. He wouldnt trade Latin classes for more electives though, saying that Latin gives the school a unified culture, provides students a deeper understanding of the English language, and bolsters their literacy.

Students may choose from four art tracks: visual arts, dance, theater, or music. Students who earn 10 credits of art classes may graduate with an arts-endorsed diploma.

The school administration enforces its strandards of behavior in the classroom and the hallways. We use the classics to push kids to examine their own values and ethics, said Abdul-Mutakabbir, adding that We want to teach them to be lifelong learners with strong character.

While students do not wear uniforms, the schools dress code is strictly enforced and has received pushback from some students who claim that it is too harsh. During our visit we saw four students get sent to the office for being out of dress code to put on a school-approved tee shirt over their clothes. According to Principal Abdul-Mutakabbir, the dress code is part of the schools efforts to teach students how to present themselves professionally.

Maspeth offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for students, ranging from mock trial to the environmental club to table tennis. There are also a variety of sports teams. Principal Abdul-Mutakabbir says that the majority of students participate in some form of extracurricular activity and that it gives them a chance to get to know their teachers on a different level.

Special education: Maspeth offers team teaching classes for students with special needs.

Admissions: Despite some initial confusion in the neighborhood about whether the school would be locally zoned, admissions are "limited unscreened" with priority given first to students from District 24 who attend an information session, then to those from other districts in Queens who attend a session, and then to NYC residents who attend a session. There were 1,700 applications for 250 seats for the 2012-2013 school year. (Pauline Zaldonis, February 2013)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


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

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 7 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual arts
This school has 6 licensed arts teacher in Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% 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?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% 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 English language learners graduate in 4 years?
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?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Maspeth High School
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description


Language Courses

Chinese (Mandarin), Greek, Latin

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Economics, AP English, AP Latin, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Studio Art, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History, AP World History


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Lacrosse, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Flag Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams


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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54-40 74th Street
Elmhurst NY 11373
Elmhurst (District 24)
Buses: Q18, Q38, Q47, Q58, Q59, Q67


Khurshid Abdul Mutakabbi
Parent Coordinator