East-West School of International Studies
Flushing NY 11355
Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages; lots of after-school clubs and tutoring
Schools small size limits advanced and college-level classes
The East-West School of International Studies offers up to four years Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as Asian-inspired arts and sports such as anime (Japanese cartoons), Korean drumming, Chinese calligraphy and judo. Smaller than most Queens high schools, East-West has a caring staff and tutoring for students who need extra attention and support.
The school, which serves students in grades 6 to 12, shares space with JHS 237, the Rachel L. Carson School. Students try out each of the three languages, and then commit to studying one. All students are required to take at least three years of language classes.
All of our kids are great kids, says Principal Benjamin Sherman, who founded the school in 2006, in part inspired by his experience of living in Asia for 12 years. Many students have an interest in Asian culture. It could be in Korean fashion, Japanese anime, Chinese food. Then they come here and start learning one of those three languages - Chinese, Japanese, Korean - and they quickly learn there is more to the culture. By the end of their first year, students can count, introduce themselves and do basic reading and writing. After four years, a student is expected to be fluent and ready for advanced language courses in college, he says.
Hallways and classroom walls were festooned with student art and decorations for the Chinese New Year at the time of our visit. After-school activities include Korean painting and Erhu musical instruments. A limited number of students go on trips to China and Japan. Families must usually pay the airfare. Student Nicholas Fontanet said he found it difficult to connect to his classes, but as a result of his three-week trip to Korea, Something clicked, he said. I want to go to college now.
East-West also offers a solid list of college prep classes, including calculus, economics, physics and marine biology. Students are pushed to get an Advanced Regents diploma, though Sherman admits that many students fear the commitment this requires. The school did not offer Advanced Placement classes at the time of our visit, although students may take college classes through CUNYs College Now program.
Special education:The schools offers SETSS, CTT and other services. The school is participating in a DOE pilot that seeks to provide students with as much classroom inclusion as possible. None of our special ed students have ever dropped out, Sherman said. This school also hosts an ASD Nest Program for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Students with ASD learn in a classroom alongside typically developing children, taught by two teachers who have been trained in the programs specialized curriculum and teaching strategies.
Admissions: East West International accepts applications by lottery for 81 seats in its sixth grade class with preference given to students in District 25. More than half of middle school students stay on for high school and students from around the city can apply for the remaining 30 to 40 high school seats. The school does not screen academically, so any student interested in the Asian languages and culture may apply. (Kim Nauer, March 2011)
About the students
About the school
Is this school safe?
About the leadership
About the teachers
Are students prepared for high school?
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
Open only to continuing 8th graders.
Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Korean, Spanish
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Calculus, AP Computer Science, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology
Boys PSAL teams