Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
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74-20 Commonwealth Blvd
Bellerose NY 11426
Bellerose (District 26)
Buses: Q43, Q46


Ean Corrado
Parent Coordinator
Maria Charalabidis

What’s Special

A warm, nurturing school integrates disabled kids with typical peers.

The Downside

Hard to get to by public transportation.

Our Review

Many schools give lip service to integrating special education students in their program, but Queens High School of Teaching has taken inclusion seriously since it opened in 2003. The school embraces not only its own students but also severely disabled students in a District 75 school that shares the building. Integrating everyone to the greatest extent possible, school administrators believe, benefits all students -- not just those with disabilities.

The inclusion program is key to QHST's overall progressive approach. The school emphasizes projects rather than tests and is divided into three small learning communities of 400 students, each named for a progressive educator. Each has its own wing, assistant principal, counselor and teachers, although all offer essentially the same program.

In keeping with its name, the High School of Teaching offers students who are interested in pursuing teaching as a career, internships at all three campus schools: PS/IS 266, PS/IS 208 and QHST. In 2011, the school opened the Future Educators Academy, a career-education program, which will enable those who complete it to take the state-licensing exam in childcare.

"Whatever it is you want to do, if you're going to do it well, you have to be a good teacher. Those skills of teaching and learning are important," assistant principal Ean Corrado said.

Counselors help the prospective teachers at QHST find college programs and financing. One graduate returned as a student teacher and is now at QHST's sister school, Sunset Park High School.

But educating future teachers is not the main focus at the school which offers other interesting classes. Students staged a mock trial of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, playing witnesses and lawyers as their classmates listened attentively. In an art class, students researched a place they had visited or dreamed of visiting and then created mini-collages depicting it.

Most classes at QHST meet three times a week for an hour. All students spend 45 minutes a day in DEAR -- Drop Everything and Read -- reading a book of their own choosing. On Friday, the DEAR classes, which average about 18 students, meet for an advisory dealing with social and emotional issues.

The graduation rate is high, but those looking for a high-powered academic environment may find the program falls short. Classes include students with a wide range of abilities -- a practice that principal Jae Cho calls "non-negotiable." Even the two AP classes offered -- U.S. history and biology -- are open to all seniors. In the school environment survey, about a third of students and teachers indicated the school could do more to challenge students.

Students can take college courses through the St. John's Advantage program and take College Now classes. There is also a WISE Bridge to College program and a partnership with CUNY to have seniors take English and math classes that support them to be college ready.

Seniors must submit a portfolio of their work and take a senior seminar. Options include memoir writing, robotics and organic chemistry. They may also do internships and take College Now classes at CUNY.

Cho says that returning students tell the faculty that their experience at QHST prepared them well. "There is a misperception that experience-based learning is not rigorous," Cho said. One parent said the lack of emphasis on testing bothered him at first but now he thinks "it's great that they give them a hard project to do."

The building projects an atmosphere that is both calm and cheerful and students seem happy.

A parent of a first-year student says her son seems to "love [the school] more than anything in the world." Another said sending her son to the school "was the best decision of my life."

QHST fields about 30 athletic teams and offers a number of clubs.

College Admissions:The individual community guidance counselors, as well as the advisories, help students apply to college. The school also holds a college fair where graduates come to speak about their experiences. Many students attend CUNY or other local colleges. Others have been accepted to top tier schools including the Ivy League, Binghamton, West Point, University of Virginia and Georgetown.

Admission: Priority goes to students who attended the two K-8 schools on the campus. Other seats are filled under the Education Option system which aims for a mix of top, middle and low-performers. The Future Educators program accepts students via lottery, with priority going to those who attend an info session.

Special Education: QHST's special ed program offers team teaching classes and special ed services -- but no self-contained special ed classes for QHST students. It has a good record of graduating special ed students.

The students from the District 75 school, PS 811, belong to a fourth learning community, Gardner. About 27 attend some classes with QHST students and also are part of one of the other learning communities. "Being in this environment," one District 75 student says, "made me proud of what am and what I can do in the future." (Gail Robinson, April 2012)

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school shares a campus with PS/IS 208 and PS/IS 266
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 10 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time) and Visual arts (part-time)

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
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
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 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

Teaching Institute
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Students engage in teaching methods in all classes. Students can apply to a voluntary one-year internship in teaching during 11th or 12th grade. Students are part of grade level cohorts and participate in interdisciplinary units and projects.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English, AP Statistics, AP US History


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Fencing, Flag Football, Golf, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf

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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