Hillside Arts & Letters Academy
Jamaica NY 11432
Daily art classes for 9th graders, music for 10th graders
Too soon to say how successful this new school will be
Hillside Arts & Letters opened in the Jamaica High School building in 2010 under the direction of Principal Matthew Ritter. Ritter has brought skills and ideas shaped during his years as assistant principal and co-founder of Bushwick High School for Social Justice. He has an open door all the time, according to guidance counselor Marilyn Rodriquez-Ortiz. Decisions are made as a team.
My heart is connected very much to the arts, Ritter said. Its a really effective way of engaging all kinds of kids. Hillside features daily art classes for 9th graders and daily music classes for 10th graders. Extracurricular activities include Mural & Art, Drama, DJ, Live/Recording and Guitar.
Daily advisory meetings - small, supportive group workshops - are a big part of the schools culture. About 15 students meet with advisory leaders who keep in touch with families. Topics include identity, community building and respect. Advisory really works in our school, said Rodriquez-Ortiz. We call our parents a lot, said science teacher Anar Patel.
Attendance in the schools first year was 87 percent, slightly above the citywide average. Some 77 percent of students responding to the 2010-11 NYC School Survey said they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms.
Special Education: Students with special needs are supported by SETSS (special education support services), ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching), and special services.
Admissions: Preference is given to Queens residents. (Lydie Raschka, interviews at high school fairs, September 2011)
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 Biology, AP English, AP Statistics
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Football, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams
Cricket, Double Dutch, Golf, Stunt