Hillside Arts & Letters Academy

Grades 9-12

What’s Special

Daily art classes for 9th graders, music for 10th graders

The Downside

Too soon to say how successful this new school will be

Our Review

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

Enrollment
495
Asian
25.1%
Black
40.4%
Hispanic
25.3%
White
2.0%
Other
7.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
74%
Students with disabilities
14%
English language learners
12%
Male
44%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Jamaica Educational Campus with three other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
106%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
86%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
39%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
96%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
9%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
93%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
66%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
1.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
71%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
93%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
82%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
50%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
86%
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?
81%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
10%
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?
24%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
26%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
73%
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?
71%
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?
82%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
92%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
96%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
67%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Hillside Arts & Letters Academy
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP English, AP Statistics

Sports

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

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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