Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences

Grades 9-12

What’s Special

High-level academics for students interested in math and science

The Downside

Too new as a stand-alone school to have a proven track record

Our Review

The vision: An academically demanding science-focused program aimed at minority students that prepares them for college.

The reality: Although it is still new, the school has an excellent track record from its days as a program at Jamaica High School. It was saved from the rubble of Jamaica after the city decided to close the high school for poor performance.

Formerly the Gateway Institute for Pre-College Education at Jamaica, it opened as its own school, Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences, in 2011. The program is designed for minority students interested in exploring science and math, especially medicine and related fields.

The Gateway program opened in Jamaica High School in 1986 and since then 97 percent of the 3,000 graduates of the Gateway program have gone to college, 80 percent of whom graduated college within five years (compared to a national rate of 30 percent).

I know what works, says Principal Caren Birchwood-Taylor, who has been a science teacher for 28 years and helped establish the Gateway program at Bayside High School where she was assistant principal of science in 2010-2011. She says the schools small size helps her staff give individual attention to every student - not just academic support, but emotional support, exposure to the outside world, and early college advisement.

Gateway students will have mandatory internships and summer programs. If you say you want to be a doctor, you better spend some time in a hospital, Gateway official Edwing Medina says. The school features a slightly longer school day, monthly Saturday seminars, and required community service.

The administration hopes to limit class size to 25-27, with a 15:1 ratio for the schools weekly advisories.

College representatives visit at least once a month to talk about admissions and financial aid. College prep classes in 11th and 12th grade help with PSAT and SAT tutoring on-site and outside. Most students go on to attend four-year colleges including NYU, Stony Brook and Penn State.

In addition to standard requirements, students must perform 500 hours of community service per year, Saturday test prep and collegereadiness courses. Students are encouraged to complete the requirements for an Advanced Regents diploma and must score above 85 in all of their classes to avoid academic intervention. According to Assistant Principal Satanya McLaughlyn, 10 percent of students in the Jamaica Gateway program earned Advanced Regents diplomas in 2011.

Students can take four years of math and science, including AP calculus, science research and computer programming. All students take three years of Spanish.

Afterschool clubs include robotics, pathways to medicine, glee and international dance. PSAL teams are shared with all schools in the building.

Uniforms are required.

Admissions: The school accepts students with a variety of academic abilities through the educational option process. (Helen Zelon and Aryn Bloodworth, January 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
523
Asian
41.7%
Black
39.0%
Hispanic
10.7%
White
2.7%
Other
5.9%
Free or reduced priced lunch
75%
Students with disabilities
12%
English language learners
10%
Male
47%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Jamaica Educational Campus with three other schools
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
97%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
91%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
30%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
89%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
58%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
92%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
96%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
46%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
97%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, and Media arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time) and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
76%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
57%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
74%
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?
91%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
34%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
2%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
57%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
62%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
77%
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?
60%
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?
61%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
100%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
100%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
92%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature and Composition

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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Location

167-01 Gothic Drive
Jamaica NY 11432
Jamaica (District 28)
Trains: F to 169th St
Buses: Q1, Q17, Q2, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q43, Q6, Q65, Q76, Q77, Q8, X68

Contact

Phone
718-480-2689
Principal
Caren Birchwood Taylo
Parent Coordinator
Greisis Mcgroarty

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