Curtis High School

Grades 9-12

Location

105 Hamilton Avenue
Staten Island NY 10301
North Shore (District 31)
Trains: SIR to St. George
Buses: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98

Contact

Phone
718-390-1800
Principal
Gregory Jaenicke
Parent Coordinator
Thomas Hepworth

Zone for the 2017-2018 school year. Call school to confirm.

What’s Special

Powerhouse sports, with strong school spirit.

The Downside

Crowded school building.

Our Review

October 2015 update: Curtis High School's long-time principal Aurelia Curtis retired in June 2015 after 31 years at the school. She was replaced by assistant principal and math teacher Greg Jaenicke, who also coached the Warriors basketball team.

October 2006 review: In a century-old building on grounds with lawns and tall trees, Curtis High School draws a wide mix of Staten Islanders to its varied offerings. From rigorous academics to top-notch arts education and city-champion sports, the school is thriving, complicated, crowded, and lively. The school is divided into 10 "houses," which allow Curtis' 2,600 students to find niches, yet take advantage of school-wide offerings typical of a large, urban school, such as teams, clubs, and student publications.

All students take comparable basic academics, but may focus on computer science and technology, journalism, or performing and visual arts in programs that do not have auditions or minimum academic requirements. Other programs, including an International Baccalaureate/honors program, an international study program (that often includes overseas travel), and a nursing program, all accept students based on academic records and test scores. Curtis (Navy) Junior Officer Reserve Training Corps program enrolls about 60 students a year. Many seniors have a shortened day, having completed their graduation requirements.

Many faculty and staff are Curtis graduates. One guidance counselor we spoke with estimated that 40 percent of the adults working at the school were once Curtis students. Curtis popular principal, Aurelia Curtis, continues to teach, working daily with some of the schools most at-risk students, and is a strong, dynamic leader, according to teachers at the school. Sports are huge in the schools culture - of the schools 2,600 students, over 1,500 are involved in sports teams.

With numerous musical groups, from guitar ensembles to jazz and symphonic bands, dance companies, and more, the school extends ample opportunities to motivated students. There are 16 Advanced Placement classes and a challenging International Baccalaureate program, which leads to a diploma recognized by many colleges and universities around the world provide a breadth of academic challenge. At the same time, most students arrive performing below grade level and the majority of graduates still need some remedial classes in college, according to CUNY standards.

There are some self-contained classes, but special-needs students are most often mainstreamed into general education classes.

Demand for the school is strong, guidance counselors say, and the building is crowded, at 130% of its official capacity. To help improve the flow of students in the building, the school staggers the time that students begin and end their school days.

Safety concerns at the school surface with regularity, including a 2011 incident that involved a conflict that began off-campus and included a student carrying a knife into the school building -- there are no permanent metal detectors. A minority of students come from challenging domestic circumstances, guidance counselors say - their life at school may be the most stable and predictable element in their complicated lives. Discipline at school is benevolent but instant: conflicts and fights are stopped within 30 seconds, a guidance counselor said, and nothing lingers. Were a family.

Admissions: Interested students should apply by program on the high school application, ranking their most desired "houses" higher on the list. The nursing, International Baccalaureate, and School for International Service programs are selective, with admissions based on academic record, attendance, and standardized test scores.

This school is included in New York City's Best Public High Schools. (Helen Zelon, October 2006, updated October 2011)

About the students

Enrollment
2558
Asian
6.4%
Black
36.7%
Hispanic
39.1%
White
16.3%
Other
1.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
74%
Students with disabilities
19%
English language learners
6%
Male
46%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
154%
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?
37%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
66%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
57%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
75%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
45%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
0.9
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
89%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
92%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
84%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
92%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
90%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 6 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 15 licensed arts teacher in Dance (part-time), Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
87%
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?
83%
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?
74%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
15%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
11%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
33%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
56%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
61%
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?
52%
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?
69%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
83%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
88%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
95%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
46%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Computer Business Institute
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

The Computer Business Institute offers students the opportunity to learn Microsoft Office applications, E-Commerce, and an Introduction to Computer Science which includes web design and computer programming. The course sequence leads to an industry-recognized certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint along with an opportunity to participate in Co-Op education.

Human and Legal Studies
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

The Human and Legal Studies program offers students the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of law as the foundation of human society and our role as citizens in the justice system. In addition to standard academic curricula, students interact with representatives from the legal community, including district attorneys, judges, and special law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.

International Baccalaureate/Scholarship Honors Program
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

The IB program offers students a unique, rigorous curriculum in Humanities and STEM-related fields authorized by the IB Organization. All students are expected to achieve an Advanced Regents Diploma and will also take numerous Advanced Placement (AP) courses in addition to their 7 required IB courses.

Journalism Institute
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

The Journalism Institute offers students opportunities to explore the following: writing, layout design, photojournalism, documentary film, broadcasting, emerging technologies, and print production. Students publish 10 newspapers annually, a yearbook, and literary magazine. The program includes partnerships with colleges and local media.

Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

The Naval Junior ROTC program is a leadership and citizenship training program co-sponsored by the Department of Education and the United States Navy. The curriculum is divided into three areas: academic, military skills, and physical fitness.

Practical Nursing/ Nursing Assistant
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

The Nursing program offers two State-approved CTE health career programs. The Practical Nursing program includes 798 clinical hours in addition to the curriculum. These students are then eligible to take the NCLEX State Board examination for Licensed Practical Nurse. The Nursing Assistant program includes 108 clinical hours along with a curriculum that allows students to take the NYS certification exam to be certified as a Nursing Assistant.

Performing Arts
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

The Performing Arts program offers students the opportunity to study dance, theater, or music through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school performances and partnerships with Roundabout Theater, Battery Dance Company, Theatre for New Audiences, and The College of Staten Island. Course offerings include: IB Dance, Modern Dance, Ballet, Composition, Theatre I, IB Theatre, Chorus, Piano, Guitar, Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band.

School for International Studies/Honors AVID Program
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

The SIS program offers a challenging curriculum in the humanities and the possibility of a student exchange with the Netherlands, Italy, France, and/or Spain. All students are expected to take Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a minimum of four AP classes, four years of a World Language, IB certificate classes, and graduate with a NYS Advanced Regents Diploma.

Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Unscreened
Program Description

The Visual Arts program offers students the opportunity to study fine arts or graphic design through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school programs and a design partnership with Roundabout Theater. Course offerings include: Drawing, Painting, AP Art History, IB Art, and/or CTE Graphic Design using Adobe Creative Suite.

Zoned
Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee
Program Description

Comprehensive Academic Program

Academics

Language Courses

French, Italian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus, AP English, AP European History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch, 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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