Spanish speakers learn English and prepare for college
No on-site sports fields
Students at Pan American International High School all speak Spanish and have been in the United States for less than four years. They come from Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia and other countries. The principal, secretaries and counselors speak Spanish, but most of the teachers speak English only. The goal is to help children learn English, finish high school and prepare for college.
The school has made a turnaround since George Badia became principal in 2015. It had been in danger of closing due to poor performance, but Badia lengthened the school day, and improved attendance, academics and safety.
The school was rated “well developed,” the highest rating, on most areas on the city’s quality review. It went from a 50 percent graduation rate in 2014 to 90 percent in 2017.
A Department of Education video highlights Badia’s personal outreach to students; for example, he met individually with more than 30 seniors who were not performing well enough to pass the Regent’s math test and urged them to get extra help with teachers after school and on Saturdays. He replaced a dean in charge of behavior with a guidance counselor trained in “restorative circles,” in which teens talk through conflicts. He made house calls to the homes of students who were absent a lot. He encouraged teachers to let students do more talking in class to practice their English.
New arrivals take classes with students who have been in the United States awhile longer, so they can help each other. Ninth- and 10th-graders take classes together, as so do 11th- and 12th-graders. Teachers give all instruction in English, and students must present samples of their work in English twice a year.
Instead of the traditional Regents exams that most high school students take, Pan American students write research papers and do oral presentations called “portfolios” in some subjects, such as science, social studies and native language arts (Spanish), according to the yearly plan.
By the time they are seniors, students are expected to speak and write in English. Faster learners may take difficult classes, such as physics, and college courses in literacy, psychology or Latino USA, according to the yearly plan. All 12th-graders take AP Spanish Literature.
The school offers classes such as photography, film editing, graphic arts, dance and music. It has a basketball club, a volleyball club and a Zumba club, according to the website. There is a green asphalt play area but no official sports field. Students may participate in campus-wide sports teams held at other locations.
Pan American is part of a network of high schools across the country that are designed for new immigrants. There are more than a dozen International schools in New York City.
ADMISSIONS: Open citywide to new immigrants who speak Spanish. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, March 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
PhysicsNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Pan American International High School
This is a comprehensive CTE program which includes rigorous study in: Information Technology, Computer Repair, Coding, Adobe, and Web Design. Additionally, AP Studio Art, Drawing and Painting, Photography, Theater, and Music. In partnership with: SUNY University of Albany, LaGuardia Community College, Theater Development Fund, International Network for Public Schools, and College for Every Student.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Seminar, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP United States History, AP English Language and Composition, AP Computer Science Principles
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams
Contact & Location
45-10 94th Street
Elmhurst NY 11373
Trains: to Junction Blvd
Buses: Q29, Q38, Q53-SBS, Q58, Q72
This school shares the Elmhurst Educational Campus with two other schools