Students graduate with two years of college credit
Heavy homework load
Bard High School Early College Queens offers an intellectually stimulating environment, the opportunity to get to know teachers well, and a college office that provides an unusual level of support. Like its sister school in Manhattan, Bard Queens compresses the work of four years of high school and two years of college into four years, and students graduate with both a high school diploma and a two-year associate's degree.
The school makes an effort not only to enroll students of different races, ethnic groups and backgrounds, but also to make them feel welcome once they arrive. Black Lives Matter posters in the corridors, a special section of books about LGBTQ issues in the school library, and antibias training for the teachers are hallmarks of a school that takes diversity seriously. The school actively recruits low-income students and sets aside 63 percent of its seats for students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch.
Class size is 18 to 22, significantly smaller than the typical New York City high school class size of 34. That means teachers have time to give students individual attention and help them revise their research papers. The smaller classes are possible because the school receives significant financial support from Bard College. “I have a nice connection with every teacher I have had,” one girl told us.
Bard Queens is a serious place. When you ask the kids what they do for fun, they might tell you how they make jokes about imaginary numbers, or research the effects of ballet on the brain, or coach a little sister’s elementary school chess team. A favorite school event: Pi Day (March 14, get it?), when students bake pies and see who can recite the most decimals of pi.
The workload is heavy, and three hours of homework a night is typical. (One girl told us she does five hours of homework a night.) Grading policies are punishing, and kids who got easy As in middle school find they have to work hard to get Cs at Bard. But students seem happy and engaged, and the work, they say, is interesting—never busy work.
Students complete the high school curriculum in their first two years. For example, they study U.S and Latin American history in their first year and World History—typically a two-year course—in their second year. They choose Spanish, Latin or Chinese to learn as a foreign language. In their second two years, they choose from a range of college courses such as African history, Race and Power in America, organic chemistry and computer science.
“I may not have gotten a grounding in world history in just one year, but I got to take a course about Alexander Hamilton, and one on gender studies, and one on the ‘constructs of self,’” one girl told us.
Housed in leased space on the 6th and 7th floors of an office building that also houses the High School of Applied Communication and the Academy of Finance and Enterprise, Bard Queens has sunny rooms and well-lit corridors that circle an interior atrium. White walls and dark green lockers give the space a crisp, clean feel. There are dance studios, an art room and a small theater, but no gymnasium. Physical education is taught in an exercise room.
The school’s college counselor gives thoughtful advice not only about admissions but also about financial aid. Many graduates enter CUNY, SUNY or Bard College as juniors. Graduates have also been admitted to Vassar, Haverford, Barnard, Brandeis and Mount Holyoke.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school typically does not serve a lot of students with special needs, but those who attend get a lot of support. Some students take a special class designed to teach organizational skills. The school offers team-teaching classes and special education teacher support services (SETSS).
ADMISSIONS: Register on the school’s website the first week of September to take the school’s math and writing assessment. Good attendance, an 85 average and 3s or 4s on 7th-grade state math and ELA exams are required. Students who demonstrate strong skills are invited to an interview. A joint admissions committee screens applications for Bard Queens and the original Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. There are typically 3,000 applicants for 150 seats. (Clara Hemphill, May 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Math or ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Bard High School Early College Queens
Inquiry and critical thinking promoted across all subject areas.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Arabic, Greek, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish
Boys PSAL teams
Basketball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Table Tennis, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Cross Country, Flag Football, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Table Tennis, Volleyball
Contact & Location
30-20 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City NY 11101
Trains: to 33rd St-Rawson St; , , to Queens Plaza; to Court Square; , to Queensboro Plaza
Buses: B62, Q100, Q101, Q102, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q66, Q67, Q69, X63, X64, X68
This school shares the building with the HS of Applied Communication and the Academy of Finance and Enterprise
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Long Island City, NY 11101
Long Island City, NY 11101