Account Arrow Right Favorite Star Bookmark

Discover your best high school options

Get started

Newtown High School

Grades: 9-12
48-01 90th Street
Elmhurst NY 11373
Phone: 718-595-8400

Our Insights

What’s Special

Lots of support for 9th graders; many sports and activities

The Downside

Many graduates need remedial courses in college

Newtown High School opened in 1897 as a small, farm-town school in Elmhurst, Queens. Today it is a large high school with a diverse student population that includes many English language learners and recent immigrants. Like many big, urban schools, Newtown faces tough challenges including overcrowding, spotty attendance and many students arriving ill-prepared for high school work. There are signs of improvement: Its graduation rate, which lagged for many years, has risen above the citywide average.

In 2011, the Department of Education identified Newtown as a low-performing school and decided to reorganize it into small learning communities instead of closing it. A year later the DOE changed course by deciding to close Newtown in June, 2012 and reopen in it September, 2012 with a new name and a majority of new staff. Legal action against the city put those plans on hold, so at least for now, Newtown remains open, keeping its name, much of its faculty and its longtime principal, John Ficalora.

Despite Newtowns uncertain future, teachers and staff have invested a lot in building up its small learning communities. Each one has its own group of classrooms and a set of teachers. All incoming freshman are enrolled in the Ninth Grade Academy designed to help new students ease into the high school experience and stay on track. Starting in 10th grade students enroll in one of the themed, communities in engineering, math and science, media studies, business, visual and performing arts, and one for English language learners.

Students are responding favorably to the changes based on their answers to the Learning Environment Survey. Notably, they are satisfied with the variety of classes and activities, feel supported by their teachers and safe in school, though some fights and bullying occur. Some students we spoke to at the high school fair said they benefit from the extra help they get through Newtowns partnership with City Year, which sponsors recent college graduates to commit to one year of fulltime service in a high-needs school. Students said they really like the City Year corps members who assist teachers in classrooms, provide tutoring and help organize and lead student activities.

Advanced Placement courses are offered in biology, calculus (AB and BC), United States history and language studies in English, Spanish and Chinese. Students may also take courses at Queens Borough Community College.

There are many sports teams and a wide array of activities and after-school clubs such as debate team, photography, play production, senior council, school newspapers and math league. The school fields a successful robotics team (which has its own website) and the music programs guitar ensemble performs at many community events.

Special education: The school offers both team teaching and self-contained special education classes.

College admissions: Most graduates who attend college enroll in CUNY and SUNY schools. Many must take remedial courses at CUNY because of low scores on Regents exams, SATs or college prep course.

Admissions: Zoned students have priority admissions to the school, but not to a specific themed program. Queens residents have priority consideration for the themed programs. Students must meet additional criteria for admissions that vary by program. (Laura Zingmond, statistics and interviews at high school fair, December 2012).

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
36% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
37% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
64% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
13% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
37% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2016-17 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

Business Institute
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
  • Geographic Proximity
Program Description:

Electronic Information Processing, Desktop Publishing, Web Page Design, e-commerce, and Microsoft Office certification training.

Pre-Engineering & Computer Technology
Admissions Method: Screened
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (64-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.7-4.5), Math (1.6-4.5)
  • Geographic Proximity
  • Passed all four core-course subjects
Program Description:

Drafting, Engineering, Architecture, Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD), Construction Systems, Network Cabling (Telecommunication), Digital Electronics, Computer Applications, Robotics, 3-D Printing, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Lathes, Mills, Routers and Grinders, CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) integration and applications.

Major Art
Admissions Method: Audition
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (60-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts (1.8-4.5), Math (1.5-4.5)
  • Audition
  • Geographic Proximity
  • Passed all four core-course subjects
Program Description:

Art, Commercial Art, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting, 3-D Design, Computer Art, Printmaking.

Admissions Method: Zoned Priority
Program Description:

Students may take courses offered in the specialized programs, all academic departments, all elective departments, AP classes, CUNY College Now classes, and Extended Day and Saturday classes.


Language Courses

French, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP U.S. History, AP World History


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


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

Contact & Location


Elmhurst (District 24)
Trains: M Line, R Line to Grand Ave-Newtown
Buses: Q11, Q21, Q29, Q38, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS, Q58, Q59, Q60, Q72, Q88


John Ficalora
Parent Coordinator

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with the International High School for Health Sciences
Metal detectors?

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

You may also like …

Civic Leadership Academy

45-10 94th Street
Elmhurst, NY 11373

Maspeth High School

54-40 74th Street
Elmhurst, NY 11373


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.