Newtown High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Small learning communities; respectful, supportive environment

The Downside

Declining enrollment

Newtown High School seems to be a happy place where students, teachers and administrators respect one another and work together. Students give their teachers high marks for helping them academically and emotionally, according to school surveys.

Class discussions are of high quality and teachers are committed to the school, actively taking steps to make it a better place and improve their teaching, according to school surveys. John Ficalora, who attended Newtown as a student and has been principal since 1992, is well-regarded by both faculty and parents.

The school has bounced back from a dark period in 2012 when the city threatened to close it for poor performance. Since then, the school has reorganized into “small learning communities.” More students are graduating on time, ready for college. Attendance is good.

Although the school’s enrollment has declined, it remains large enough to offer an array of Advanced Placement and other college credit classes, four foreign languages, and many extracurricular activities and sports teams, including co-ed cricket. Students may enroll in career training programs in new media/E-commerce and architecture.

Ninth graders have their own learning community where they prepare for two Regents tests, adjust to high school and receive individualized attention. Some may take Advanced Placement US history. At the end of the year, the students select from among the learning communities: business; arts and media; math, science and forensics; and an engineering program, which also includes architecture and computer technology.

Newtown students meet individually with a teacher who reviews the student’s grades and goals, and helps the student address any problems and meet those goals. An educator who visited the school to prepare its Quality Review found students universally enthusiastic about this, with one saying, “It’s great to review my report card with a teacher who I don’t already work with. Gives me fresh eyes and ideas.”

Newtown High School, which covers an entire city block, is a landmarked building. A school serving the farming community of Elmhurst opened on the site in 1866; the oldest part of the current building was constructed in 1921, according to Wikipedia. Since 2013, Newtown has shared its campus with the International High School for Health Sciences.

Special education: The school has a large number of English language learners, who have their own learning community. The majority of students with disabilities spend most of their school day in team teaching classes with a mix of general and special education students, but self-contained classes also are available.

Admissions: Students zoned for the school are guaranteed a seat if they apply. Students from elsewhere in Queens may apply to one of three programs: pre-engineering and computer technology, which screens students but accepts those with an average of 64 or above; business, which uses the educational option method designed to admit students with a range of academic abilities; and art, which requires an audition. Programs do not generally fill all their seats, and all admit some incoming 10th graders. (Gail Robinson, DOE materials and press reports, November 2018; photo from school's website)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
624 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Business Institute

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

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

Pre-Engineering & Computer Technology

Admissions Method: Screened

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

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.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Statistics, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Human Geography, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Language and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP World History: Modern, AP Drawing, AP English Literature and Composition, AP 2-D Art and Design, AP Calculus BC, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, 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


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


48-01 90th Street
Elmhurst NY 11373

Trains: M Line, R Line to Grand Ave-Newtown

Buses: Q11, Q21, Q29, Q38, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS, Q58, Q59, Q60, Q72, Q88, QM10, QM11, QM40


Principal: John Ficalora

Parent Coordinator: Griselda Zapata


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with the International High School for Health Sciences

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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