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Newtown High School

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

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)

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 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Chinese and Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% Citywide Average

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.


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


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, QM10, QM11, QM40


John Ficalora
Parent Coordinator
Griselda Zapata

Other Details

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

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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