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International High School at LaGuardia Community College

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

National model for teaching immigrants English while preparing them for college

The Downside

Math not as strong as humanities

Immigrants from around the world learn English while taking challenging academic classes at the International High School at LaGuardia Community College. All students take college courses and many earn a two-year-college degree in addition to their high school diploma.

Founded in 1985, the school was the first to adopt practices now shared by the Internationals Network for Public Schools, an organization of 28 schools in six states and Washington, D.C. Classes are taught in English and students who speak very little English are paired with more advanced students who speak their native language.

The school has the friendly and welcoming tone of a close-knit community. Students, who come from 51 countries and speak 38 different languages, may take part in theater, music, and dance groups that showcase their native cultures and explore the immigrant experience. During the school's Food Festival, students and teachers bring food from their native countries to share.

Classes last for 70 minutes, instead of the typical 42. Students work in small groups on projects and make presentations of their work each year. Teachers circulate around the classroom from one group to another, rather than lecturing in the front of the room. All teachers are trained in English as a Second Language and are also certified in their subject area; many teachers are multilingual and can provide translations in several different languages.

Each student has the same advisor and the same team of teachers for two years. Students meet with their advisors once a week. Working with the same students for two consecutive years allows the faculty to get to know the students well.

Most high schools require students to take five Regents exams to graduate, but at the International High School, students only take the English Regents exam. In addition, they must present a portfolio of their work to a panel of teachers, staff, and peers. The portfolio includes a research paper, a literary essay, a science project, a math project, a creative piece, a native language project and a written self-evaluation. Over the years, the school has been stronger in the humanities than in math but teachers are working to strengthen math, staff members said.

Students may take part in sports teams with two other schools, Robert F. Wagner and Middle College High School. Eleventh- and 12th-graders have internships at government agencies, businesses, schools, hospitals, and community-based organizations.

Students take courses ranging from biology to drawing at LaGuardia Community College, and some are offered in their native languages. More than half of all students stay at International for its fifth-year program, in which they take only college classes and may earn an Associate's Degree.

International has a well-staffed college office. Most graduates continue their education, either at CUNY or at private colleges.

 (Pauline Zaldonis, 2012, updated via web reports, August 2018)

School Stats


How many students 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?
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


Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Math or Science

Not offered in 2019-20


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

International High School at LaGuardia Community College

Admissions Method: Screened: Language

Program Description:

Students work on projects in all classes that align to our graduation portfolio rubrics. In all classes, students learn English and build research, writing, and presentation skills through their project work. All students complete a native language project each year as well, to strengthen their native language skills. Classes are small, usually 25 students, and students work together in groups in each class.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Albanian, American Sign Language, Arabic, Bengali, French, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Latin, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Golf, 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


45-35 Van Dam Street
Long Island City NY 11101

Trains: 7 Line to 33rd St-Rawson St; E Line, M Line, R Line to Queens Plaza

Buses: B24, B62, Q100, Q101, Q102, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q67


Principal: Jaclyn Valane

Parent Coordinator: Harry Schutz


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Middle College Campus with one other school

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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