National model for teaching immigrants English while preparing them for college
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)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
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
International High School at LaGuardia Community College
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.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
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
Contact & Location
45-35 Van Dam Street
Long Island City NY 11101
Trains: to 33rd St-Rawson St; , , to Queens Plaza
Buses: B24, B62, Q100, Q101, Q102, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q67
Principal: Jaclyn Valane
Parent Coordinator: Harry SchutzWebsite
This school shares the Middle College Campus with one other school
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