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Robert F. Kennedy Community High School

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick
75-40 Parsons Boulevard
Fresh Meadows NY 11366
Phone: 718-969-5510

Our Insights

What’s Special

Serves a wide ranges of students well

The Downside

No football or music; limited space for gym

Robert F. Kennedy Community High School has a warm atmosphere, enthusiastic teachers and loyal families who speak more than 28 languages. A longtime teacher calls it “the best of the non-test-into schools around.” Most students graduate on time, and most teachers would recommend the school to other families.

“Parents love that it’s safe and that we know the kids," "says principal Anthony Barbetta. "The focus is on students. We know what they’re struggling with, where they need help.”

The school makes sure teens with disabilities and those learning English get the support they need. Unlike many schools, which face shortages, RFK has a stable of teachers who are dually certified to teach new English speakers and a content area like math, science or history. The three languages most children speak in addition to English are Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic.

The school has a partnership with the Theater Development Fund. The Arts in Schools report shows that here, too, the school takes into account its English learners; one year, Chris Lin, a Queens-based visual artist born and raised in Taiwan, developed art projects with the group of English learners. Children also go to theater performances, such as SpongeBob Squarepants and Come from Away, through the partnership.

Barbetta took over as principal in 2017. He has a good track record as the former principal of Townsend Harris High School and Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School. He is an approachable, likable problem solver, according to testimonials from students and colleagues on the Townsend Harris website. He earns high marks on school surveys.

RFK is focused on getting more graduates ready for college-level work. To this end, the school offers “more AP courses, more science, more college classes,” the principal says, both on-site and at Queensborough Community College. More than 100 children attend a popular Saturday Academy. After-school tutoring is also available.

The school’s size makes it easier for teens to jump into sports, clubs and school celebrations. “That’s the nice part of being in a small school," Barbetta says. Most classes have two teachers and mix in children with special needs, he points out, including in some college classes and Advanced Placement courses. “The kids are together,” he says. 

Of course, a smaller school is not able to offer old-fashioned football games and pep rallies, but students say teams are welcoming of non-athletes who want to try a sport as late as junior year. They might try bowling, fencing, baseball, basketball or tennis. There are art and technology classes but no music.

A guidance counselor serves as part-time college adviser. Most students go on to attend City University of New York schools. Some enter the workforce, military or trade schools.

ADMISSIONS: Educational option, designed to admit a range of academic performers. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, February 2018)

 

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?
93%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84%
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
39%
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
1%
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?
86%
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
2.9

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
92%
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
74%
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
73%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
71%
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
702
Asian
36%
Black
13%
Hispanic
35%
White
14%
Other
3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
81%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
8%

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
32%
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
83%
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
90%
68% Citywide Average


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

Programs & Admissions

From the 2020 High School Directory

College Head-Start
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
Program Description:

Students have the opportunity to take college-level courses and earn college credit through SUNY Albany, SUNY Farmingdale, Queens College, Queensborough Community College and Vaughn College. As part of College Access for All, students receive individual attention when applying for college and can attend college trips.

Academics

Language Courses

Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP 2-D Art and Design, AP Calculus AB, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Drawing, AP English Language and Composition, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Language and Culture

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Soccer, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Golf

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

Contact & Location

Location

Flushing (District 25)
Buses: Q20A, Q20B, Q25, Q34, Q44-SBS, Q46, Q64, Q65, QM1, QM31, QM35, QM36, QM4, QM44, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8

Contact

Principal
Anthony Barbetta
Parent Coordinator
Susan Adams

Other Details

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?
No

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