Small learning communities and International Baccalaureate (IB) program
High number of bullying incidents
For years, John Adams High School teetered on the brink of closure and struggled to attract students. Its administration and faculty now believe the worst is behind them and see the school gradually rebounding, thanks to stronger academics, new programs and efforts to create a more welcoming environment.
Signs of progress: The graduation rate jumped from less than 55 percent in 2014 to nearly 71 percent in 2018. The attendance rate also slightly increased within that time frame, and chronic absenteeism declined. Perhaps most important, in 2016 the state removed John Adams from the list of schools threatened with state takeover. And, according to the New York Times, John Adams has been identified as a “rise” school, meaning it will no longer be considered a renewal school come the 2018-2019 school year.
Principal Daniel Scanlon came to the school in 2013. After reviewing the building and evaluating student feedback that indicated that many students did not want to be at John Adams—which Scanlon himself described as having been punitive and drab—he set out to enact change.
To improve discipline, John Adams has implemented Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), which focuses on rewarding and reinforcing positive actions. As a result, the suspension rate has dropped to just 1 percent, which is below the citywide average.
The school has restructured its academics and is now divided into several small learning communities (SLCs), aiming to provide students with both the resources of a large school and the sense of community and individualized attention offered at a small school.
There are eight SLC programs: STEM; the Future Educators Academy; Media and Fine Arts Academy; Pre-Med Academy; Justice, Law and International Studies Academy; a Newcomers Institute; the International Baccalaureate (IB) program; and the Queens Business Institute. Within these SLCs, there is one new career and technical education (CTE) program in law. The school is developing a CTE program in business.
John Adams added its selective IB program in the fall of 2016. It offers a challenging curriculum that stresses student projects and the development of research skills. The school also offers a wide range of Advanced Placement courses and College Now classes.
After school, students can participate in a number of extracurricular activities, such as the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program, robotics, debate, school band and many PSAL sports, including cricket and girls lacrosse.
"We want to try to make opportunities available to kids," Scanlon said. "We're trying to find something for every student."
Despite these changes, the school still has room for improvement. Chalkbeat said John Adams, with 2,300 students, had 21 confirmed instances of bullying in the first half of the 2017-2018 school year. Half of the student body thinks that bullying happens frequently, according to school surveys.
The school is located in Ozone Park and has an on-site health clinic operated by North Shore LIJ health network.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Adams offers a range of supports, including tutoring services as wells as self-contained and integrated co-teaching (ICT) classes.
ADMISSIONS: Citywide. Criteria vary among the learning communities, with some screened programs and others using the educational option method. There is also a zoned program for students living in the area. (Gail Robinson, March 2015; updated June 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
STEM and International Baccalaureate Academy
STEM and International Baccalaureate Academy is a rigorous program of study for highly motivated students. The goal of the STEM-IB Program is to develop well-rounded students who are ready to take advanced courses in preparation for college. Students who successfully complete the IB coursework/requirements will receive the globally recognized IB Diploma. Students studying in the STEM academy will learn from teachers who are passionate about their subjects and their students' future. Students will immerse themselves in engineering, robotics, Virtual Reality/ Augmented reality and computer science courses with the opportunity to earn industry credit and opportunities to exercise their skills in real-world experiences. In the STEM Academy, students are able to take, IB, AP, SUNY Farmingdale and CUNY College Now courses to earn up to 30 college credits.
Law and International Studies Academy
Prepares students for careers in social sciences, law, and international relations. Students will participate in Model UN, Moot Court, and Mock Trial. John Adams has constructed a court room to train students in the Law and Justice careers. The Law academy has a CTE approved program and prepares students for college in the criminal justice field.
Pre-Med Academy and International Baccalaureate Academy
This is a rigorous program of study for highly motivated students. The goal of the International Baccalaureaute (IB) Program is to develop well-rounded students with character who respond to challenges with optimism and an open mind. Students who successfully complete the IB coursework/requirements will receive the globally recognized IB Diploma. Pre-Med includes approved curricula in medical/health careers, psychology, anatomy and physiology (with Z-Space AR), First Aide/CPR, and clinical medical assistant profession skills.
Media and Fine Arts Academy
Media and Fine Arts Academy is a learning community that prepares students for careers in communications, visual and performing arts with a blend of music, art, media, journalism, and theater. Students will be exposed to rigorous curricula designed to expand their minds in courses that will challenge them to design the school yearbook, participate in specialty classes, write for the Campus newspaper, and act in our drama productions.
Queens Business Academy
The goal of the Queens Business Institute is to acquaint students with various business disciplines and how they fit into the operation of a corporate business enterprise. Students will focus on elements of the business world, such as productivity, entrepreneurship, integrity, and professionalism. There are opportunities for internships and job shadowing in various business sectors offered to our students.
Future Educators and Leadership Academy (FELA)
Our students will develop the 21st century skills needed to be the highly effective educators and leaders of tomorrow. In addition, students will receive a hands-on experience with communication and public speaking, organization and management skills. Students will have the ability to mentor, become a teacher assistant and lead peer education opportunities. FELA provides opportunities to gain college credits through participation in AP and college credited courses during the school day.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Bengali, French, Spanish
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus AB, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Biology, AP United States History, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball
Girls PSAL teams
Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams
Contact & Location
101-01 Rockaway Boulevard
Ozone Park NY 11417
Trains: to 104th St
Buses: Q11, Q112, Q21, Q37, Q41, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS, Q7, Q8, QM15
This school is in its own building.
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Ozone Park, NY 11417