John Adams High School

Grades: 9-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Small learning communities and International Baccalaureate (IB) program

The Downside

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)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities 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?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
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



Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



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

STEM and International Baccalaureate Academy

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

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

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

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

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

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

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

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

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

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)

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

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.


Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

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


Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


101-01 Rockaway Boulevard
Ozone Park NY 11417

Trains: A Line to 104th St

Buses: Q11, Q112, Q21, Q37, Q41, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS, Q7, Q8, QM15


Principal: Daniel Scanlon

Parent Coordinator: Ntina Zatse


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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