Four years of art or music
Hillside Arts & Letters is a small, well-run high school that offers children a choice of four years of music (band, chorus, piano) or four years of art (digital art, sculpture, painting, photography). It serves a range of children well including those learning to speak English and those with special needs. It is a “melting pot,” with more than 40 nationalities represented and kids who speak Bengali, Arabic, Spanish and Creole.
Community partnerships add spice to the music and art themes. The Queens Museum hosts an after school art program that culminates in a show at the museum. Fyrezone (finding your rhythm through education) taps into kids’ musical talent with music production, songwriting and dance.
Hillside encourages teens to share and evaluate their work with adults, a skill that may help them in college. Tenth graders present samples of class work on “portfolio day” at the end of the semester, 11th graders present their arts-based work, and 12th graders interview—and are interviewed by—adults in various fields. A list of college acceptances on the website includes many CUNY and SUNY schools and New York University.
The school opened in 2010 in the Jamaica Educational Campus. It shares the building with three other schools. Children must pass through metal detectors.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Hillside has a good on-time graduation rate with children with disabilities. Lincoln Center and Shakespeare Company sends teaching artists to work on theater performances with children learning English.
ADMISSIONS: Educational Optional “Ed. Opt.” seeks a range of low-, middle- and high-performing students. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and DOE data, August 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Hillside Arts & Letters Academy
All students have the opportunity to take AP courses. All juniors have the opportunity to take CUNY College Now courses for college credit. Seniors are offered the opportunity to take St. John's University approved courses and receive a transcript from the university. Incoming ninth grade students choose an art or music track. Music students are able to choose: band, chorus or piano. Students have the opportunity to take four years of art/music and graduate with an Arts Endorsed Diploma.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States History, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP Psychology, AP Statistics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus AB
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Fencing, Football, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams
Cricket, Double Dutch, Golf, Stunt
Contact & Location
167-01 Gothic Drive
Jamaica NY 11432
Trains: to 169th St
Buses: Q1, Q17, Q2, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q43, Q65, Q76, Q77, X68
This school shares the Jamaica Educational Campus with three other schools