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Hillside Arts & Letters Academy

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick for Special Ed
167-01 Gothic Drive
Jamaica NY 11432
Phone: 718-658-1249

Our Insights

What’s Special

Four years of art or music

The Downside

Metal detectors

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)

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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

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

Hillside Arts & Letters Academy
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

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.


Language Courses


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

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

Contact & Location


Jamaica (District 28)
Trains: F Line to 169th St
Buses: Q1, Q17, Q2, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q43, Q65, Q76, Q77, X68


Raquel Nolasco
Parent Coordinator
Annis Manuel Dry

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Jamaica Educational Campus with three other schools
Metal detectors?

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