Selective science program; wide variety of extracurriculars
Forest Hills High School is a large, high-achieving yet severely overcrowded neighborhood school. Attendance is great, and most students graduate on time and go on to college. It offers more than 20 Advanced Placement courses, half a dozen foreign languages (including Mandarin, Hebrew, Latin and American Sign Language), and dozens of clubs and sports teams.
Forest Hills offers special programs that include a Law Academy featuring mock trials and moot court, in which students stage trials and argue appeals. The Carl Sagan Program for high achievers provides student with four years of research classes in addition to science and math. Other options include a small Academy of Chinese Studies, a Dual Language Spanish program, and drama and music academies.
Expectations are consistently high. Students must keep up their grades if they want to go to the prom or be on an athletic team. In the majority of the school’s Advanced Placement classes, enrollment is open to all and encouraged, according to the yearly plan, but anyone who signs up for an AP class should count on finishing it.
Forest Hills wants its low-performing students to graduate—whether it takes after-school tutoring, Saturday classes or pestering parents. The graduation rate far outpaces the citywide average, and most graduates are prepared for college work.
None of these achievements, though, mitigate the severe overcrowding. Designed to serve 2,500 students, the building has close to 4,000. Students attend school in three overlapping sessions, with some arriving as early as 7:20 a.m. and the last class ending after 5 p.m. The building stays open until 8 p.m. in an effort to provide extracurricular activities and instill school spirit.
"It's pretty crowded," said one boy arriving in the late morning for the third session on our last visit. By the time he leaves school after 5, eats dinner and does his homework, he complained, the evening is over. Despite the crunch, many students praised the teaching staff.
Overcrowding also means less personal attention: fewer than half the students say teachers notice if they are having trouble learning or support them when they are upset—numbers that fall below the citywide average. However, students say they are engaged in classes, and most teachers would recommend the school to other families.
The college office has two counselors according to the school website.
Benjamin Sherman came to the school as principal in 2017. He was the founder and principal of the well-regarded East-West School of International Studies.
ADMISSIONS: The majority of Forest Hills students come from its zone, although some special programs take students from elsewhere. The very popular Law Academy accepts students using the educational option system, which is designed to admit a range of academic abilities. Students in the Sagan program are chosen based on achievement and attendance. The Spanish program is screened for language, and the drama and music academies require an audition. (Lydie Raschka, web reports, March 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
Advanced Foreign Language
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or Science
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Academy of Chinese Studies
This program is available to students who possess oral fluency in Chinese language. Students will develop high literacy in Mandarin and learn about Chinese culture through a sequence of classes and activities that culminate in an AP class, a special project and the NYS Seal of Bi-literacy. This academy is supported by the Asia Society and the Hanban cultural group to ensure a full experience with Chinese culture.
Dual Language Academy (Spanish)
The Dual Language Academy (Spanish) is designed to integrate heritage speakers of Spanish with English proficient students to receive content instruction in English and Spanish. Priority is given to students previously in a dual language Spanish program, students in a traditional bilingual program and Queens residents.
Carl Sagan STEM Honors Academy
This academy is a comprehensive science and math program for students who are interested in pursuing careers related to science, technology, engineering, and math. This program begins with a course in STEM fundamentals, which leads to four unique pathways of study: Research, Applied Sciences, Health Professions, and Engineering/Computer Programming. For more information go to our school website www.foresthillshs.org and click on Academics, Science Department.
This academy offers students the opportunity to study legal writing, civil, criminal, and constitutional law while developing higher order critical thinking and communication skills as they prepare for college and career. Students can participate in internships, jobsite visits, mock trial, and moot court.
One-year multimedia class with opportunity to take a three-year advanced sequence of all aspects of theater.
Academy of Instrumental and Vocal Music
This music academy includes beginning, intermediate and advanced instruction on all band, orchestra and percussion instruments as well as voice. Students take three sequential years of music theory that culminates in the NYC Music Comprehensive Exam. Our ensembles include: Beginning Band, Intermediate Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Beginning Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, Beginning and Advanced Percussion, Vocal Training, Women's Choir and Concert Choir.
Students accepted as a part of the Zoned program will have FHHS as their zoned school. These students will have access to the wide variety of classes, clubs and activities as a member of the FHHS community. Please see our website for a list of sports and clubs. https://www.foresthillshs.org/index.jsp Clubs/ Activities: Girl Up, Animal Rights, Anime, Astronomy, Black Student Assoc., Bukharin Club, Cancer Awareness Society, Cheer leading Club, Chinese Club and LGBTQ Plus Alliance.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
American Sign Language, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP World History: Modern, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Psychology, AP Spanish Literature and Culture, AP Art History, AP United States History, AP Calculus AB, AP Macroeconomics, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Statistics, AP Computer Science A, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Calculus BC
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball
Contact & Location
67-01 110th Street
Forest Hills NY 11375
Buses: Q23, Q38, Q60, Q64, QM10, QM11, QM12, QM4, QM40, QM42, QM44
This school is in its own building.