Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School
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Students learn a trade while enjoying solid academics and a well-rounded high school experience
Limited elective classes, though there are clubs, sports and activities after school
Thomas A. Edison High School sets the gold standard for Career and Technical Education (CTE). Unlike the newer crop of small CTE schools that focus on a particular theme, Thomas Edison offers 11 CTE tracks spread across several themed programs: visual art and design, information technologies, computer aided design (CAD), electrical installation, automotive, robotics/STEM and medical careers. All students major in a trade but also enjoy a well-rounded high school experience that includes solid academics and lots of activities and sports teams.
There is a pleasant and old-fashioned quality to this school. Safety officers greet visitors with a cheery smile; there’s a student-run club dedicated to promoting acts of kindness. Many teachers, especially in CTE classes, have worked in the school for years. Principal Moses Ojeda, a graduate of the school, is also a longtime staff member, having worked as a teacher and then assistant principal before taking the helm in August 2012.
In shop classes and labs, students enjoy serious hands-on learning where they can be found working under the hood of a car, designing a newsletter, testing new commands for a robot or extracting DNA from a banana. The daily CTE classes run 90 minutes, and most take place in spacious rooms with desks on one end and lab tables, computers or heavy-duty equipment on the other. There's a biotechnology lab for students studying pharmaceuticals, an electrical wiring shop, robotics labs and multiple rooms filled with computers to accommodate the many technology-based CTE classes.
Students can earn industry certifications such as Adobe software (web design and graphic communications), CISCO networking, A+ computer maintenance (information technologies) and AutoCAD. They hone their mechanic skills in the school's fully functioning, state-licensed garage where they service well over 100 cars per year and can earn multiple certifications in automotive maintenance and repair.
Seniors in graphic arts produce all the school's printing needs with the aid of a commercial-grade digital printer. They produce materials for outside organizations and area schools; some students get internships with the Center for Arts Education.
Keeping up with the evolving job market, the school replaced its commercial arts program with a digital media concentration that focuses on the creation, editing and embedding of media such as photos and film into commercial websites. It’s also creating an “innovation lab” filled with high-tech equipment that teachers will use to design and model new lessons and that students taking a new entrepreneurship class will use to brainstorm, design and create new products.
In academic classes, there’s a mix of teaching styles. Some classes are more traditional, with desks in rows and teachers up front, while in others, group work is more the norm. Regardless of the subject, students are expected to write a lot. For instance, in algebra, students may write about careers in mathematics and the kinds of courses one needs to succeed, such as trigonometry for electricians, and advanced topics including calculus and finite math for architects. In an automotive class, students research and write lengthy essays on topics such as the difference between rack and pinion versus parallelogram steering systems. Teachers often ask students to present their work to the class.
Model UN is a popular activity that draws students from all programs. Ojeda says the program, which seniors take as a class for credit, exposes students to experiences they otherwise would not try, including traveling to tournaments and showcase events.
Honors and Advanced Placement classes are offered in some subjects. Spanish is the only foreign language taught. A full-time work-based learning coordinator arranges school-year and summer internships for students.
There are few elective classes, mainly because students’ schedules are packed with academic and double-period shop classes. However, there’s a lot to do after school and during free periods. Students may participate in PSAL sports as well a nice range of clubs and student organizations.
The school’s graduation, college-attendance and college-readiness rates are well above the citywide average. Many students attend two- and four-year CUNY colleges, and some attend SUNY and private schools. A full-time college counselor, along with guidance counselors and several teachers, guide students through the college admissions process.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Special education students may apply to any program. There are a range of services and supports, including self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. An alternative assessment program teaches life skills and academic subjects to special needs students who are unable to take a traditional academic load because of severe disabilities. They learn basic skills for independent living in the school's model apartment, a room equipped with a full kitchen, washer and dryer and a bathroom with a shower. They also manage a hydroponic garden, where they grow food that they use to cook meals for themselves as well as to prepare dishes to serve in the staff café.
ADMISSIONS Electrical Installation Technologies accepts students based on the educational option formula that is designed to ensure a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. All the other programs admit students based on grades, test scores and attendance record. In addition to hosting open houses, the principal hosts small group tours of the school. Check the school’s website for more details. (Laura Zingmond, November, 2014; updated via interview, May 2018).
Is this school safe and well-run?
From 2019-20 NYC School Survey
From 2019-20 NY State Report Card
From this school's most recent Quality Review Report
From 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How do students perform academically?
From 2019-20 School Quality Guide
Who does this school serve?
From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot
From 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How does this school serve special populations?
From 2019-20 School Quality Guide
Programs & Admissions
From the 2021 High School Directory
Preparation for careers in one of the following visual arts areas: Graphic Arts, Digital Media, or Mobile Apps & Web Design/Developer. With a major focus on hands on instruction, these programs prepare students for relevant college majors with exposure to careers in all areas of visual arts. Industry certification (Adobe Certified Associate), dual enrollment, and articulated college credit courses included. Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Visual Arts programs.
Preparation for careers in one of these information technology areas: Apple Service Technician, Internetworking, IT Specialist, and Cyber Security. With a major focus on hands on instruction, these programs prepare students for relevant college majors with exposure to careers in all areas of IT, industry certification (A+, Apple Certified Technician, Network+, Security+), dual enrollment, and articulated college courses. Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our IT programs.
Preparation for careers in the creative world of Architecture and Design. With a major focus on hands on instruction, this program prepares students to enter the field of architecture, construction, and engineering. Industry certification (AutoCAD & Autodesk Revit), dual enrollment, and articulated college credit courses included. Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Architecture & Engineering program.
Preparation for careers in electrical & solar technology. With a major focus on hands on instruction, this program prepares students with a focus on low voltage systems, residential wiring, motors/motor controls, and solar technology. Exposure to careers in all areas of electrical & solar technology. Industry certification (OSHA, NCCER, and Energy Management). Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Electrical & Solar Technology program.
Preparation for careers in one of the following automotive areas: Automotive Technology and Collision & Refinishing. With a major focus on hands on instruction, these programs prepare students for relevant college majors with exposure to careers in all areas of the automotive industry. Industry certification (ASE and i-Car), dual enrollment, and articulated college credit courses included. Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Automotive and Collision & Refinishing programs.
Preparation for careers in computer science and engineering. With a major focus on hands on instruction and computer coding (Python, Java, and C++), this program prepares students with a focus on learning basic robot and drone building instructions, programming, movement, and working with sensors. Projects incorporate STEM concepts. Industry certification (OSHA and MTA: Intro to Python) Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Robotics/STEM & Drone program.
Preparation for careers in the exciting world of Medicine. With a major focus on hands on instruction, this program focuses on the medical profession and prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies for success in college pre-med programs. Industry certification (AMCA and NOCTI: Medical Assisting), dual enrollment, and articulated college credit courses included. Visit www.EdisonCTE.org for more information about our Medical Assisting program.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP World History: Modern, AP Physics 1, AP Statistics, AP Psychology, AP Chemistry, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Macroeconomics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP United States History
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams