Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Students learn a trade and enjoy a well-rounded high school experience

The Downside

Limited electives classes

Our Review

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 seven 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; 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 heading the school starting in August 2012.

Students seem particularly engaged in the shop and lab classes, 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. Most shop classes take place in spacious rooms with desks on one end and lab tables, computers, or heavy-duty equipment on the other. Students hone their mechanic skills in the school's fully functioning, state-licensed garage where they service well over 100 cars per year. Students on the MOUSE Squad are on-call for in-house computer assistance. Seniors in graphic arts produce all the school's printing needs with the aide of a commercial grade digital printer. They produce materials for outside organizations and area schools; some get internships with the Center for Arts Education.

Theres 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), AutoCAD and multiple certifications in automotive maintenance and repair.

Academic classes are more traditional with desks in rows and teachers up front, but there are variations, especially in English and history classes where group work is becoming more of the norm. A big push to improve students writing is evident throughout the school. For instance in algebra, students 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 vs. 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. During a practice session for an upcoming competition, students role-played delegates from various nations as they debated international policy. Off in the corner a mother sat quietly observing her son, an automotive student, debate Sharia law as a delegate from a Middle East nation. He begged me to come watch him, said the mother who had just completed her night shift at work. Im so impressed. He really enjoys this and is learning so much.

Honors and Advanced Placement classes are offered in some subjects. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.

There are few elective classes mainly because students schedules are packed with academic and shop classes. Students can participate in PSAL sports as well a nice range of clubs and student organizations.

The schools graduation, college attendance and college readiness rates are well above the citywide average. Many students attend 2- and 4-year CUNY colleges, and some attend SUNY and private schools. A fulltime 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 schools apartment, a room equipped with a full kitchen, washer and dryer and a bathroom with a shower.

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. (Laura Zingmond, November, 2014).

About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 8 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Prepares students for careers in one of the following areas: Graphic Arts, Commercial Art, or Web Design. Training in use of Adobe design software which allows students to pursue digital media, drawing, painting, digital photo and video, or web design as an area of focus.

Information Technologies
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Prepares students for careers in CISCO Networking, focused on building and securing wired and wireless networks. The Information Technology Specialist program focuses on building, maintaining, and troubleshooting computers, mobile devices, and printers. Cyber Security focuses on concepts of computers and transitions into security awareness, ethical hacking, and mobile device and advanced computer forensics.

Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

This program prepares students to enter the field of architecture, construction, and engineering (ACE) and industrial design. Students learn drafting fundamental and advanced features of AutoCAD and 3-D modeling using Revit Architecture software.

Electrical Installation Technologies
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

The Electrical and Solar Installation Technology program focuses on low voltage systems, residential wiring, motors, and motor controls and solar technology. Students will also have access to acquiring OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Administration), energy auditing, green building professional, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), copper cabling, energy management systems, and green professional building certifications.

Automotive Technologies
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Focuses on National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) in the approved areas of Automotive and Collision/Refinishing. Automotive: Auto Electric, Brakes, Engine Performance, Steering and Suspension. Collision/Refinishing: Painting and Refinishing, Non-Structural Damage Analysis, Repair Standards and Competencies. Students have access to earning Automotive Service of Excellence (ASE) and i-Car certifications.

Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Focus is centered on students first learning basic robot building instructions, programming, and movement then working with sensors and more complex robot behaviors. Projects incorporate STEM concepts.

Medical Careers
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

This program helps students to develop a complete understanding of the medical profession and the clinical and administrative skills necessary to work in a healthcare facility.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Statistics, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP U.S. History, AP World 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

Cricket, Double Dutch

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

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165-65 84th Avenue
Jamaica NY 11432
Jamaica (District 28)
Trains: F to 169th St
Buses: Q1, Q17, Q2, Q25, Q3, Q30, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q43, Q46, Q65, Q76, Q77, QM1, QM31, QM35, QM36, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8, X68


Moses Ojeda

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