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Middle School High School

Excelsior Preparatory High School

Grades: 9-12
143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens NY 11413
Phone: 718-525-6507
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Gateway science program offers internships and lots of hand-holding for talented students

The Downside

Metal detectors

Excelsior Preparatory High School has a tiny, rigorous “Gateway” program for students who want to pursue careers in math, science and medicine. Serving just 25 students in each grade, this program offers four years of math and science, internships and lots of hand-holding for talented kids, particularly African-American girls.

Excelsior also offers a liberal arts program that has more flexibility in course choices.

The school takes part in the Gateway Institute for Pre-College Education, a program seeks “to increase under-represented students in the science areas,” said on-site coordinator Ophelia Morris. A Stony Brook University graduate who majored in chemistry, Morris teaches chemistry, physics, and an organic chemistry elective at the high school.

Gateway participants take field trips to medical schools and research labs, organized by Morris. Students have visited Princeton and Yale’s schools of engineering, and the Stony Brook School of Medicine. At Corning Museum of Glass, children made custom glass samples and saw Corning’s patented touch screen technology.

All Gateway students must do at least one science or math internship during their four years. Some students have taken part in the ACE (architecture, construction, engineering) program in Manhattan. “They go into the city,” Morris said, “learn about architecture, do activities, once a week. We give them MetroCards.” Some have been awarded positions at Rockefeller University Hospital in the neuroscience research program. Over the years, in various internships, teens have studied CPR, shadowed doctors, dissected sheep’s brains, visited gross anatomy labs and seen a cancerous lung. “The reason I like those programs is they get to do things we can’t do here,” Morris said.

Morris keeps a close eye on the Gateway students, and those in an honor's track, many of whom happen to be girls, she said, though the school has slightly more boys overall. She urges them to keep their grades up, retake tests, and get to school on time. Older students will often mentor younger ones to create a web of support. Teens may receive extra help before or after school, during lunch and on Saturdays.

More than 90 percent of Gateway students graduate with an advanced Regent’s diploma, Morris said. There is some fluidity between programs in the school. If she spots a high-achiever in the liberal arts program, she will invite that child to apply to Gateway.

Although students feel safe at school, roughly half report bullying, on school surveys. “Bullying is something we address every year religiously,” Morris said. “I don’t see it in the school, and I stay late at night. I don’t see it in the building. Maybe it happens outside the building, at McDonalds or at the bus. “

Principal Lilly Lucas took the helm in 2010. A former student in the building, Lucas graduated when it was one big school, Springfield Gardens High School. Today, Excelsior Prep is one of four small high schools in the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus Building. Other campus schools include George Washington Carver High School, the Preparatory Academy for Writers and Queens Preparatory Academy. Students must pass through metal detectors when they enter the building.

Admissions: Morris said the Gateway program has historically taken children who scored level 3 or 4 on state tests and have a grade point average of at least 85 percent. However in 2018 the high school directory said “educational option.” Contact the school for more information. The liberal arts program is educational option, which seeks a range of low-, middle- and high-achievers. (Melanie Quiroz and Lydie Raschka, DOE data and interview, September 2018)


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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 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
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 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 2018-19 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 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 2018-19 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 2020 High School Directory

Gateway to Higher Education
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
  • Attendance
  • Course Grades: Science
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
Program Description:

This program seeks to expose students to the foundation skills necessary for college success and for success in science, technology, engineering and math careers. These students are provided with an advisor who assists them in applying for and enrolling in enrichment programs that only those students are eligible for receiving. The students are provided with rigorous courses and are expected to graduate with an advanced regents diploma.

Excelsior Preparatory High School
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
  • Attendance
  • Course Grades: Average
  • Standardized Test Scores: English Language Arts, Math
Program Description:

This program seeks to provide students with a college preparatory liberal arts curriculum. Students will be well rounded, taking courses such as English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art/Music, Physical Education and Technology, that will assist them to meet the requirements for a regents diploma at minimum. These students will also be required to engage in yearly community service projects that allow them to develop an understanding of community and the role they play in its development.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Stunt

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

Contact & Location


Springfield Gardens (District 29)
Trains: N/A
Buses: Q3, Q77, Q85


Lilly Lucas
Parent Coordinator
Jeniel Gordon

Other Details

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

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Queens Preparatory Academy

143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens, NY 11413

George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences

143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens, NY 11413


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