Law, Government and Community Service High School
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A mock courtroom and law classes
School is being phased out because of poor academic performance
Law, Government and Community Service High School (LGCS) delivers on its theme, offering students law classes and the chance to compete in mock trial and negotiating competitions. However, most students arrive with weak academics skills and the school has struggled with low graduation rates and poor attendance.
In 2013, the Department of Education identified LGCS as one of 24 high schools that will be closed because of persistent low achievement. It will graduate its last class in 2016.
Parents say the school is working hard to address its problems and has made some changes, such as increased academic help after school and on weekends, as reported in the Daily News. Some students and staffers echoed that sentiment at the high school fair. My freshman year was really bad, but now there are less fights and there are more classes to choose from, said a 10th-grade student.
The school is reviving its relationship with the Justice Resource Center which sponsors educational programs and helps connect high school students with mentors in law-related professions, according to a school representative at the high school fair. They also started a debate team and added more law electives, such as business and civil law. Now students can take a law class each semester, said a school representative. Students also fulfill 200 hours of community service over the course of their four years of high school.
There are no Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Motivated students can take college courses at Queens Borough Community College. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.
LGCS is one for four small schools that opened in the mid-1990s after the Andrew Jackson High School was shut down because of poor performance and renamed the Campus Magnet High School Building. The Campus Magnet building is located in a quiet, residential area surrounded by small homes. All four schools share the auditorium, gym, cafeteria, library, swimming pool and sports fields.
Safety concerns persisted in the building for years and in 2006 the entire campus was designated an Impact School, meaning extra security was needed. A year later the campus was removed from the Impact list and the building was reorganized so that each school had its own dedicated space as well as its own lunch and gym periods. Students in all schools wear uniforms and must enter the building through a single entrance in the cafeteria where they must pass through metal detectors.
Overall students say they feel safe at school, based on their answers to the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey (LES). However, the majority of student responses indicate that instances of fights and bullying persist.
The school is not located near any subway lines. Most Students take the E or F train to Parsons Boulevard and transfer to a bus.
Students may participate in campus-wide PSAL sports as well as extra-curricular activities such as model UN, theatre arts, dance, yearbook, school newspaper, student council, internships at law firms and the Intrepid Museums Leadership Institute for Today and Tomorrow.
Special education: There are ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching classes). English language learners get extra help from campus-wide ESL instructors who serve students in all schools.
Admissions: Open to students citywide. Admissions follows the educational option formula designed to select a mix of low, average and high-scoring students based on their 7th grade English Language Arts (ELA) and math state exams. (Laura Zingmond, statistics, news reports and interviews, November, 2012)
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