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Academy for Careers in Television and Film (ACTvF)

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
1-50 51st Avenue
Long Island City NY 11101
Phone: 718-609-3330
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Our Insights

What’s Special

Professional-level training in film production; supportive environment; students can graduate with an associate's degree

The Downside

Few extra-curricular activities outside of film production and sports

The Academy for Careers in Television & Film (ACTvF) is a small, successful school that delivers on its name. It offers students professional-level training in all aspects of film production as well as internships and paid work in the industry, thanks to some big-name partners including Silver Cup Studios, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Museum of the Moving Image. It admits a broad range of students, from struggling to high achievers, and its graduation, college attendance and college readiness rates far exceed the citywide average.

ACTvF is located steps from the East River inside a modern, airy building with stunning views of the midtown Manhattan skyline. It shares the facilities with Hunter's Point Community Middle School and the Riverview School, a 6-12 District 75 program for children with severe learning disabilities.

Edgar Rodriguez has been principal since 2013. Previously, he was an assistant principal at ACTvF and a founding staff member, along with Alan Metzger, an award-winning director who designed and oversees the school's film program.

Film studies at ACTvF is an impressive operation. Students have access to a state-of-the-art film library and editing labs, several small sound stages, professional-grade audio and visual equipment, and shops stocked with props, wardrobe, and heavy-duty equipment for set design and construction. Students take field trips to production studios, and often film throughout the neighborhood and along the riverfront. Students run the school's non-profit production company, Next Step Pictures.

Ninth- and 10th-graders take a production class each semester that covers key aspects of the industry including business production (budgeting and timelines), post production (video editing, sound mixing and motion graphics), film production (cameras, lighting, and sound), set production (set design and construction), hair, makeup and costumes, and directing (includes screenwriting). At the end of their sophomore year students choose one area to focus on through graduation.

Film classes for juniors and seniors are held mainly in the afternoon to allow them time to work on their in-depth production projects. The schedule also makes for an easy transition to after-hours work, where on a typical day, students fan out across the building after their final class to continue working on their films—editing in labs and shooting scenes in hallways, offices, the cafeteria, and on the sound stages. Some also head to the waterfront to shoot scenes.

An honors production program open to seniors offers the opportunity to produce independent projects and take courses in advanced film skills.

Teachers strive to ensure students at all levels get the right amount of academic support. There are no accelerated classes in the lower grades and for high achievers the pacing of instruction in some courses may seem slow at first. Students we met say teachers compensated by giving them extra and more challenging work.

All students study French and there is a range of Advanced Placement courses offered in the upper grades. Instead of taking pre-calculus, juniors who are strong in math serve as teaching assistants in an algebra, geometry and trigonometry class. This helps reinforce their foundational skills before tackling calculus in the 12th grade, according to Rodriguez. The set-up also helps ease students' academic load during a stressful junior year when they're studying for the SATs, participating in internships and working on a year-long film production project, he said. Through a partnership with LaGuardia Community College (LCC), students may earn college credit by taking free courses taught onsite or at LCC.

The vibe throughout ACTvF is relaxed, friendly and close-knit. Students and administrators are on a first-name basis, and the teachers pay close attention to students' needs. Most teach three sections of classes a day, which is less than the typical load of five. The more manageable instructional schedule allows them to take on other responsibilities.

Each teacher serves as the four-year advisor to a small group of students. Teachers meet regularly with their advisory students—in groups and individually—to keep tabs on their progress, monitor attendance, address academic and personal issues and help students through the college admissions process. Two fulltime social workers work directly with students and support teachers with the advisory process.

Students' days are packed with academic and film work and there are limited extra-curricular activities. Offerings include PSAL sports teams, school newspaper, yearbook committee and a few student-run clubs including the popular Gay-Straight Alliance, where students take trips to various studios throughout the city to learn about equity within the industry. Many students secure paid internships during the school year and over the summer.

ACTvF is transitioning to an early college model serving grades 9 to 14. Beginning with the incoming freshman class in September 2018, students will be able to stay at ACTvF for six years and graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from a CUNY college.

Students get a lot of support from their advisors and the school's full-time college counselor. Nearly all students graduate on time, and most attend college after graduation. CUNY and SUNY schools are popular choices; some attend private colleges including a few very competitive schools such as Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, New York University and the film program at the University of Southern California.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT classes and SETSS. Two teachers are dual-certified in French and English-as-a-new-language instruction.

ADMISSIONS: Students are admitted according to the educational option formula designed to admit a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. (Laura Zingmond, April 2015; updated via interview, August 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 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
97%
77% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
29%
36% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
97%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
94%
81% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
78%
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
5.4

How do students perform academically?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
99%
80% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
80%
44% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
96%
39% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
87%
66% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
20%
13% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
565
Asian
6%
Black
12%
Hispanic
55%
White
20%
Other
7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
50%
Students with disabilities
20%
English language learners
2%

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93%
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
21%
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
96%
63% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
88%
68% Citywide Average


For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

Academy for Careers in Television and Film
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

Comprehensive CTE program in film and TV production that includes hands-on work-based learning experience, alongside a rigorous academic college preparatory program. Priority given to students who are eligible for Free Lunch (based on family income) for up to 63% of seats.

Academics

Language Courses

French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Psychology, AP U.S. History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Softball, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location

Location

Long Island City (District 30)
Trains: 7 Line to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave; G Line to 21st St
Buses: B32, B43, B62, Q103

Contact

Principal
Edgar Rodriguez
Parent Coordinator
NILSA ARBOLEDA

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with Hunter's Point Community Middle School and the Riverview School
Metal detectors?
No

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