Academy for Careers in Television and Film (ACTV)

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed

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.

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)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
100%
Average daily attendance
 
91%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
27%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
85%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
91%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

571
Number of students
644 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
70%
Students with disabilities
 
21%
Multilingual learners
 
5%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
99%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
8%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
3%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
95%
0.1
Years of principal experience at this school
7 Citywide Average
104
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
76%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

 
6%

Computer Science

 
11%

Physics

 
11%

Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
28%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
17%

Music

Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
85%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
79%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
41%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2011-12 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

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.

Academy for Careers in Television and Film ASD Nest Program

Admissions Method: ASD/ACES Program

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB, AP United States History, AP Human Geography, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

1-50 51st Avenue
Long Island City NY 11101

Trains: 7 Line to Vernon Blvd-Jackson Ave

Buses: B32, B43, B62, Q103


Contact

Principal: Rob McCubbin

Parent Coordinator: Orlando Edwards

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with Hunter's Point Community Middle School and the Riverview School

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

You may also like …

Bard High School Early College Queens

30-20 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101

International High School at LaGuardia Community College

45-35 Van Dam Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

Comments

  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.

×