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Our Insights

What’s Special

Rich history program; music, theater and field trips

The Downside

Thinner course offerings in science

At the Academy of American Studies (AAS), students explore history through various means, such as analyzing letters, photos, speeches, political cartoons, art, and music.  AAS was founded in 1996 with support from The Gilder Lehrman Institute, a foundation that seeks to bolster the study of American history in public schools by offering money for trips and other enrichment. 

Academics & Instruction: Classroom learning involves discussions, debates, and collaborative projects. History courses cover topics like global athletics, African American studies, European history, world modern history, and macroeconomics.  In addition to history textbooks, teens read memoirs and graphic novels.

The school organizes an annual history fair on a diverse range of projects. Examples from previous years include an exhibit titled “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries,” an original documentary named “The Frontier of Hollywood and Moving Pictures,” and an essay titled “The Manhattan Project: A History-Defining Invention.”

Field trips also bring history lessons to life. Students may walk the Freedom Trail in Boston or participate in the school’s annual international trip to Spain, Germany or elsewhere. Some learn about journalism by attending editorial meetings at newspapers and magazines.

The school offers French and Spanish instruction and a range of math and science classes, though options are slightly thinner in the sciences.

The music program incorporates history through classes like "American History through Music.” For example, students explored social change in the Vietnam War era by reenacting scenes from the 1960s musical “Hair,” highlighting how long hair symbolized rebellion.  Students may also participate in band, a wind ensemble, chorus, and an opera program that includes trips to the Metropolitan Opera.  

Upper-level students may explore 20th-century expression through art, playwriting performance, theater, or digital art. In their senior year, students prepare for college-level work by writing a thesis in a class focused on research and writing methods.  

Culture & Environment: The school runs on three staggered schedules that begin as early as 7:05 a.m. Classes end at noon on Wednesdays so students may participate in clubs and get academic help from teachers. Advanced Placement and College Now courses take place mostly on site but also at nearby LaGuardia Community College.

The school collaborates with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for training on addressing bias and discrimination. They have a social worker, integrate substance abuse prevention in classrooms, and celebrate diversity with an annual food festival.

Building & Facilities:  In February 2022, Academy of American Studies relocated to a new four-story building with lockers, labs, a library, music and art rooms, a gym, and a cafeteria. Outside, there are handball and basketball courts, along with a reading area.

College & Career:  A full-time college counselor and advisor support families in the college application process, scholarships, career pathways, and post-graduation plans. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and questionnaire responses, January 2024)


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School Stats

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


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide and 2022-23 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
From the 2022-23 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 191
How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2022-23 NYC School Survey, 2022-23 School Quality Guide, 2021-22 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2023 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



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many graduates who are eligible received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
This shows how well this school supports low-income students to get funding for college.
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2016-17 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought to you by Visit Understanding FAFSA for help with the FAFSA and financial aid.
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Academic Humanities (Q71A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Focus is on the humanities, literature, writing, and American history, and also offers a full range of math and science courses. All students take Senior Thesis, a college preparatory research and writing class as well.

Intensive Academic Humanities (Q71B)

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Focus is on the humanities, literature, writing, and American history, and also offers a full range of math and science courses. All students take Senior Thesis, a college preparatory research and writing class as well.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Spanish

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Calculus AB, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, Arts (College Course [Credited]), Biology (College Course [Credited]), Calculus (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Math (College Course [Credited]), Other (College Course [Credited]), Physics (Advanced Science), Science (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams


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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


40-11 28th Street
Queens NY 11101

Trains: 7 Line, N Line, Q Line to Queensboro Plaza; E Line, M Line, R Line to Queens Plaza; F Line to 21st St

Buses: B62, Q100, Q101, Q102, Q103, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q66, Q67, Q69, X63, X64, X68


Principal: William Bassell

Parent Coordinator: Mark Solkoff


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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