New Dorp High School
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Small learning communities ensure students get attention and engaging work
Limited opportunity to switch to a different small learning community
New Dorp High School offers students the attention and support typically found in smaller schools as well as the big-school perks of expansive facilities, lots of Advanced Placement (AP) and college-level courses, a massive sports programs and many extracurricular activities.
The school’s writing program, called the Hochman Method, has become a model for the city. Key to its success is that teachers in all subjects have adopted the method, which means they use the same language and practices whether it’s a math teacher discussing how students should explain their approach to solving a problem or a history teacher critiquing essays. Since the method was introduced in 2009, students’ scores on English and history Regents exams have risen steadily and now exceed the citywide average.
This large, well-run school benefits from strong leadership and a thoughtful structure. The school is organized into programs known as SLCs (small learning communities), each with its own director, faculty, guidance counselor, school aide and theme.
The SLC design allows for a lot of staff collaboration; teachers in each SLC have a daily common period during which they meet to share ideas, develop lessons and devise plans to help individual students.
Each SLC appeals to a different range of interests: communications and media, law and JROTC, math and science, forensics, health, fine arts and drama, teaching, and business and software engineering. These programs deliver on their themes through a combination of required and elective classes, as well as theme-related activities. For instance, the Institute of Forensic Science offers hands-on learning in crime scene photography, crime writing/forensic statistics and biotechnology, a lot of it conducted in a well-equipped crime lab. Among their activities, students in The Academy of Communication and Media Arts (ACMA) film school events and create promotional media; they also created the citywide training video on safe school evacuations, according to longtime principal Deirdre DeAngelis.
The Math & Science Institute, which accepts students with good grades and test scores, has the most demanding course load. Students take several AP courses in different subjects and in the upper grades specialize in either medical science or engineering.
DeAngelis, who has been principal since 1999, consistently gets top marks from teachers on matters of trust and leadership, based on responses to the annual NYC School Survey. During her tenure she has found ways to enhance the SLCs, including partnerships and improved facilities.
With support from a local physical therapy provider, the health science SLC provides hands-on exposure to athletic training and physical therapy in an on-site, professionally equipped therapy lab. By the time they graduate, students in the Air Force JROTC program, which is headed by a certified pilot and instructor, complete all their coursework and simulator training hours required to become a licensed pilot. The culinary program, which was put on pause for a couple of years, is slated to reopen after construction is completed on a new commercial-grade teaching kitchen.
College-level courses are plentiful and are open to all students across the school. In addition to more than a dozen AP courses, there are College Now programs with College of Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College, as well as college courses for credit taught on-site through partnerships with St. John's University and SUNY Oneonta.
There’s a dedicated college office, and guidance counselors visit English classes to walk juniors through the college admissions process. Graduating students go on to CUNY and SUNY schools in addition to highly selective private colleges and universities.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: New Dorp works hard to integrate special-needs students with general-education students and involve students of all abilities in classes and after-school activities. There are a range of services and supports, including self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes. There are also two specialized programs: Horizon provides students who need more intensive support in small self-contained classes with the opportunity to take general-education electives and academic classes when possible; the other is for students with Asperger's syndrome and follows an inclusion model with extra support from paraprofessionals.
There is a range of dedicated classes for beginning and intermediate English language learners as well as push-in support in general-education classes by ENL (English-as-new-language) instructors.
ADMISSIONS: Admissions to the Math & Science Institute is based on a review of students’ grades, state test scores and record of attendance. Admission to all other themed programs is based on the educational option formula, which is designed to admit a mix of low-, average- and high-achieving students. Students who live in the school’s zone are guaranteed admission to the zoned program only but are encouraged to apply to theme programs too. Once admitted to the zoned program, students choose an SLC to join depending on seat availability. Students may apply to switch to another SLC at the end of 9th grade, space permitting. (Laura Zingmond, February 2015; updated via interview February 2018)Read more
Is this school safe and well-run?
From 2018-19 NYC School Survey
From 2017-18 NY State Report Card
From this school's most recent Quality Review Report
From 2018-19 School Quality Guide
How do students perform academically?
From 2018-19 School Quality Guide
Who does this school serve?
From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot
From 2018-19 School Quality Guide
How does this school serve special populations?
From 2018-19 School Quality Guide
Programs & Admissions
From the 2021 High School Directory
Students will experience a broad range of career options such as teaching, school counseling, paraprofessional services, special education, speech pathology and other educational career options. Instruction includes: Classroom management strategies, early intervention services, lesson planning, the use of technology and more. Students are enrolled in college-accredited courses through St John's University. Internships in junior and senior years. Community service, trips, and college visits.
This program provides students with rigorous electives in law and history. Skills such as public speaking, research, and legal writing are emphasized. The program includes Moot Court, Mock Trial and Debate teams, use of school courtroom, and internship opportunities. AFJROTC focuses on Air Force values such as community service, physical fitness and knowledge of space exploration, aerospace, and flight. The program includes opportunities for flight training, drone piloting, and certification.
A challenging program that exposes students to two strands: the Virtual Enterprise (VE) program, a NYS-Approved CTE sequence, a global business simulation that offers students a competitive edge through project-based, collaborative learning and the development of 21st century skills in entrepreneurship, global business, communication, and personal finance; and the Software Engineering Pilot (SEP) Program, which exposes students to topics such as computer science, gaming, and web design.
This is a rigorous program that will prepare students for college as well as a career in the health care profession. As a member of the Institute of Health Sciences, students will develop academic and practical skills that will enable them to be successful learners in a diverse society. Some of the potential careers may include athletic training and physical therapy. Senior internships will focus on physical therapy, sports rehabilitation and assessing human movement.
In this Digital Media-approved CTE program, students explore and utilize various forms of media such as graphic illustration, video production, journalism, and web design. With a major focus on hands-on instruction, this program prepares students for relevant college majors with exposure to careers in all areas of media. Students have opportunities to participate in internships in the media industry.
A 4-year rigorous academic program with an emphasis on the Arts. Majors include: Fine Arts, Theatre, Fashion Design, Dance, and Vocal Music, with Beginner, intermediate and advanced courses in each. Platforms to showcase student talents and opportunities for internships offered. Theatre and Dance majors are eligible to receive an Arts Endorsed Diploma. Fine Arts majors are eligible to students enrolled in AP Studio Art and earn college credits. Emphasis on building a portfolio for college and career.
This STEM-focused Honors Program prepares students for a variety of STEM careers in medical science, computer science, applied mathematics, and engineering. Students are provided the opportunity to think critically, solve authentic problems, and hone their investigative research skills. An Advanced Regents Diploma and a minimum of four college courses is mandated. Program includes: leadership development, internships, regional/national competitions, professional conferences, and field trips.
This program provides students with rigorous coursework, internships, and experiences to prepare them for college. Students will learn to process a crime scene, analyze evidence, examine the criminal justice system, and apply principles of criminal psychology. Courses will expose students to skills needed to begin forensic science related careers, but will also provide a breadth of knowledge with wide-ranging applications in many college and career pathways.
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP Computer Science A, AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Psychology, AP World History: Modern, AP United States History, AP Drawing, AP U.S. Government and Politics
Boys PSAL teams
Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling
Girls PSAL teams
Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball
Coed PSAL teams