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Curtis High School

Grades: 9-12
105 Hamilton Avenue
Staten Island NY 10301
Phone: 718-390-1800

Our Insights

What’s Special

Wide array of programs, classes, sports and activities

The Downside

Too much chalk and talk

Curtis High School on Staten Island’s North Shore is a relative rarity in New York City today – a large, diverse high school offering a mix of academic and career programs. Its size enables it to offer three foreign languages, many Advanced Placement classes, a variety of arts classes with seven full-time arts teachers, and more than thirty varsity sports teams.

Curtis is broken into nine small learning communities called houses – “many houses, one home” as a student says in a school video. These include houses focused on the academically demanding International Baccalaureate curriculum, Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps and various college preparatory programs, including legal studies and journalism. Some of the houses, such as visual and performing arts and the Computer Business Institute, also offer a career training component. Students in the nursing house graduate high school ready to take the New York State Boards for Licensed Practical Nurse and Nurses Assistant certification exams.

Most teachers look forward to work and recommend the school to parents, according to school surveys. An educator who visited the school for its Quality Review praised Curtis for its embrace of technology, for setting high expectations for students and for communication with parents. 

However, some teachers rely too heavily on question-and-answer sessions and don't do enough to adjust classwork to individual student needs, the reviewer said. Too many classes have desks in rows, impeding class discussions. 

Curtis — the borough's first high school — opened in 1904 and the building was landmarked in 1982. Overcrowding was a persistent concern but a new wing including eleven classrooms, a gymnasium, and a multimedia room opened in 2017, easing the problem. 

Special education: Curtis offers a range of special education services. With about two-thirds of its student with disabilities spending the bulk of their day in team-teaching classes with two teachers and a mix of special and general education students. There are also self-contained classes. Less than half of students with disabilities graduate in four years.

Admissions: Any resident residing within Curtis’ zone on Staten Island’s North Shore is admitted. Once admitted students can then select from houses with available slots. Students who want admission to a specific program must apply to that program. Students from outside the zone must apply program by program. While all are open to any New York City student, some give priority to Staten Islanders, with few, if any, openings available to children from other boroughs, Admissions criteria and availability vary. There are some openings for incoming 10th graders. (Gail Robinson, school website and DOE material, October 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 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

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

From 2020 School Directories

This school offers Transitional Bilingual Education in Spanish.

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68% Citywide Average

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

Software Engineering Institute
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

The SEI's rigorous, four-year sequence equips students with computer technology skills that lead to success in the 21st century workplace. The program introduces students to computer science, programming, web design and engineering. The sequence includes HTML, CSS, Photoshop, Python, JavaScript and SNAP. This program is excellent preparation for students interested in a computer science college major and the opportunity to get advanced college placement by taking an AP Computer Science class.

Human and Legal Studies/Law Enforcement Academy
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

This program offers students the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of law as the foundation of human society and our role as citizens in the justice system. In addition to standard academic curricula, students interact with representatives from the legal community, including district attorneys, judges, and special law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.

International Baccalaureate/Scholarship Honors Program
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

The IB Diploma Program offers students a unique, rigorous curriculum in Humanities and STEM-related fields authorized by the IB Organization. All students are expected to achieve an Advanced Regents Diploma and will also take numerous AP courses in addition to their seven required IB courses.

Media Studies at the Journalism Institute
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

This program offers students opportunities to explore the following: writing, layout design, photography and documentary film. Students become multi-platform producers and explore how to use social media to tell their stories and represent their generation. Students become citizen journalists and learn how their voices can impact the ever-changing media environment.

Naval Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

The Naval JROTC program is a leadership and citizenship training program co-sponsored by the Department of Education and the United States Navy. The curriculum is divided into three areas: academic, military skills, and physical fitness, with a strong emphasis on civics and character development.

Practical Nursing/ Nursing Assistant
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

This program offers two State-approved CTE health career programs. The Practical Nursing program includes 798 clinical hours in addition to the curriculum. These students are then eligible to take the NCLEX State Board examination for Licensed Practical Nurse. The Nursing Assistant program includes 108 clinical hours along with a curriculum that allows students to take the NYS certification exam to be certified as a Nursing Assistant.

Performing Arts
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

The Performing Arts program offers students the opportunity to study dance, theater, or music through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school performances and partnerships with Roundabout Theater, Battery Dance Company, Theatre for New Audiences, and The College of Staten Island. Course offerings include: IB Dance, Modern Dance, Ballet, Composition, Theater I, IB Theater, Chorus, Piano, Guitar, Orchestra, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Jazz Band.

IB Career-related / Scholarship Honors Program
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

The IBCP program offers students challenging college-prep classes such as IB, AP and CTE classes. Curtis High School International Baccalaureate Career-related Program is certified by the IB World Organization. We currently offer career pathways in Journalism, The Arts, Law and STEM. This program is also part of the CHS World Student Exchange with the Netherlands, Italy, France, and/or Spain.

Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Open
Program Description:

This program offers students the opportunity to study fine arts or graphic design through a variety of classes that are enriched by after-school programs and a design partnership with Roundabout Theater. Course offerings include: Drawing, Painting, AP Art History, IB Art, and/or CTE Graphic Design using Adobe Creative Suite.

Curtis High School D75 Inclusion Program
Admissions Method: D75 Special Education Inclusive Services


Language Courses

French, Italian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Environmental Science, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Calculus AB, AP European History, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP World History: Modern


Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch, Golf

Contact & Location


North Shore (District 31)
Trains: SIR to St. George
Buses: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98


Gregory Jaenicke
Parent Coordinator
Samantha Soto

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

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