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Our Insights

What’s Special

Rigorous academics; strong engineering program; students learn Russian; full-time comfort dog

The Downside

Not all students may want to learn Russian

Staten Island Technical High School (SI Tech) combines the rigor and activities of a big specialized high school with the friendly atmosphere of a neighborhood school. It's a welcoming place for high achievers of all stripes: independent go-getters, kids who like to tinker, and even creative and artsy types. Students tackle college-level work as early as 9th grade, and many graduate with anywhere from 16 to 60 college credits thanks to the school’s extensive range of Advanced Placement (AP) classes and partnerships with universities.

In keeping with the school's name, all students take introductory courses in robotics, research and technical writing, electronics and TV/movie production—the latter taught in a recording studio equipped with professional-grade technology. Students also study CAD (computer-aided design) and have the opportunity to earn industry certification in AutoCAD software, as well as take a course in career and financial management. Upper-grade options include advanced courses in electronics, computer science and TV/movie production. An engineering research program prepares students for science competitions.

All students use laptops or tablet devices in classes throughout the day. Most bring their own device, and for those who can’t afford one, the school provides each with an electronic tablet to use.

Despite the school's emphasis on engineering and technology, the arts have a strong presence, something principal Mark Erlenwein, an SI Tech alumnus (class of 1992), believes is important for a well-rounded high school experience. Roughly one-third of students participate in one of the school's nine bands, and many students perform in school concerts. Drama classes are taught in the school's black box theater; SING! is a popular annual event.

Work-based learning is big at SI Tech. Nearly half of the students are placed in paid internships during the school year or summer. “Many of our students have to declare a college major early because they arrive with a year or two worth of credits,” said Erlenwein. “The internships help them figure out what they want to do before they even start college.”

There's a generous range of AP courses in all subjects, including two levels each of calculus (AB and BC) and physics (B and C). All students take AP World history and United States history. Additional college courses for credit are offered both on- and off-site through partnerships with the College of Saint Rose, College of Staten Island and Kingsborough Community College.

The school's Russian language program is impressive and designed in partnership with the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in Moscow. All students study Russian for three years and sit for the Advanced Placement exam at the end of 11th grade. Seniors may take a fourth year of Russian and earn college credit for the course through a partnership with SUNY Albany.

SI Tech is not a pressure cooker, but students still feel the weight of challenging work and the desire to achieve. To ratchet down the pressure, the school switched to a letter grading system, which deemphasizes incremental changes in grades, such as the difference between a 93 and a 96 (both are considered an “A”). Erlenwein credits the switch with improving students’ quality of life. “In the past, students would get upset if they got a grade of 89. Now they get an 'A,' which seems a lot better and puts it in perspective.”

To help keep tabs on students’ social and emotional needs, the school has boosted its guidance efforts. All guidance counselors and deans are concentrated in one wing of a floor, to create more of a center—a safe place where students can find lots of people on hand to provide support. The newest addition to the staff is Sheldon, the school’s full-time comfort dog. A student having a rough day may be given a pass to spend some time with Sheldon in either the principal's or guidance counselor’s office.

A rarity in high school, students have gym class daily, which Erlenwein says is important to help them manage stress and stay healthy.

Beyond classes, students have plenty to keep them engaged. There are roughly 100 clubs in addition to the school-year and summer internships. SI Tech and McKee High School have a joint PSAL sports program with more than 40 teams.

Virtually all graduates go on to four-year colleges. In addition to CUNY and SUNY schools, graduates attend competitive public and private colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League schools.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are few students with special needs requiring services under an IEP (individualized education program), but many more needing accommodations and other supports that are overseen by the guidance staff.

ADMISSIONS: Admission is based on the SHSAT (specialized high schools admissions test) given in the fall. An open house is held in October. About half of SI Tech students live on Staten Island, and most of the rest travel from Brooklyn. The school actively recruits students early on as part of a borough-wide initiative to increase college attendance. The school hosts weekly events for elementary and middle school students. (Laura Zingmond, October 2014; updated via interview, July 2018)



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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?
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




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

Staten Island Technical High School (R89S)

Admissions Method: Test

Program Description:

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their school counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses


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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


485 Clawson Street
Staten Island NY 10306

Buses: S57, S76, S78, S79-SBS, S86, SIM1, SIM10, SIM11, SIM15, SIM1C, SIM5, SIM6, SIM7, SIM9


Principal: Mark Erlenwein

Parent Coordinator: Barbara Malenfant


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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