Over 1,000 new seats and 2 additions will greet students this fall at public schools in Queens.Long the most overcrowded borough in the city, Queens has been trying to overcome the shortage of space for its students over the last several years.
This fall, students will return to six new schools in existing buildings, extensions to two buildings and additional leased space for classrooms throughout the borough.
PS 12 on 72nd Street in Woodside will welcome the new school year with 100 additional seats in a new wing. Queens Vocational High School, on 47th Avenue in Long Island City, is adding 650 seats in its new addition.
Four schools will be using leased space when school opens on September 8th. Queens West will add 41 seats at 48-09 Center Boulevard in Long Island City, while the Skillman Avenue School will add 120 seats at 24-30 Skillman Avenue.
Queens High School will be utilizing space at 30-20 Thomson Avenue in Long Island City that will provide 774 seats. John Adams High School in Ozone Park will move 500 9th graders to a former Catholic school at 120-27 141st Street as part of its new Jump Start Academy in District 27.
The new building is the former St. Clement Pope School in South Ozone Park. Incoming students had to apply and will feed into John Adams in the 10th grade. Selections were determined by a geographic lottery for students zoned for John Adams.
The Jump Start Academy will help relieve congestion at John Adams, one of the most overcrowded schools in the city. The school will use the extra space for extended day and enrichment courses.
Last February, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein announced six new small high schools to open this fall in Queens. “Our small schools are producing real results,” Klein said. “Students are being challenged by high standards, engaged by strong principals and teachers who know them. Our small schools are working.”
In Long Island City, two new high schools will open at 30-20 Thomson Avenue, a large facility that houses the DeVry Institute of Technology. The two new schools are the Academy of Finance and Enterprise and the High School of Applied Communication.
Both schools will start with 108 9th graders in the fall and in subsequent years will phase in additional high school grades. The communications school will focus on literacy and partner with the nearby Museum of the Moving Image.
The four other schools will open in existing school buildings, sharing facilities in primarily underutilized buildings. This practice has not always gone over well with parents in the older schools.
The Queens School of Inquiry was set to open at I.S. 25, on the Flushing-Bayside border, but parental and political pressure forced a shift to MS 168 in Flushing, where some local residents are less than enthusiastic about the move.
The School of Inquiry is partnering with Queens College and will open with 80 6th graders. It will add a class each subsequent year. Students at the new school will be able to earn college credits and it will stress critical thinking.
Pathways College Board Preparatory School will open in St. Albans inside I.S. 192. The extended-day program will feature community service requirements and have a dress code. It will open with 81 6th and 9th grade students this fall.
Queens Preparatory Academy will be located in Springfield Gardens High School, a school known for its poor attendance record, high dropout rates and was named an Impact School this year because of unruliness. The new school will focus on strong academics for incoming ninth graders.
The Young Women’s Leadership School will be under the direction of the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation. The location is Q896 on Merrick Boulevard in Jamaica. The exact number of 7th graders, who will attend was not yet available.
According to its mission statement, the school wants to create a community of lifelong learners. “We are committed to nurturing the intellectual curiosity and creativity of young women and to addressing their developmental needs.”
Another change this fall in Queens will be at Franklin K. Lane High School in Woodhaven. As a way to foster smaller-sized schools and improve education, Lane will create seven different theme schools in its building on Jamaica Avenue.
Plans call for the following programs: Air Force Jr. ROTC; Law and Law Enforcement; Humanities, Language and Performing Arts; Business, Hotel and Hospitality; Science Engineering and Technology; Sports and Sports Recreation Careers and Math and Information Technology.
Each school will begin with an average of 100 students, increasing each year up to a maximum of 500. Lane will add 3 new assistant principals and 40 teachers.