Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – Staten Island Technical High School – Newsweek – 36/100
Staten Island Technical High School
Staten Island Technical High School, commonly called Staten Island Tech or SITHS, was founded in 1988. Located in Staten Island, New York City, the school is operated by the New York City Department of Education. In 2005 Staten Island Tech became the only Specialized High School in Staten Island. It consistently ranks among the best schools in New York City in graduation rate, Regents test scores, and attendance. In 2012, SITHS was ranked #1 on the New York Post’s list of the city’s best high schools, #77 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best High Schools, and #23 on their list of the nation’s top schools in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
485 Clawson St, Staten Island, NY 10306, United States
Admission to Staten Island Technical High School is competitive and is determined through an applicant’s score on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test. The school’s average SAT score is 1953 (635 CR, 682 M, 636 W). The average ACT score is 29.4
Graduates from Staten Island Tech matriculate to selective colleges such as the Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Duke University, University of Chicago, The Cooper Union, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston College, Villanova University, Johns Hopkins University, and the William E. Macaulay Honors College in rates higher than those of surrounding schools.
A highly competitive New York City public high school, established in 1988, providing a demanding and challenging college preparatory curriculum emphasizing mathematics, science, computers, engineering, humanities and athletics. Facilities include state-of-the-art science, engineering and computer laboratories. As of September 2005, Staten Island Technical High School is designated as having a Specialized High School status. Staten Island Technical High School, along with The Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, and Stuyvesant High School were established under New York State Law 2590 section-g to serve the needs of gifted New York City students.
Housed in the former New Dorp High School, Tech was originally the engineering program from Ralph McKee Vocational and Technical High School. John DePalma was the Assistant Principal assigned to bring the engineering program to the New Dorp campus so that the building would not be abandoned or used for other purposes. Through DePalma’s leadership, teachers Alan Bailey, Irv Berson, and others made unauthorized renovations to the building, creating laboratory space for the engineering classes.
In 1987, the program was nearly shuttered because of a lack of enrollment. Nicholas M. Bilotti was named the Program Director as DePalma retired. Bilotti began a program of increasing enrollment, changing the course away from a strict engineering program, and targeting female students. His renovation of DePalma’s foundation is the base that Tech lives on today.
The curriculum at Staten Island Technical High School is purely college preparatory, focusing on science and engineering. The mandatory engineering classes taken by students are AutoCAD, electronics, and Lego robotics. Students can also choose from thirteen Advanced Placement courses offered at the school. Science AP classes are AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Physics B, AP Physics C: Mechanics, and AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism. The history AP classes offered are AP US Government and Politics, AP Macroeconomics, AP US History, and AP World History. Language AP classes are AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature, AP Russian Language and Culture. Math AP classes are AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics. There is also AP Studio Art. The school previously offered classes in Cisco networking, computer programming, and technical drawing, but were cut due to budget limitations. In addition, the school operates College Now, a program run by Kingsborough Community College. College Now courses offered include business, statistics, and sociology. Optional electives for Junior and Senior students include creative writing, film, performing arts, and Forensic science.
Students with exceptional performance in the sciences at Staten Island Technical High School are invited to join the school’s Science Engineering Research Program, more commonly known as SERP. Students remain in this program until their senior year. Throughout their high school career, they participate in various competitions including the Intel Talent Search, NYCSEF (New York City Science and Engineering Fair), ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), NYC Urban Barcode Project, and the Quality of Life competition.
Staten Island Technical High School’s sports program operates in partnership with McKee High School, and their shared teams are known as the MSIT Seagulls. The MSIT teams play various sports including football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, fencing, swimming, and track. The MSIT Football team won the 2010 and 2011 PSAL Cup Championship. Staten Island Tech’s Boys Track team made Cross-Country state appearances in the ’96-’00, ’06-’07, ’07-’08, ’08-’09, and ’09-’10 XC seasons. The Boys Cross Country team won all three major Championships (PSAL, Island, and City Championships) in 1996 and 1997. In the ’09-’10 season, the Boys Track team was victorious at the XC borough championships. The MSIT cross country Team won freshman, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity borough championships in the ’09-’10 season. The MSIT Class of 2013 Track/Cross Country Team is successful, getting 2nd place in The 2009 Cross Country Freshman/Sophomore City Championships, 2010 Indoor Track and Field Freshman/Sophomore City Championships, and winning the 2010 Outdoor Track and 2010 Cross Country Freshman/Sophomore City Championships. In the 2010-2011 season, they won the PSAL Freshman/Sophomore Cross Country Championships title running a blistering 4th place and 8th place double. The Class of 2014 got 3rd place in this meet. The class of 2013 got 3rd place in the Indoor Freshman/sophomore championships. The girls swimming team has been undefeated so far in the 2013 season as well. The girls class of 2014 won this meet. However, the 1999 boy’s 800 meter indoor relay team, winning the indoor championship that year, was by far the most impressive athletic team in the school’s history. Tech also offers several co-curricular options for physical education, including weight training, yoga and aerobics, dance, volleyball, basketball, and bowling.
Other extracurricular activities
Staten Island Tech also maintains an active theater program, including productions such as SING! and a spring musical. The theater program is directed by drama teacher Heather Brown in coordination with the school’s Tech Crew, a group of students tasked with maintaining the theater and operating sound and lighting for the school’s auditorium. In 2011, the school installed a new television studio that will work closely with the Tech Crew and provide a different aspect of technical operations. Tech also hosts more than forty-five clubs.
Staten Island Technical High School’s robotics team is a fairly developed team. The team competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition as Team 375, or “The Robotic Plague", and regularly manages to make it into the semi-finals. In the 2006 season they were the Regional Winners. In addition, they won the Chairman’s award for their robot, the “Rambo". and have even won the Autodesk Inventor Animation Award at the New York City Regional, and has won the Chairman’s award in New York City in 2006.
Staten Island Tech offers students a plethora of clubs to join, including, but not limited to, Junior State of America, Key Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, Model United Nations, Do Something, Chess Club, newspaper, literary magazine, HIV/AIDS Awareness Team, Anime Club, Celtic club, Asian American Club, Christian Seekers, Jewish Club, and Muslim Students’ Association. Tech also has a chapter of the National Honor Society which inducts members after a selective process in their junior year.
In popular culture
Staten Island Technical High School appeared in the 1998 film Joe the King.
Staten Island Technical High School was mentioned during the introduction to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Staten Island Technical High School appears in a recurring Saturday Night Live clip, in which curators from the Staten Island Zoo air “documentaries" about animals, sent to them by students. The school’s 2012 SING! winner was announced by Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg, who recorded a short clip to reveal the winner. The school’s 2013 SING! winner was announced by singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, who similarly recorded a short clip to reveal the winner. The school’s 2014 SING! winner was supposed to be announced by the Impractical Jokers, with another short clip. Due to technical difficulties, this clip was unfortunately never played.