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Attention New York City families: Three new high schools may soon join hundreds of middle schools across the five boroughs.
Brooklyn may be getting a Bard High School Early College, while Queens is building a vocational and technical school focused on the film industry and one aimed at creating a pipeline for health care jobs.
Schools Superintendent David Banks previewed the schools at a budget hearing in Albany this week, viewing them as examples of strong partnerships with outside organizations and the many career paths available to the city’s students.
“This is not your father’s vocational education course – this is not a workshop course,” he told Thursday’s hearing. “These are highly rigorous, accredited programs. When kids earn these qualifications, they can enter directly into the 21st century workforce and put themselves on the path to the middle class and beyond.”
Bard is poised to build a new campus in Brooklyn that will provide the borough’s families with access to a coveted network of public high schools that allow students to graduate with an associate’s degree.
The Bard model provides students with the opportunity to take courses with university instructors and participate in small, writing- and discussion-based seminars. Its Manhattan and Queens locations are so popular that it just opened a Bronx location in September.
“The need to get into the school is just overwhelming,” Banks said of the new Bronx location during the hearing. “We also plan to open a Bard in Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn’s expansion plan is expected to be considered at the Feb. 27 meeting of the city’s Education Policy Group, which votes on major policy proposals and contracts.
If approved, Bard’s new campus at 301 Vermont Street in East New York would open in the 2024-25 school year for students in grades 9 and 11, according to city documents. The new school will enroll approximately 150 students in its first year and will expand over time to full enrollment of approximately 500 students – with priority given to East New York’s 19th Ward, Brownsville’s 23rd Ward and other neighboring Brooke schools Lin School District students.
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Meanwhile, in Queens, two new schools will give students the opportunity to explore career paths before graduation.
The Film Technology High School will prepare students for careers in the film and television industry. The school, which opened in September at a temporary site in northern Queens, is a partnership with the Royal Academy of Film and Television Foundation and offers students the opportunity to explore all aspects of the industry, such as cinematography, editing, sound design, set construction, and recording. special effects and post-production, the city’s admissions portal said.
The school will enroll about 100-200 ninth-grade students in its first year, with priority given to students who live in Queens, according to the school’s website. It follows an educational selection admissions process, which means the school reserves seats for students of different academic levels to promote academic diversity. (The hope is to move into a new building at 53-16 North Woodside Avenue by the 2025-26 school year.)
The school aims to create pathways into the industry for underrepresented communities, noting that its proximity to the city’s film and television studios will help students gain practical experience.
Queens will also add a health professions high school in the next few years through a partnership with Northwell Health, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. The school is part of a Bloomberg initiative to establish public high schools across the country to prepare graduate students directly into the health care industry.
The school, expected to open in 2026, will offer students “strong academic programs, specialized healthcare courses, work-based learning at partner health systems and access to industry exposure,” according to a Bloomberg news release last month Certificates and Certification Opportunities”. The Queens project will be one of 10 that Bloomberg is building across the country at a cost of $250 million.
The new school comes as Banks has made expanding career and technical education options for students in schools across the city a major focus of his administration.
A spokesman for the city’s education department said details about the new school would be announced at a later date.
Julian Shen-Berro is a journalist covering New York City. contact him: [email protected].