Jul 28, 2014
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Bayside High Launches Niche Programs

School hopes to attract students looking for small-school experience

Bayside High Launches Niche Programs

will launch seven new four-year programs in Fall 2011. The different tracks are designed to prepare students for college through real life experience in internships, technology and New York City colleges.

They include: Computer Programming; Environmental Science and Research Technology; Humanities and Historical Research; Sports Medicine and Management; Digital Art and Design; Music Performance and Production; and International and Cultural Relations.

The programs, many of which are unlike any other in the state, offer students from throughout New York City the chance to have the best of both worlds: a large and small school, says Joseph S. Piccirillo, Community Relations Director and also a music teacher at Bayside High. The school has approximately 3,800 students.

“City schools are closing and every time you close a larger school, they open a smaller school that is focused, like on arts,” he says. “Now [students can have] all the things a large school offers, like clubs and sports, and specialized programs of smaller schools that kids follow for four years,” he added.

Piccirillo adds that Bayside High is the first large school to create such four-year programs. Many of the seven new programs have been at Bayside High in some form.

Music, for example, has been a strong program at the school, but the new program will adopt a lot of technology and focus on all “up-to-date practices.” Where it was once classically based, it will now be entirely rock and hip hop and have a contemporary drive, says Piccirillo.

The application and audition process is still being finalized, as is the number of students that will be accepted into each program. Those students this year who were accepted into the 2011 music program will be in the new music production program come this Fall. Students who were accepted in Bayside’s existing SMART (Science, Math and Research Technology) program will now have a choice to go into the Environmental Science and Research Technology or Humanities and Historical Research track in Fall 2011.

Each student in one of the seven programs will have their four-years already mapped out with a certain sequence they must follow. Most will be 49 credits, plus an internship.

The academic classes will incorporate the program, so an English class in the Environmental Science and Research Technology program would focus on research vocabulary. The senior year thesis would be more geared to research, says Piccirillo. Music program attendees might take yoga, instead of regular gym class, as it would help them better understand the breathing they need as a musician.

Advanced Placement and Regent’s classes will still be part of the curriculum, but they may be led in a different way.

“The Principal has seen the benefits of smaller schools and he has seen how the Department of Education is moving towards that,” says Piccirillo. “He also knows the benefits larger schools offer. We want the students to be prepared for college and these programs also give them a head start with college credits.”

Contact for a detailed description of the new programs.

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