At Martin Van Buren High School students can enroll in themed programs including engineering, health and law and take college-level courses offered both on-site and at CUNY colleges. There's a nice range of options to keep kids engaged, including arts and music classes, sports teams, clubs and activities such as the robotics team.
In the health science program, students get hands-on exposure to the medical field through internships with Long Island Jewish Medical Center as well as guidance for college and careers. Students are encouraged to take courses that will help them pursue degrees in their chosen field. For instance, students are encouraged to take Advanced Placement biology, because college-level biology is required for pre-med or nursing studies.
Students in the law program take classes such as criminal law, civil law and forensics. Some take more advanced classes at John Jay College.
Engineering students can either pursue a sequence of classes in computer programming and robotics or one that is more design-focused with courses such as computer animation and web design.
A patient care technology program run by Queens College trains students in the kinds of skills—such as drawing blood and conducting EKGs—that will help them secure jobs with better wages than a nursing aide. Students who complete the program, which requires a substantial commitment of time after school, are prepared to take state certification exams upon graduation.
Regardless of the program they’re admitted to, all freshmen take a research class to bolster their skills. They are also assigned to a small learning community that has a dedicated staff of teachers and counselors who get to know their group of 9th-graders well. A program run by My Brother’s Keeper pairs 9th and 10th grade boys with older students who serve as mentors.
Extracurricular activities include sports teams, and an array of clubs. There are also competitive academic teams such as math, mock trial, moot court, debate and robotics. Art and music offerings—either as classes or after-school activities—include piano, band, chorus, cartooning, fashion, graphic design and fine arts.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes, SETSS, a program for hearing-impaired students and dedicated English classes for ELLs (English language learners).
ADMISSIONS: The health science program admits students based on a review of their grades, test scores and attendance records. The law and engineering programs admit students based on the educational option formula, which is designed to enroll students of mixed abilities. Students who live in the school’s zone and are admitted through the zoned program, may choose one of the three themed programs to join.