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).
SITHS is 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, SITHS is designated as having a Specialized High School status. SITHS was one of the schools 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, SITHS 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.
The curriculum at SITHS is purely college preparatory, focusing on science and engineering. Electronic tablets, like iPads and Lenovo tablets, are mostly integrated into classroom instruction to enhance lessons. The mandatory engineering classes taken by students include Intro Into TV And Movie Production, AutoCAD, electronics, and Lego Robotics. Students can also choose from eighteen 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 Environmental Science. History AP classes 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 and AP Calculus BC.
Optional electives for junior and senior students include computer science, creative writing, film, performing arts, electronics, Advanced CAD, and forensic science. In addition, the school operates CollegeNow, a program run by Kingsborough Community College. CollegeNow courses offered include business, statistics, communications, and sociology. Russian is the only language class until senior year that may be taken, due to a demand of Russian engineers when the school opened. Seniors may choose to take online elective classes, where they can learn Spanish and Mandarin.
SITHS's sports program operates in partnership with McKee High School, and their shared teams are known as the MSIT Seagulls. Staten Island Tech's sports program operates with Ralph McKee High School.
The MSIT teams play various sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, fencing, swimming, and track. The MSIT Football team won the 2010 and 2011 PSAL Cup Championship. MSIT's Boys' Track team made multiple cross-country state appearances from 1996 to 2000, and again from 2006 to 2010. The MSIT Boy's Volleyball team won 3 consecutive PSAL city championships in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Tech offers several co-curricular options for physical education, including weight training, yoga and aerobics, dance, volleyball, basketball, and marching band.
Recently, the field underwent a $7 million reconstruction in which the track and football field were modernized with a new scoreboard from the Department of Education. The new field is fitted with turf and artificial grass which will last many football and track outdoor seasons!
SITHS 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
SITHS's robotics team was a fairly developed team. The team competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition as Team 375, or "The Robotic Plague", and regularly managed to advance 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 won the Autodesk Inventor Animation Award at the New York City Regional. In recent years, with plummeting budgets, the team was forced to retire its membership in the league.
Tech also hosts more than forty-five clubs.These include: Junior State of America, Key Club, Model United Nations, Do Something, Chess Club, newspaper, literary magazine, Strategic Fighting Game Club, 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 and Tri-M, which both inducts members after a selective process in their junior year.
SITHS is one of the settings for the 1998 film Joe the King, mentioned during the introduction to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and 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, but was never played due to technical difficulties. Retired teacher Daniel Jost is the father of Colin Jost, most notable for being head writer for "Saturday Night Live" and for his role in the well known skit "Weekend Update."
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