City to phase out Jamaica High School

Jamaica High School will close its doors due to poor performance after more than 100 years of educating the community.

The city proposed that the school, located only a few minutes from St. John’s at 167-01 Gothic Drive, stop accepting ninth grade students in 2010 and then slowly phase out the enrolled students.

“I just don’t think they have a good enough reason for it. It just seems like they’re taking the easy way out,” said Brenna Dillman, a freshman.

According to, an independent guide to NYC public schools, the high school’s graduation rate has been around 50 percent for years.

The attendance rate has remained at a constant 80 percent over the last three years, but the number of suspensions given has increased seven percent in the past three years.

The school received an overall grade of proficient in 2008-2009 by the Department of Education. Jamaica High School also received a D on their 2008-2009 progress report.

They scored in the bottom four percent of all schools in the state. In the two previous years, the school received a C.
Dan Bart, a junior, thinks that the school still serves as a source of pride in Queens.

“It’s a big school and it’s a big part of the community.”

Gero Gonzales, a senior, agrees.

“It would definitely be bad for the community because the students who go to [junior high school] are going to transfer to other schools and those schools are already overcrowded,” he said.

“The kids who are being displaced will probably feel like they failed. They may even be more likely to drop out, but that just depends on the individual.”

Gonzales also said that he thinks that it will give a bad message to current students.

Christina Gogas, a freshman, also thinks that students will be discouraged.

“If they consider the school violent and poorly educated, then it’s a reflection of the students,” she said.

“They make the school, and they may feel like a failure because of it. It’s all about reaching down to the core of the problem.

“What is it that’s causing students to perform poorly? They should take the appropriate measures and fix it. Closing the school just seems like they are running away from the problem.”