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Bayside High Launches Niche Programs

School hopes to attract students looking for small-school experience

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.

none March 10, 2011 at 03:18 PM
Sure, very bright to promote those programs that have absolutley no marketable value in today's economy. I would advise students to research your subject matter to determine its marketability before engaging in these studies. No one knows how long this failed economy is going to last.
Rich D March 13, 2011 at 10:29 PM
"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."...Which one of these has no marketable value? I see programs on Computer Programming...the Environment...Sports medicine...Digital art and design....sounds pretty marketable to me.
star April 05, 2011 at 09:42 PM
I don't understand why bayside high school has to become all "modern." Doesn't any body consider the juniors and sophomores who worked hard in the studies of classical music? We all studied for more than 2 years and now what? The principal decided that the school needs to get all modern.. Isn't that a bit unfair? Also what about the seniors who desever a "senior piece" to play during their last year in high school? If the school is worried about the music department because it cost so much.. then who will pay for the new equipments for the so called "modern classes?" All I hear is extra cash going down the drain for what?.. New classes.. worthless. If the school is known for its musical and artistic students why go change the subject? Also what is the so called "modern" classes teach us? Teenagers are already exposed to the modern music and technology so why make a class to reteach what we already are exposed to?
michel April 16, 2011 at 01:37 PM
I am a music student at Bayside and will be a senior next year if I pass math. To combine classical music and vocal training with recording arts is the smartest thing this school has done for music students. I want a career in music and knowing something about the industry and the performance ends of music is perfect for me.

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