Tag Archives: The Academy for Careers in Television and Film

Students study local street to make Jackson Heights safer


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Noah Beadle

Groups of “kid engineers” came together over the weekend to try to understand how to make Queens safer, one street at a time.

The advocacy organization, Make Queens Safer, hosted a Safer, Greener Streets Fair and Bike Bonanza on Saturday at Travers Park in Jackson Heights to raise awareness and allow visitors to learn more about street safety while also getting the chance to participate in activities.

One of the interactive events, called the Kid Engineers Traffic Study, allowed students from I.S. 230, P.S. 69, P.S. 212, P.S. 280, the Academy for Careers in Television and Film, the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, McClancy High School and Voice Charter School to assist in documenting traffic conditions down 34th Avenue between 74th and 80th streets.

The study was chosen for that particular stretch in Jackson Heights, which has a speed limit of 30 mph, because it is parallel to Northern Boulevard, is a major bike route and is near three schools and several parks, according to organizers.

“Providing the tools and knowledge on how to safely navigate the streets of our neighborhoods can help reduce accidents and improve the quality of life for all members of our community,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm, who joined the students as they conducted the study.

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The students measured traffic speeds using radar guns westbound on 34th Avenue at 75th Street and eastbound on the avenue at 79th Street.

According to the students’ data, with more than 100 measurements taken, about 17 percent of the vehicles traveled 31 mph or faster at 75th Street, while 7 percent exceeded the limit at 79th Street.

Traffic was light compared to weekday traffic, according to organizers. Other notes taken at the sites included vehicles running red lights.

The final field study involved intersection safety observations.

The “kid engineers” examined driver, pedestrian and cyclist behaviors at 76th, 77th, and 80th streets along 34th Avenue.

Students collected data on vehicles stopping in crosswalks while ignoring painted stop lines, drivers using hand-held cellphones, and pedestrians talking on cellphones as they crossed the intersections. During this time the students also talked about ways pedestrians should stay safe while crossing the streets.

Other information collected involved two near collisions, vehicles turning without signals, cyclists running red lights and pedestrians walking out into the street before checking for traffic.

For the full data collected by the Kid Engineers Traffic Study, click here.

Throughout the day other events of the a Safer, Greener Streets Fair and Bike Bonanza included a Learn to Ride Class hosted by Bike New York, a helmet giveaway from the Department of Transportation and free youth bike repair by Recycle a Bicycle and Bike Yard.

“Our family spent the entire day talking about safety – bike safety and street safety,” said Veronica Marino, whose 11-year-old daughter participated in the events. “So many times it takes a tragedy to get people talking about these things.”

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Hunter’s Point South school building opens


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/

Lights, camera, action on the new school year and the opening of a brand new school building in Long Island City.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott met with local elected officials, representatives and school leaders on Monday to take a tour of the new Hunter’s Point Campus, located at 1-50 51st Avenue, on the first day of classes.

During the walk through the building, Walcott visited a special education, middle school and high school classroom to meet with students and view their lessons.

“The Hunter’s Point Campus offers a state-of-the-art facility for students and staff,” said Walcott. “There are brand new science rooms at the middle school and students at the Academy for Careers in Television and Film have a unique vista of Manhattan from the building’s terrace that will help them perfect their filming and editing skills.”

The new school is part of the Hunter’s Point South development project which broke ground in March on the first phase of construction and opened the Hunter’s Point South Park last month. The building houses a middle school, with 12 classrooms and two special education classrooms, and The Academy for Careers in Television and Film high school, which made its move from 36-41 28th Street in Long Island City. With both schools, the building has a capacity of 1,071 students.

My whole school community,parents, students and staff alike were just blown away to come here every morning,” said Edgar  Rodriguez, principal of the Academy for Careers in Television and Film high school. “The kids are extremely happy, the staff had an amazing day. Everything turned out quite positive.”

The campus has a shared gymnasium, separate boys’ and girls’ locker rooms for both schools, a library, auditorium, tech center, speech room, cafeteria, full sized kitchen, art room, music room, science lab, prep lab, science demo rooms and resource rooms.

“We started from the bottom and now we’re here,” said high school senior Brandon Bass, 17, from Jamaica.

The high school now has 14 standard classrooms, two special educations classrooms and a student general store.

“The new school is nice, it’s awesome,” said senior Justin Bruggemann, 18, from Flushing. “I love it. I’m excited for the school year.”

Walcott also participated in a practice filming session with the students on the school’s fourth floor balcony which overlooks the Manhattan skyline.

“It feels great, it’s a big change. It’s all brand new,” said senior Lesley Ptacek, 16, from Jackson Heights. “It’s great we’re meeting the Chancellor and showing him what we have learned.”

 

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Community concern over high school sharing building with younger students


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

As one of the 15 new schools announced to open in Queens in September, the Department of Education (DOE) is planning to co-locate a new high school in the same building as a middle school — and it has created mixed feelings within the community.

Energy Tech High School is expected to open at I.S. 204, located at 36-41 28th Street in Long Island City, and will be a new career and technical education (CTE) high school in partnership with Con Edison and National Grid.

“Energy tech is a visionary school similar to that of the nationally-recognized P-Tech, which was lauded by the president in the State of the Union,” said DOE spokesperson Devon Puglia.

The new high school will serve students from grades 9 through 14, who will be able to earn a high school diploma and Associates Degree through a partnership with CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College.

Although members of District 30 advocated for another CTE high school in Queens, mixing in the much older students with the middle school children is what has the community on the edge.

“There are two sides,” said Jeffrey Guyton, co-president of District 30’s Community Education Council (CEC). “I’m really in favor of that kind of program, but I’m also queasy about it.”

Energy Tech will have two years of college included, and according to Isaac Carmignani, CEC co-president, the college students will spend most of their time at LaGuardia, rather than at the high school.

“Some of the council [CEC] had a problem with that because having young adults mingling with 11- and 12-year-old middle schoolers is something that bothers them even though the population will be kept as separate as possible by the school,” said Carmignani.

I.S. 204 already shares the school building with The Academy for Careers in Television and Film. The high school will be moving next year to a new building in Hunters Point and leaving the space vacant.

The new CTE school will expose students to the energy industry, allowing them to intern with Con Edison and National Grid and be mentored by professionals.

“Schools throughout the city share space, and when adults put children first, most co-locations are very successful,” said Puglia.

Even with disagreements about the co-location, Guyton and Carmignani hope to be able to support the students in both communities and monitor what happens once the school moves in.

“Anytime you make these big changes, you’re rolling the dice. Maybe it’s going to work really well, maybe it’s not,” said Guyton. “If there are problems, we are going to communicate those immediately.”

 

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