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Jamaica High School Closes After More Than 100 Years

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | June 27, 2014 5:26pm | Updated on June 30, 2014 8:31am
 Jamaica High School
Jamaica High School
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QUEENS —  Jamaica High School, which has been a fixture in the neighborhood for more than a century, closed for good earlier this week, the Department of Education said.

Despite initial protests, the school closed four years after it was slated to be phased because it was one of several of the poorest-performing schools that the previous administration targeted for closing.

A document discussing the possible closure of the school, issued by then Chancellor Joel Klein in 2010, stated that "the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is proposing to phase-out Jamaica High School based on its poor performance and the DOE’s assessment that the school lacks the capacity to turn around quickly to better support student needs."

The document also said that "the Progress Report results for Jamaica High School put the school in the bottom 7% of all high schools that received a 2009-2010 Progress Report" and that the school's graduation rates remained around or below 50 percent for more than a decade.

No new students were admitted to the school since 2011, but those who were already enrolled were allowed to stay until they graduated.

According to the school's website, only 35 students were enrolled in the school during its last year.

On Friday morning, the message on the school’s answering machine said that “Jamaica High School has been completely phased out effective June 30, 2014.”

According to the Department of Education, the building, which is currently being renovated, will continue to provide space for several other institutions.

Jamaica High School shared the building with three other public schools: Queens Collegiate, Hillside Arts and Letters Academy and High School for Community Leadership.

The school was located in a historic building on Gothic Drive at 167th Street since 1927, after it moved from a smaller location on Hillside Avenue, where it operated since 1898.

It had many distinguished graduates, including director Francis Ford Coppolla.