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Special Programs » Special Programs

Special Programs

Special Programs


In September 2006, every student in New Dorp High School became a member of one of eight "mini-schools"  called Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) Below is a description of each SLC:


1. The Academy of Communication and Media Arts (ACMA) mission is to offer students an exciting and rigorous curriculum that will provide experiences in a broad spectrum of media.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the latest advancements in television production, study the techniques of effective journalism, learn how to film and edit short movies and videos, as well as learn how to take an idea and develop a script that will bring that concept to life on screen. As seniors, students will have the technical background and experience to qualify for internships, as well as to work on special projects with partner organizations.


New York City is the media capital of the universe. Students interested in the world of communication and media arts have an endless supply of career and post-secondary opportunities available to them in the metropolitan area. The goal of ACMA is to provide an experience rich in fundamental knowledge for students whose future plans may include joining the exciting and expanding world of multimedia.

Advance Placement courses in English, World History, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Collaborative Teaching Models in all subject areas and Literacy Program. In addition: College Now Program for incoming 9th graders, Math/Science Institute, Honors Institute, Corporate Center, Future Teachers Academy.
2. The Academy of Fine & Dramatic Arts (AFADA) is a complete program dedicated to nurturing talented students, while providing comprehensive regents level instruction. It affords students the opportunity to pursue and develop their interests and talents through coursework, performances, showcases or galleries.

Students can select concentration in one of the following:

  • Fine Arts - drawing, painting, sculpture, and art appreciation
  • Theatre, Drama, and Film Study
  • Instrumental Music
  • Vocal Music (expected to begin in September 2007)
  • Dance (expected to begin in September 2007)

To gain meaningful experience in the Arts, AFADA students will work with museums, theaters, acting companies, and galleries, in addition to producing Exit Projects to be used in Professional Portfolios.

3. The Corporate Center for Business & Technology is designed to prepare students with the skills needed for success in college and the workplace. The program offers courses combining technology, business, and academics, including a three-year elective sequence which can lead to a Career and Technology Education (CTE) endorsed diploma when completed.


In the first two years of study, students prepare for Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, as well as being exposed to desktop publishing and web page design. As juniors, students study Entrepreneurship where they receive a core foundation in business concepts such as accounting, marketing, and finance in preparation for our Award-Winning Virtual Enterprise program.


Seniors in Virtual Enterprise (VE) work in a simulated business environment that provides real-world training for careers in accounting, marketing, sales, auditing, and human resources. Students participate in several highly competitive competitions such as the Baruch/Merrill Lynch IPO Challenge and the Annual Business Plan Defense Competition. Students also participate in the NYC Trade Fair where they develop real-world marketing and sales techniques in a fun, yet business-like setting. Some students are selected to represent New Dorp HS in trade fairs outside of NYC including California, Canada, and Austria. Internships and scholarships are also available to VE students

4. The Future Teachers Academy is a unique teacher preparatory program designed to groom students for the rigors of teaching on the elementary, intermediate or high school levels. The electives for this SLC include:
  • Growth and Development in the freshman year, which pertains to the seemingly non-verbal learning of infants through early adolescence
  • Teaching Methodology in the sophomore year, which places an emphasis on time management, classroom management and self-management in addition to lesson planning
  • Foundations of Education (EDU 1000) which is a college accredited course via Saint John’s Universityin the first semester of the junior year, which focuses on the history of education and the various trends in education, including Brown Versus the Board of Education of Topeka and PL94-142
  • Learning and Development – Childhood 106 (EDU 1001) which is a college accredited course via Saint John’s University in the second semester of the junior year, that highlights the needs of younger learners, as well as the theories of Maslow, Piaget, and the needs of the special child
  • Internship in the senior year, where our upperclassmen are placed in various schools to work as a teaching assistant with a cooperating teacher on the elementary, intermediate or high school levels.
5. The Institute of Forensic Science & Criminology is an academic arena in which the physical, social and emotional needs of students are acknowledged and met. Our goal is to instill a life long love of learning in each and every member of our community and to nurture a free and constant exchange of ideas between all the members of the community.

Our mission is to ensure that our students experience real world applications in Forensic Science as they pursue a rigorous academic career geared toward the Regents Diploma. The philosophy of IFS is the belief that students are successful when all of their cognitive and affective needs are met in a community that cultivates an atmosphere of mutual respect. Two of the highlights of this community are:

  • Trips & Guest Speakers
  • Electives:
    • 9th Grade - Crime Writing
    • 10th Grade - Crime Scene Photography
    • 11th Grade - Forensic Science


6. The Institute of Health Sciences mission is to build confidence and encourage a sense of pride within oneself. Some of the potential careers may include physicians, nurses, athletic trainers, physical and occupational therapists, medical technologists and medical assistants.


Designed to foster the students’ interest in becoming members of the Civil Service departments of New York City, the program offers innovative elective courses such as Civil Law (an examination of civil court litigations), Criminal Justice (an analysis of the legal system, psychology of the criminal mind, and theories of crime), Forensic Science (a study of criminal investigation such as hair and fiber analysis, evidence collection, and the implication of DNA testing), Environmental Science (the study of the protection of natural resources, the effects of hazardous waste, and fire prevention), and First Aid/CPR (training in preserving life, including AED—automatic external defibrillation).


The philosophy of Pathways is the belief that students are most successful when academic learning is integrated with hands-on experience. Field trips and seminars will be planned to explore various occupations in public service. Students will participate in Service Learning projects and research projects befitting the theme of Pathways. Seniors will have the opportunity to participate in internships in various fields. Students will be offered intensive preparation for NYPD, FDNY, DSNY, and MTA Civil Service exams.


7. The Law Institute & AFJROTC Program sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, is an outstanding academic program that focuses on the study of law, historical leaders and events, and the struggle for human rights. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization supporting the study and love of American History through a wide range of programs and resources for students throughout the nation. They also fund our Saturday School Academy that allows students to take a variety of enriching electives that are not offered during the regular school day.


Our program offers a variety of exciting and enriching electives. Currently students have the opportunity to take:


  • Law and Literature
  • Human Rights Violations
  •  Civil War
  •  Criminology
  •  Psychology of the Criminal Mind
  •  American Social History
  •  History of the American Minority
  •  Legal Speech
  •  American Presidency
  •  Virtual Enterprise Law


Students in the Law Institute & the AFJROTC Program will have the opportunity to visit historical sites and work with local politicians through internships. We also have a mentor law firm, Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, who work with the students from our Virtual Enterprise Program.


Our program helps students excel academically and provides a rich experience for their high school career.


8. The Math & Science Institute is a four-year academically rigorous program designed for motivated students that will prepare them for prestigious colleges. This institute will foster intellectual growth through a challenging curriculum in advanced mathematics, science, and humanities. Students will be able to attain college credit for course work. Our program encourages personal accountability and the development of critical thinking skills. These goals will be accomplished through taking advanced placement courses, research projects, and field trips. Students will also participate in regional and national competitions, summer programs and internships.


Our advanced placement offerings include:

  • English World History American History
  • Anatomy and Physiology Biology Calculus
  • Statistics Computer Programming

Our core curriculum will integrate the following skills:

  • Technical Writing Independent Research
  • Excel and Power Point Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Web Page Design