John Adams, Standing Tall

Jessica Maisonneuve, Reporter

For the first time in 20 years, John Adams High School is in good standing; a stark contrast to the trials and tribulations from the years prior.

In the past, the school was faced with the threat of being closed down and taken control of by the state.  However, instead of giving in to this threat, the staff and students of John Adams persevered and, as a result, gained a new status in the eyes of the state and the public, that of being a school in good standing.  The advent of the new status is a representation of the school improving everyday and turning over a new leaf.

Everyone at John Adams helped to remake the school and revamp its image. The type of acknowledgement that it has received from the community has changed as well.  Principal Daniel Scanlon expressed his opinion on this recent accomplishment, stating, “It’s a reflection of how hard people have worked and this was not something overnight, but over a period of a couple of years.”  Without the hard work of the students and the staff over the years, New York State would not have seen the improvements and successes that were made, such as the increase of AP courses available and the numerous programs accessible to students who are interested in them. There has also been a tremendous amount of new opportunities presented to the students, such as a plethora of clubs and afterschool activities, and a large variety of specialized classes. These opportunities help engage students and lead to academic and social success.  All of these improvements help to recruit a more varied student population. AP of Data and Guidance Tarek Alamarie said, “Beyond the graduation rate, we are really interested in getting students who aspire to go to, and graduate from, college.” He continued, “Our graduation rate has improved significantly over the last five school years and is now at 82%,” which is up from 52%, just five years ago. With all of these programs and academic standards in place, and with the graduation rate gradually increasing every year, the school will produce students with the skills needed to excel in society. The atmosphere inside of the school is filled with vibes of positivity and the encouragement from the staff to the students, which is truly needed to make this school as successful as it can be.

The community’s views on John Adams has also improved. The teenagers who are looking for a high school to attend are starting to look into John Adams as a best fit for them.  Parent Coordinator Manakshi Panindranauth confirmed, stating that John Adams “…has more applicants this year than we had last year,” with a significant rise in numbers, being from 1,700 applicants in 2011, to now 3,335 in 2019. “I think John Adams will attract more students to come to this school because we have so many programs,” said Senior Alexandria Maisonneuve  Programs such as Global Kids and PBIS, along with a strong partnership with St. John’s University, attract many newcomers to the school, causing it to prosper. Developments like these will not only change the course of John Adams to a better future, but also change the way that the state will continue to see it as.

The work that has been put into the school showcases its true inner strength and has made this school more successful. The state’s warning of closing John Adams back in 2016 became a wake-up call to everyone that things needed to change, and fast. This spurred John Adams to rise through the ranks of becoming a renewal school to what it is now: Good Standing. This wake-up call produced advantageous programs such as the International Baccalaureate program and college partnerships. These college partnerships would be with Hunter College, John Jay College, St. John’s University, SUNY Farmingdale, and many more. Without these opportunities, students would be less motivated to achieve their goals and possibly be disengaged from their community.  In the worst case scenario, the school would have been shut down by the state, having to relocate many of the students to different high schools. John Adams will continue to be in “good standing” for the staff, students, and community from here on out.