Social Studies Special Programs
Students in the Law Academies at Forest Hills High School take part in a four year course of study that takes them from an introduction to law and legal writing through a study of civil and criminal law as well as constitutional law. Students in both programs have the opportunity to take part in internships with New York law firms, the Queens District Attorney Office and benefit from partnerships with NYU, Fordham Law and Hughes, Hubbard and Reed. Each year, the students participate in Moot Court and Mock Trial, demonstrating the skills they have developed in the program. Students also produce a Law Journal and participate in the Forest Hills Youth Court, a program run in conjunction with Queens Borough Patrol North and the District Attorney’s office. The Law and Humanities program is an Ed-op program.
Academy of Public Service
Students in the Academy combine a study of public policy and government with active involvement in the community. They complete a challenging three year course of study, which includes Global and US History, English and special electives, including Facing History and Issues in Public Policy. Students work on research projects that are designed to apply what they have learned. In addition to their course work, students in APS are dedicated to making a difference in the community and take an active role in shaping and participating in volunteer activities. For example, they have run the school’s food drive, tutored in after school programs, participated in Project Cicero and painted over graffiti. They have held internships at the Queens Borough President’s Office, among others, and participate in the Forest Hills Youth Court. Applications for the program are taken from freshmen.
Who is APS?
Our program, for a select number of sophomores, juniors and seniors, is regarded as one of the best the school has to offer. As a student in the Academy, your child is part of a three-year program starting from their sophomore year which combines academic work with service activities to take action first-hand to improve the community. Our students take classes together for English and Social Studies as well as some electives.
· Participation in community service activities: APS students run winter and spring festivals for children, tutor, volunteer in schools, hospitals and nursing homes, participate in park events, paint over graffiti, have internships in offices of local offices and much more. This looks great on college applications!
· Academic support with concerned teachers: students are challenged to become the best writers, speakers, and thinkers they can be. In electives such as “Issues in Public Policy,” APS students prepare for the college application process and write university level papers.
· Participation in city-wide contests and events such as Student Voices, Youth Congress, Youth Leadership Council, and the WISE Quality of Life Research Competition.
· Opportunity to take college classes for free through the CUNY College Connection program
· Making life long friends and finding a place to belong in such a big school.
· A minimum average of 75; a higher average of 80 in English and Social Studies is preferred
· No dean’s record; good attendance
· A commitment to the program for sophomore, junior and senior years – completing all class work, not cutting, and not coming late to class
· A commitment to perform community service activities, which may be during or after-school or on some weekends
Goals in each year:
o Become familiar with research techniques (ex: guided research on the internet, interviews)
o Learn about one’s role in the community and the world; get involved in community service activities
o Meet juniors and seniors; welcome to the APS family!
o Learn thesis writing techniques (in-depth research to solve problem or support an argument; citations)
o Greater involvement in extra-curricular activities; more opportunities available (internships/contests)
o No APS elective: choose any subject of interest; branch out
o Continued commitment to service activities
o Time management techniques; college application and scholarship essay writing
o Research, write and submit the WISE research paper
We the People
Members of the Advanced Placement Government class take part in the We the People competition, sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, which challenges the students to become expert in the Constitution, from its foundation, philosophy and current issues under debate. Students compete at City and State championships, demonstrating their expertise in a speech and answer a series of probing questions from rotating groups of judges. In 2009, Forest Hills placed second in New York City.
Council for Unity
The mission of this course is to empower students with the skills necessary to promote unity achievement and safety in schools. This gives the students a chance to be part of a group with a meaningful purpose that they themselves help to define. Students plan and participate in service activities and develop the skills need to navigate decisions and become successful leaders.