Curriculum and Instruction » Other Curriculum Areas

Other Curriculum Areas

Maspeth High School's fine arts program consists of visual arts, chorus, string orchestra, classical ballet, and theater. Theater classes incorporate both elements of dramatic performance and technical theater, and student productions have included a range of classical works to more contemporary pieces, including Lysistrata, Cabaret, and The Crucible. In addition to acting, students produce all other facets of each show -- from designing and building sets to operating complex lighting and sound equipment. In addition to theater, the school's dance department stages annual performances of The Nutcracker in the winter and Swan Lake in the spring which are also student-produced. The school's orchestra and choral performances typically occur in joint concerts in the winter and again in the spring. The school's acapella group -- The Argonotes -- performs regularly at community events and school functions. Visual arts students have painted murals including replicas of famous works and original art throughout the school, and our students have had their work displayed at the Queens Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The physical education and health department strives to develop healthy well-rounded students and to promote physical activity as a daily norm. The programs developed through the department are designed to promote physical and socio-emotional health that allow students to make well-informed, independent decisions regarding their health. Health courses introduced in the 9th grade provide students with a forum to examine the difficult transition between middle school and high school and prepare students with knowledge about self-care and nutrition. The physical education curriculum provides students of all abilities the opportunity to participate in a program that promotes a variety of sports and activities, while equipping them with exercises that can be replicated independently.
Foreign language is another strength of the school; considering the classical structure of the school, it was essential that one of the foreign languages offered was the study of Latin. Through a Latin language program, Maspeth High School students are equipped with a critical understanding of a classical language that served as the foundation for the majority of English words. Through the study of Latin, students are able to build their language skills and consequently enhance their English grammar skills, public-speaking capacity, and cultural understanding. Latin I students are able to explore translations of myths and stories that they are simultaneously learning in their Classical Mythology course, promoting cross-curricular studies. It is essential that students become well rounded in the culture and language that contributed to the growth of Western Civilization if they are to fulfill the school's vision of becoming leaders in the world. Similarly, in order to prepare students to enter an increasingly globalized world and economy, the introduction of the Mandarin curriculum provides students with the opportunity to study another unique classical language and culture. Through both language options, students are building a foundation of cultural competence and working to embrace different global traditions and cultures.
As a classical school, our approach to technology is that it should support the classical initiatives within the school. Each classroom is outfitted with the latest SMART Board technology, which provides teachers with the freedom to move around the room wirelessly while interacting with their presentations. Our science laboratories are designed to provide students with "hands-on" experiences and the most advanced technology possible. The school is currently in the process of acquiring a scanning electron microscope and will be one of the only schools in the New York City Area to offer such an experience to its students. Moreover, the school developed a library that is accessible to all students and serves as a resource for research and development of reading and writing skills. The library is open to all students during lunch periods and after school for students who need access to technology such as laptops, tablets, printers and desktop computers. The library also houses the school's writing center, which is staffed during student lunch periods and provides an opportunity for students to receive non-evaluative feedback on their written assignments.