2000-06-24 / Columnists


Year 2000: Great Past, Bright Future
by Stuart L. Astor

The Week at The Rock

This is our last column for the 1999-2000 academic year. Tuesday, June 27 will see the graduation of one hundred fifty students in Far Rockaway High School’s class of 2000, with Jeane-Paule Christie as valedictorian and Kharen Moy as salutatorian. As their class ushered in the millennium, FRHS enjoyed significant new events and experiences this year. 1999-2000 saw the first FRHS student forum, a dynamic teachers staff development program, a wonderful spring musical production ("Scenes from Rydell High"), holiday concerts featuring the new FRHS band, a jazz combo, an all-new jazz choir and a girl’s ensemble. We had a huge art show, a mural done by our students decorates the International Building construction site at JFK airport and we are now offering the Regents exam in art, for students who have pursued our art program for three years. A meteorology lab and new computers have been installed in our science departments, while the Virtual Enterprise Program—and it’s virtual clothing sales enterprise, ETC!, Inc—occupy spacious quarters in the business department.

The coming academic year--2000-2001—will see still more advances. Our alumni will donate funds for a media center to be established in our library. More information will follow. That center, added to four working computer laboratories, the virtual enterprise room, ten newly-equipped classrooms and other existing facilities will provide 22 classrooms with about 200 computers hooked up to the internet for student use. In addition, three roving computer carts will make internet services available to any classroom in the building FRHS, now reachable through the Queens high schools’ website, will have it’s own web address (called a "URL" in computerese) by Thanksgiving.

St. Johns University—impressed by our students’ conduct at the first student forum, has asked for increased collaboration in the coming year, with the goal of establishing a student-teacher-parent forum.

Our music and art programs will continue growing, with another musical production (title to be announced) scheduled for the spring.

Our physical education department is preparing to open a "Fit for Life" center and program for both students, staff and parents. Last in this by-no-means-complete list of promising programs for the coming year is the "College Now" program, sponsored by York College. "College Now" will prepare our students to pass the CUNY entrance exams and offer some introductory courses to be taken here for college credit.

Principal Thomas Cunningham, commenting on our accomplishments in the past year and goals for next year, explained: "I hold high expectations for the future and for our students. I look forward to working with parents, students, staff members and our community to continue our success during the new millennium’s first year well into coming years."


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