In an effort to create a seamless transition for students heading from middle school to high school, on March 10, Fort Hamilton High School (FHHS) hosted a meeting between with incoming middle school students from I.S. 228, David Boody Junior High School in Gravesend.
The high school, 8301 Shore Road, expects to complement the education that incoming students received in middle school arts programs. I.S. 228, 228 Avenue S, currently offers several magnet arts and science programs, and high school officials say that for many of the middle schoolers, Fort Hamilton would transition students into similar, albeit more advanced programs. The high school boasts numerous specialized programs for students including dance, music and even a business program.
Students from I.S. 228 were accompanied by Principal Dominick D’Angelo and Guidance Counselor Betty Tang.
“We want to give students to have a well rounded opportunity to explore the arts, athletics, and business opportunities,” said FHHS Principal Kaye Houlihan. “We want to prepare them for college, and have a productive life beyond Fort Hamilton.”
Houlihan said the meeting was initiated by New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to engage a better dialogue between middle schools and high schools students. According to a release from D’Angelo, the visit was also spurred by the chancellor’s own visit to the schools, after recognizing both schools’ commitment to the arts.
According to school officials, visitors from I.S. 228 had a chance to learn about FHHS’s Marching Regiment, the Joffrey Ballet Dance Academy, the Symphonic Orchestra and the Symphonic Band.
Thomas Oberle, Assistant Principal of Arts and Business at Fort Hamilton, said that D’Angelo also had the opportunity to see some of his own alumni playing at an “extremely high level,” in the high school’s orchestra.
The high school encourages students to participate in several arts programs including dance and music in addition to specialized classes and events, including inter-school business and marketing competitions, and even brings students to Disney World to take part in Festival Disney, a multi-tier orchestral program that allows students to learn, practice and perform at the resort park.
The school continues to invite professional arts performers for guest instruction from time to time. Recently, the high school received a class visit from Caleb Hudson, the current trumpet player for renowned brass ensemble Canadian Brass, and the school’s clarinet ensemble was also featured for a March performance on WQXR-FM radio.