Students » Institute



Institute Program Faculty:


Tamara Shapiro

Institute Counselor


Tottenville High School

100 Luten Ave

Staten Island, NY 10312


718-668-8800 x 61007

[email protected]



Tottenville High School Institute Program

Frequently Asked Questions


Question: What are the major differences between the Science and Classics Institute Programs?


Answer: Students in the Science Institute are required to take two science courses their freshman year: Living Environment Honors OR Advanced Placement Biology (if accelerated in science from middle school) AND Chemistry Honors; required to take Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles their sophomore year; required to take Advanced Placement Chemistry (double period) during their junior year.

Students in the Classics Institute will complete one term of Art History and one term of Music History during their freshman year. They are required to complete two consecutive years of Mandarin Honors in their sophomore year and junior year, in addition to taking three years of Spanish/Italian Honors. Though required to take Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles, students can request to take the class either their sophomore, junior or senior year, depending on their schedule and course availability.


Question: Can my child be in the Institute and be in a Three-Year Elective Program (Automotive, Architecture, Med-Tech, etc.)


Answer: No, your child will only be able to choose either the Institute Program or from our other three-year elective programs.


Question: What if my child gets accepted into the Institute Program but does not like it?


Answer: Your child applied into a screened program in the 8th grade with both the student and parent/legal guardians understanding that there are only 68 available seats. When the family accepts the offer, they understand that their child is making a four-year academic commitment.


Question: What if my child starts to struggle academically?


Answer: We offer Peer Tutoring organized by either the Institute Counselor or the Classroom Teacher; Teachers offer one-on-one or group tutoring, depending on the teacher, but communicating with the teacher will result in personalized assistance.


Question: Can my child be removed from the Institute?


Answer: Students are required to maintain an 88% academic average in EACH of their subject classes. If a child falls below, the Institute Counselor offers support, organizing meetings with the students and their parent(s)/legal guardian(s). The student will be placed on Academic Probation and will once again be offered support to bring their academic averages back to good standing. Students who do not bring up their academic averages are involved in an end-of-year academic meeting with their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and the Institute Counselor, to identify a more appropriate placement for the following school year.


Please note: Students who are removed from the Institute Program will not be offered a seat in our Three-Year Elective Program; however, they will be able to participate in our One-Year Elective Courses. 


Question: What if my child is working to become a doctor; should the Science Institute be the only option?


Answer: No, both programs are extremely rigorous and will prepare your child for college/post-secondary options. We instill strong academic values, enforce their learned skills, enhance their organizational, study, interpersonal, verbal, and writing skills.

Please note: Both programs will provide a competitive student profile for colleges.


Question: My child is a great singer/musician/artist, and I would like them to continue a Music/Art Major Track. Is this offered to the institute Students?


Answer: Absolutely! We have wonderful Music and Art Major Programs. We will work with your child to offer them as many music classes as possible after their prescribed courses. Many Institute students are taking chorus classes, are in at least one music class, and will be offered the Advanced Placement Music Theory, as well as our after-school Marching Band Program.