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Bayside HS special programs draw students

The specialized academic programs at Bayside High School are being recognized by some of the most important people in the borough: its students.

About half of the school's 2,700 students go to Bayside High, at 32-24 Corporal Kennedy St., because they choose to, Principal Harris Sarney said.

Led by the energetic Sarney, the school's three major academic programs - science and math research, art, and a well-established music academy - have flourished and are attracting students from across the borough who have applied and auditioned for the chance to come to Bayside High.

"We have a significant number of kids who are here because they want to be," said Sarney, who pointed out that about 1,400 of the school's 2,700 students enroll by choice. "It makes for a very dynamic and motivated student body."

But for Sarney, who has been principal for about five years, the next step for the school is to show its neighbors in Bayside just what it has to offer.

"I'm hoping that the residents of the local community would realize the resource they have in their backyards," he said.

One of the newest academic resources at Bayside High is the Science/Math Academy of Research and Talent, or S.M.A.R.T. program, which became a screened program in 1998 and is a combined effort of the math, science, and computer science departments. Students are admitted to screened academic programs based on the results of applications or auditions, while option programs are open to any city student zoned for that school.

Assistant Principal Susan Sladowski, who supervises the mathematics aspect of S.M.A.R.T., said that in the first year of the program, students are given one semester of math and one of science, and by the second year are asked to choose the field they would like to concentrate on.

Sarney said the school's affiliations with New York Hospital Medical Center, Queens College and Long Island Jewish Medical Center offered the 150-200 students in the S.M.A.R.T. program more opportunities to get hands-on experience.

"We're trying to get these kids involved in the world outside the school," he said.

Sladowski said the math students also develop a portfolio of work that becomes a part of their resum

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