When the principal says her school has something for every kind of student, every interest, she’s not kidding.
Coral Park Senior High School has the AP Capstone program for the highest academic achievers. It has four magnet programs: engineering, architecture, construction, and biomedical sciences.
The school also features a musical group clearly inspired by Blue Man Group. The Glowline is a drumline that plays in the dark with fluorescent sticks and costumes. They make a riot of sound mixed with color, and it symbolizes the eclectic offerings which motivate some students.
“Kids don’t come to school to learn reading and math, although it’s nice if they learn that along the way, but they do come to school for the activities, for the extras, the electives, for the arts, for the sports, for the different programs that we offer here and I think that’s what really hooks the kids into school,” said Alicia Hidalgo, Coral Park’s principal.
From a dance team to a culinary arts program to an AP fine arts class which wins awards every year, the home of the Rams has cast a wide net of choices for its students.
“Students nowadays, they have the opportunity that back in the day we didn’t have, and they’re exposed to very specific areas that prepare them better when they go to college,” said Gloria Alonso, the magnet program coordinator.
The biomedical science program, for example, just started this year. It gives students a solid background for studying health sciences in college.
The engineering program students were showing off their robots. They built machines that can shoot and dribble basketballs and pitch a baseball.
“We actually do no robotics in the classroom, we just teach the theories, everything that it takes to make a robot, coding, the physics behind it, the drafting, designing,” explained Charlie Delahoz, the engineering director.
The kids actually build their robots in the Ram Tech Club, sometimes with guidance from former Rams.
“Just like in sports, you know how the alumni come back and mentor the young kids, that’s exactly what’s happening,” Delahoz said.
Coral Park also takes pride in its programs for special education students and an immersion program for recent immigrant kids who don’t speak English fluently. They really do reach everyone at this school tucked into a neighborhood in Westchester.