A Brief History of QVTHS
In 1920, our school began as the Queens Continuation School. It was organized to provide an education to students who had been unable to complete their formal education. At the time, facilities for providing education to these part time students were not yet available. Space was rented in a Long Island City factory to conduct classes for the students. The factory’s location, poor physical condition, and its other disadvantages were overcome by the efforts of our first principal, Charles Kiffen.
As conditions became strained due to overcrowding, plans were made to erect a building for the Queens Continuation School. The administrators decided to include vocational education as well. In 1929, our present building was completed and ready for the Continuation School and its short sessions. In 1935 the school established full session vocational classes. The curriculum for boys included Automobile Repair, Printing, Machine, Radio, Sheet Metal and Electrical Shops; for the girls, courses included Dressmaking and Beauty Culture. A Commercial Department course was available for both boys and girls.
Interscholastic sports and student activities were added through our early years. The Honor Society, Leaders’ Corps, Borough Discussion, Glee Club, and Honor Guard were among the first activities offered.
Over the years, new shop programs were added and others were either modified or discontinued as technology and workplace needs changed. Since the 1980s, we eliminated our Machine Shop and Practical Nursing programs. Our Automation program is now Computer Technology, and our Radio Mechanics program is now Pre-Engineering. The Commercial Department now teaches Virtual Enterprise, and our newest career areas are Cisco and Graphic Design. Also in the 1980s, we added “Technical” to our name to reflect our status as a Career and Technical Education school.
We added a new wing in 2005 to replace our former school yard. As a continuation school, we never had a cafeteria or gymnasium until this addition. Today, Queens Vocational and Technical High School strives to offer its students preparation to enable them to graduate college and career ready. In fact, many of our career and technical education teachers are QV graduates.