Academy for Information Technology
|Academy for Information Technology|
1776 Raritan Road
|Type||Magnet public high school|
|School district||Union County Vocational Technical Schools|
|NCES School ID||3418040|
|Enrollment||284 (as of 2019–20)|
|Student to teacher ratio||18.5:1|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
The Union County Academy for Information Technology (UC-AIT) is a full-time four-year public high school located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, United States, on the Union County Vocational Technical Schools Campus. The school is part of the Union County Vocational Technical Schools (UCVTS), which serves students in all of Union County. AIT focuses on education in computer science and computer engineering with an emphasis on Mathematics and Science. In 2006, 51 students were members of the school's first graduating class. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
"The Academy for Information Technology is a four-year college preparatory program with a specialized focus in information technology and business. The program includes honors-level academics along with course work in AP Computer Science Principles, Database Management, AP Computer Science A, Web Design, Data Integrity/Security, and Java programming. Business courses include Computer Applications in Business, Principles of Business and Finance, Business Communications, and AP Economics. Certifications include A+, Microsoft Office Specialist, Oracle, and Java Programming."
As of the 2019–20 school year, the school had an enrollment of 284 students and 15.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 18.5:1. There were 14 students (4.9% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 9 (3.2% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.
Students have a very demanding curriculum on par with AIT's sister school, the Union County Magnet High School. The Academy for Information Technology offers students the opportunity to become certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist, an A+ Hardware/OS Technician, an Oracle database Designer/Programmer and a Programmer in the Java programming language.
The Academy for Information Technology's CEEB code is: 311381.
Awards, recognition and rankings
In September 2013, the academy was one of 15 schools in New Jersey to be recognized by the United States Department of Education as part of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which Education Secretary Arne Duncan described as schools that "represent examples of educational excellence".
In its listing of "America's Best High Schools 2016", the school was ranked 23rd out of 500 best high schools in the country; it was ranked ninth among all high schools in New Jersey.
In its 2013 report on "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 468th in the nation among participating public high schools and 39th among schools in New Jersey. The school was ranked 143rd in the nation and ninth in New Jersey on the list of "America's Best High Schools 2012" prepared by The Daily Beast / Newsweek, with rankings based primarily on graduation rate, matriculation rate for college and number of Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate courses taken per student, with lesser factors based on average scores on the SAT / ACT, average AP/IB scores and the number of AP/IB courses available to students.
Schooldigger.com ranked the school as one of 16 schools tied for first out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (unchanged from the 2010 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy (100.0%) and mathematics (100.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).
Based on the performance on the Class of 2006 in the completion of their Oracle 9i exams, the Academy for Information Technology was named an Oracle Academy of Distinction by the Oracle Corporation. A team of AIT students were recognized as international "Best of Category" winners in the October 2004 Oracle ThinkQuest competition.
- The AIT building is a three-floor structure with a clock tower, located in the center of the Union County Vocational Technical Schools Campus.
- After going through several phases of names, the structure was officially dedicated on May 31, 2006, as "Bistocchi Hall - Academy for Information Technology" in honor of the district's superintendent, Dr. Thomas Bistocchi.
"Applicants are selected from a diverse population of eighth grade students in each of the twenty-one school districts of Union County. Students are selected to attend the Academy for Information Technology in a competitive admissions process based on middle school grade point average, standardized test scores, and two admissions assessments—one in mathematics and one in Language Arts Literacy."
Applicants to the high school proceed through the admission process as follows:
- Attendance at an information session
- Submission of an application to the Principal's office
- Admissions examination
- Notification of acceptance
The following criteria will be considered for admission:
- Grade point average (7th and 8th grade)
- Standardized test scores (7th grade)
- Admission assessments
Classes run on a block scheduling system. Two revolving days (A, B) are broken up into five blocks (1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10). Each block is 83 minutes in length, with the exception of 5/6, which is 60 minutes. Periods 5 and 6 are Co-Curricular and Lunch periods, in an order depending on students' grade levels.
Each marking period counts for 20% of the student's final course grade. Midterm and final examinations each count for 10% of the final course grade.
AIT, along with all other UCVTS schools, utilizes the Quality Point Average (QPA), not the Grade Point Average (GPA). The QPA appearing on the high school transcript is unweighted and includes all subjects with the exception of repeated coursework. Quality points are calculated by multiplying the final course grade by the number of credits received for the course. The total credits and the total quality points are then divided to produce the QPA.
Letter grading system:
- A: 90-100
- B: 80-89
- C: 70-79
- D: 65-69
- F: 64 or below
Class Rank is not computed, due to AIT's competitive admissions process, small class size, and exceptional student performance.
Community service graduation requirement
In order to graduate, a student is also required to complete at least 40 hours of community service while attending AIT, with at least 20 completed by the end of sophomore year. These hours must be obtained from at least 2 different organizations.
Academic graduation requirements
In order to graduate from the Academy for Information Technology, a student is required to have taken:
- Four years of English
- Freshmen: English I - World Literature
- Sophomore: English II - Early American Literature
- Junior: English III - Modern American Literature
- Senior: English IV: Choice of two courses (British Literature or AP English Literature and Composition)
- Four years of Mathematics. Mathematics courses depend on an individual's skill level, which is determined based on an initial assessment in the 8th grade year. Students are placed into one of the following classes each year:
- Combined Algebra (Algebra 1 & 2)
- Math Analysis (Pre-Calculus)
- AP Calculus I/AB
- AP Calculus II/BC
- Multivariable Calculus
- Mathematical Statistics and Data Sciences
- Business Intelligence and Analytics (required senior year math course for Business Track students)
- Probability & Statistics
- AP Statistics
- Four years of Science
- Freshmen: Biology I, Scientific Inquiry and Analysis
- Sophomore: Chemistry I
- Junior: Physics I
- Senior: Choice of: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Anatomy and Physiology, AP Psychology, Introduction to Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Agricultural Science, Introduction to Sustainability, Bioinformatics, etc.
- Four years of Fitness/Health
- Freshman: Fitness I, Health I
- Sophomore: Fitness II, Health II
- Junior: Fitness III, Health III
- Senior: Fitness IV, Health IV
- Four years of Computer Science / Business (at junior year students decide to pursue a computer science track or business track)
- Freshmen: Computer Applications in Business - MOS Certifications in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and IC3 Digital Literacy Certifications
- Sophomore: AP Computer Science Principles AND Principles of Business and Finance
- Computer Science Track: Database Management I & II
- Business Track: AP Economics (Macro/Micro)
- Computer Science Track: AP Computer Science A
- Business Track: Global Financial Markets and Investments
- Three years of Social Studies
- Freshmen: World History
- Sophomore: US History I
- Junior: US History II
- Three years of World Language. World Language courses depend on an individual's skill level, which is determined based on an initial assessment in the 8th-grade year.
- One half-year of Financial Literacy
- This requirement is integrated into Principles of Business and Finance during sophomore year.
- One quarter-year of Visual, Performing, and/or Practical Arts
- This requirement is integrated into Health II education.
Information technology certifications
Students can obtain the following certifications in class with no charge:
- Microsoft Office Specialist (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- CompTIA A+
- Oracle Database Programming
- Sun Java Programming
Students can obtain the following certifications in class with no charge:
- Adult and Child First Aid/CPR/AED (American Red Cross)
Articulation agreement with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
Through an articulation agreement with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), students who meet the conditions of the agreement and choose to attend NJIT have the opportunity to earn college credit and continue their education at NJIT after graduation. All students who are accepted to AIT through the fall of 2015 will be eligible for joint admission under this agreement.
Student organizations at AIT and those shared across the district include:
- Art Club
- Chess Club
- Class Council – 9,10,11,12
- Coding Club
- Dance Club
- Drama Club
- Debate and Speech Club
- Drama Club
- Educators Rising
- National FFA Organization
- Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
- Health Occupation Students of America
- Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA)
- Intramural Athletics
- Math League
- MultiCultural Club
- Music Club
- National Honor Society (NHS)
- Newspaper Club
- Relay For Life (RFL)
- Robotics Club
- Science Olympiad
- Spanish Club
- Spanish Honor Society (SHS)
- Student Government
- Technology Student Association
- Yearbook Club
Many student organizations are district-wide.
Student awards and honors
- Honor Roll: awarded each Marking Period to students earning an 80 or above in all subjects
- High Honor Roll: awarded each Marking Period to students earning a 90 or above in all subjects.
- National Honor Society: open to junior and senior students who have an overall QPA of 92 or above. Students must meet the Society's standards for academics, character, leadership, and service.
- Spanish National Honor Society (la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica): open to junior and senior students earning a 92 or above in Spanish and an overall QPA of 85 or above. Students must meet the Society's standards for academics, character, leadership, and service.
- Student of the Month: awarded each month to one student from each grade level. This award is awarded based on faculty voting, grade performance, and excellence.
The Academy for Information Technology's classes are relatively small, with an estimated 70 students per grade and 20 students per class.
- Most students take school buses to/from school.
- Some students are driven by car.
- With written permission, some students may take the NJ Transit bus from a stop located at the edge of UCVTS campus.
- Students with a driver's license may also choose to drive to school by applying for a parking permit.
- Principal's Message, Academy for Information Technology. Accessed January 15, 2020.
- School data for Academy For Information Technology, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed April 1, 2021.
- Academy for Information Technology, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed January 15, 2020.
- Rundquist, Jeanette. "15 N.J. schools named as national 'Blue Ribbon' winners", The Star-Ledger, September 24, 2013. Accessed September 25, 2013. "Five Catholic schools, six county vocational-technical schools and a Yeshiva are among the list of honored schools in New Jersey. Also named as 2013 Blue Ribbon Schools were Dover, Harrison and Wildwood high schools."
- 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools All Public and Private, pp. 15-17. United States Department of Education, National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Accessed September 25, 2013.
- "The Daily Beast". April 4, 2017. Archived from the original on April 4, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Streib, Lauren. "America's Best High Schools", The Daily Beast, May 6, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.
- Staff. "America's Best High Schools 2012", The Daily Beast / Newsweek, May 20, 2012. Accessed May 22, 2012.
- New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011[permanent dead link], Schooldigger.com. Accessed February 20, 2012.
- Academic Program Guide 2015-2016, Academy for Information Technology. Accessed February 16, 2016.
- Student Organizations Directory, Union County Vocational-Technical Schools. Accessed February 16, 2016.
- UCVTS FBLA website
- UCVTS Multi website