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Our Core Values

Responsibility Value  Respect Value  Trust Value

Celebrating Success at QE!

We are proud to have been named in the top 1% of Citywide Elementary Schools for Spring 2019—one of just 6 schools in the city to achieve this distinction! We were named in the top 5% each year for 2015 – 2018, based on MOSL scores and ratings from administrator visits. Thank you to our hardworking staff and students for demonstrating what inquiry and service learning can achieve!

Service Learning

Believe in the Creatures of the Deep Blue Sea

 Derek's Recycled Shark 


Thank you to all our families! We raised $1, 462.00 for the World Wildlife Foundation for the Creatures of the Deep Blue Sea!

Updated 12/18/20 Letter to Families From Chancellor Richard A. Carranza

 NYC Department of Education LOGO 


December 18, 2020

Dear Families,

This has been a year of new challenges and difficult choices, testing our collective strength and endurance as we have faced the unknown together. We have had to reinvent the building blocks of public education in the nation’s largest school system, from how to “go to class,” to grading policy, attendance, and everything in between.

Today I am writing with an update on another fundamental pillar of your child’s education: enrolling in middle school for next September. I want to thank you for your patience as we have worked for months to talk to families and conduct careful analysis to develop a new middle school admissions policy that meets this challenging moment. This new policy will better support your child’s learning journey, and that of their fellow 70,000 fifth graders, as we look ahead to Fall 2021.

We have made some changes to the middle school enrollment process this year. This year’s middle school application will open the week of January 11. New York City Department of Education (DOE) middle schools will not use academic records, auditions, or other screens or assessments to evaluate or admit students this year. Schools will maintain priority for students living in the district, because we heard from families across the city that they want to attend middle school closer to home. If a school has more applicants than available seats, offers will be made using a random lottery. In a small number of schools that have launched their own Diversity in Admissions pilots, they will admit priority groups of students first based on their school plans.

Here is why.

New York City is home to nearly 200 middle schools—40% of all middle schools—that “screen” students for admission using academic records, auditions, attendance, discipline records, special assessments, interviews, or other measures. They’ve historically used these academic and other records from a student’s fourth grade to determine if they’re suitable for entry to the school.

This year, we do not have much of this typical screening information because of the effects of the pandemic. The State did not administer standardized tests for fourth graders last year. The grading policy required revision to meet the unprecedented ending to the last school year. Attendance and other key policies shifted to accommodate the circumstances families were enduring because of the pandemic. Generally speaking, the measures these screened schools traditionally relied on for making admissions decisions are no longer available.

What’s more, as Chancellor, it is my responsibility to deliver the highest-quality education possible to each of your children, so that they are prepared for a successful, productive life, and empowered with the skills they need to chase their dreams. There are inequities in our City and in our school system that have been exacerbated this year by the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 health crisis has had on our communities of color, our immigrant families, the students whose parents never had the option to work from home, and more. When I’ve spoken to families, students, and leaders of screened schools about potential changes, they have articulated the ways these policies can be an obstacle to that goal for many students, because the screening criteria can be so closely connected to a student’s housing stability and economic status.

That is why, now more than ever, it is so important to deliver the proven benefits of more inclusive classrooms to our students. Inclusive learning environments are proven to encourage the development of critical thinking skills. They are linked to long-term success and life opportunities and lead to higher graduation achievement and better access to social and professional networks for more students.

In effect, screening fifth graders without data, especially in a year as challenging as this one, is unfair, unequal, and untenable to continue.

This is not the first time this approach has been implemented. Removing screens from middle schools has been successful in districts that have already begun this work, like in Brooklyn’s District 15. Simplifying the admissions process and making our city fairer is the right thing to do for students, families and schools, particularly this year.

We will provide guidance and a variety of fresh new resources in our schools and offices to help you navigate the process and find an excellent middle school for your student. You can get started by visiting to learn more about the process, and to set up your MySchools account to be ready when the application period opens. Do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school counselor— they will be your guide throughout the process. You can also contact a Family Welcome Center (learn how at or call 718-935-2009.

This change shows that our values can become action, and that no policy, or way of doing things, is so entrenched that it cannot be revised in the name of serving all our children. We believe in schools that serve all children, and a system that delivers equal opportunity to the best education possible. We know there’s more to do, so we will initiate further talks with school communities to help inform the use of screens past September 2021.

I want to thank all of you—from the students and families who have been fighting for this for years, to those of you who are approaching middle school admissions for the first time through your child’s upcoming enrollment— for your collaboration. We are united in our mission to make sure your child—and every one of their 1.1 million peers—receives the best education possible in the greatest city in the world.Sincerely,

 Richard A. Carranza Signature 

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor New York City Department of Education

To view a copy of this document in your language visit Messages for Families

Parent Expert On Covid-19

 Covid-19 Update    

Please read information regarding  Covid-19 from one of our parent expert Kathy Medrano. 


Message from Queens Explorers Guidance Counselor

Dear Queens Explorers Families,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Maureen Abernethy and I am the 3K-5 Elementary School Counselor. I am so excited to be part of the Queens Explorers family; it is so apparent how close-knit and welcoming this school community is, I feel very lucky to be part of it!

My passion for school counseling began during my time as a student at St John’s University   where I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Education and then at Brooklyn College College where I earned my Masters of Science and Certificate of Advanced Study in School Counseling. I have 25 years combined school counseling and teaching experience.  What I love most about the Queens Explorers is the genuine curiosity students have in their learning and the world around them, as well as the opportunity for early intervention support that can have a lifetime positive impact on a child.

As a School Counselor, my primary responsibility is to promote the academic, career, and social/emotional development of all students.  Many times I get puzzled looks when I say I provide career development at the elementary level, but it is never too early for children to be exposed to the opportunities their futures will hold! I look forward to offering support to the students, staff, families, and community.  I will be meeting with students individually and in small groups, conducting classroom counseling lessons, meeting with parents, collaborating with teachers and staff, and consulting with community organizations to benefit and meet the needs of all Queens Explorers students.     

You may have noticed above that I put in bold and underlined the word, “all” students. Sometimes when the term “counselor” is heard, some may perceive that a counselor may only work with a select few students in a 1:1 counseling capacity, but that is not the case! School Counseling programs reach and meet the needs of all students in a school through many various ways, including those listed above. I am here to advocate for all students. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call (718) 558-7088 or email me at any time.  

I have many roles and responsibilities at Queens Explorers.  Some of my roles that support students and families are:

  • ·         Attendance Coordinator
  • ·         Respect for All Liaison
  • ·         504 Coordinator
  • ·         Middle School Articulation Coordinator
  • ·         Special Education Liaison
  • ·         Safety Coordinator & BRT Leader
  • ·         Restorative Circle Facilitator

 I am so excited to work with your children and get to know you throughout the school year! 

 All the best,

Maureen Abernethy

3K-5 School Counselor

Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning Grades K–5




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