Category Archives: News and Events

CQA honored as 2014 “Rising Star” by New York Blackboard Awards

Annual awards celebrate Excellence in New York City Education


Elmhurst, Queens (December 10, 2014) – Last night at an awards ceremony at the Scholastic Auditorium in Lower Manhattan, Central Queens Academy Charter School (CQA) was honored as a Rising Star by the New York Blackboard Awards program. Suyin So, CQA’s Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of CQA, a tuition-free public charter middle school which opened in 2012 to serve the Central Queens neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Corona and Woodside.

“This award reflects the tremendous work of our teachers and scholars who give 100% everyday,” said So, who was joined at the ceremony by a group of CQA teachers, parents and board members. “Our parents and families deserve much of the credit for partnering with us to ensure that our children arrive at school ready to learn each day.”

Designed with a special focus on English Language Learner students, CQA is one of the first charters in New York City to offer an admissions preference to ELL students. More than 70% of CQA scholars speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish, Chinese, Tibetan and Bengali and Gujarati as predominant home languages. In the April 2014 state exam testing, CQA young scholars outperformed New York City, New York State and our District 24 for both grades 5 and 6.

“Our scholars are a true delight to work with,” said Ashish Kapadia, CQA’s School Director. “More than 80% of our scholars will be the first in their family attend and graduate college, but 100% of them now believe they are going to college.”

To learn more about CQA, visit, or visit the Blackboard Awards profile about CQA. Now in its 12th year, the Blackboard Awards are administered by New York Family magazine and celebrate excellence in education in the city, in all educational sectors (public, private, charter, and parochial) and in all grade levels, from nursery through high school.  Honorees are nominated by parents and educators and a board of educational advisors.

CQA October 2016 Board of Trustees Meeting

The November meeting of the CQA Board of Trustees will take place at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 21, 2016 at 55-30 Junction Boulevard Elmhurst, NY 11373  and Baker Hostetler, Rockefeller Center, 45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111.  For security purposes, please email if you wish to attend.

Central Queens Academy Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Coverage

Coverage and highlights from the CQA Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on October 5, 2012 to celebrate 30 days of instruction.

Live coverage from Fox News (NYC): Central Queens Academy: A New Charter

Watch videos of the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony with Chancellor Walcott and SUNY Trustee, Joseph Belluck

Press Release: NYC Chancellor Leads Central Queens Academy Charter School Ribbon-Cutting



— ELMHURST, QUEENS (October 5, 2012)  Surrounded by students, teachers and parents of Central Queens Academy Charter School (CQA), New York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott led a ribbon-cutting ceremony with CQA Principal Jesse Tang to celebrate the public charter middle school’s first 30 days of instruction.

“This represents, to me the best of New York City, having people gather together on behalf of our children,” said Chancellor Walcott, minutes after cutting an orange ribbon outside CQA’s building on Junction Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens. The ribbon was held on one side by a CQA student, Sandra Kwateng, and by a representative from CQA’s charter authorizer, Joseph Belluck, a trustee of the State University of New York.

“SUNY is very proud to be authorizing this school,” Trustee Belluck told the crowd, adding, “This is the best part of our jobs, to be able to open schools and see all of you here. So thank you for making what we do everyday worthwhile and good luck to all of you.”

Following student performances, Chancellor Walcott, a Queens native, shared some motivational words of encouragement with the crowd gathered.

“My hope and my dream is that every student in New York City gets a high quality education so that they can be college and career ready,” Chancellor Walcott said. “More importantly, to grow up to be adults who give back  to make New York City, the country and the world a better place.”

The Chancellor was joined by parents and community members including the Ong Family Foundation and the New York City Charter Center. New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya attended, as did a representative from New York City Councilmember Julissa Ferraras.

“CQA is poised to become a stellar member of the family of SUNY authorized charter schools,” said Susan Miller Barker, Executive Director of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, the organization that will monitor the school on behalf of the SUNY Trustees. “A rigorous academic program, comprehensive supports for students at-risk, and a commitment to its students, families, and local community provide CQA with an incredibly strong foundation. The school leaders and board understand the high expectations of the SUNY Trustees and have demonstrated their willingness and ability to meet the bar. We wish the school every success and look forward to our first year evaluation visit.”

About CQA

Central Queens Academy Charter School opened in August 2012 to serve 110 fifth-grade students from the surrounding neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Corona and Woodside. CQA will add one grade each year, expanding at full scale to K-12. One of NYC’s first charter schools to offer admissions preference to ELL students, CQA is also the first charter school to serve NYC’s most overcrowded school district, Community School District 24 (CSD 24).

For more information about CQA, please visit