Cornerstone Academy for Social Action

Grades: Pre-K, K-5
3441 Steenwick Avenue
Bronx NY 10475
Phone: 718-794-6160

Our Insights

What’s Special

Pre-k through 5th, with middle school option

The Downside

Instruction for students with disabilities is a work-in-progress

Founded in 2007, Cornerstone Academy serves pre-kindergarten through 5th grade students, who also get preference at Cornerstone’s middle school, which opened in 2009 under separate leadership on the fourth floor of the building.

Enrollment is on the rise again under the leadership of James Bellon, who took the helm in 2011. Creating a safe, orderly and well-run school has been a priority. When Principal Bellon arrived, the school had spent time on a list of dangerous and low-performing schools; but now, safety looks good on school surveys and teachers overwhelmingly recommend the school to new families. Bellon places an emphasis on simple structures for order, and boosting math, writing and reading skills. “It has taken us eight years to get those systems and structures in place,” Bellon said. “Families are coming back.”

One benefit of having the elementary and middle schools in the same building is that teachers can plan and schedule together to prepare students for success in high school. Fourth and 5th grade teachers “departmentalize,”— meaning one teaches only math, another only reading—in part to prepare younger students to take algebra in middle school, which may lead to better college options after high school. 

The school has worked with PS 97, another neighborhood school, to strengthen small group reading and writing instruction. Books are housed right inside the classroom so kids may choose books of interest, and they are encouraged to talk about what they read.

Cornerstone is a Computer Science for All school: teachers are trained in the uses of technology, not only because it’s fun for kids, but also because faster learners can zoom ahead, while struggling students can get more practice. 

Reading and writing is a challenge for many students at Cornerstone, according to the Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP), with state reading scores below average. Through testing, teachers identify children who need additional help with punctuation, grammar, research and non-fiction writing. In small groups, young children add labels, descriptive words, and phrases to pictures about their topic, be it whales or baseball. This approach has helped their writing, but teachers have not been as successful in assisting students with disabilities, the Quality Review shows. 

Students participate in music, dance and theater programs, in partnership with the New Victory Theater and Education through Music. 

A District 75 elementary school for students with severe disabilities occupies the ground floor of the building, known as the Rosa Parks Educational Complex.

ADMISSIONS: Neighborhood school. About 90 percent of the elementary school graduates choose to stay through middle school, according to the principal. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, October 2019) 

Read more

School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
86% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
0% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
86% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
51% Citywide Average
How many elementary school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
50% Citywide Average

What is the Pre-K like?

From the NYC Program Assessment (CLASS and ECERS-R) Database through 2018-2019

Instruction: Teachers ask kids to explain their reasoning when they solve problems
Activities: Children explore art, music, sand/water, dramatic play and more
Language: Teachers talk and listen to kids in a supportive way
Interaction: Teachers ask kids good questions and invite back-and-forth conversation

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners
Pre-K seats
3-K seats

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
92% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
26% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28% Citywide Average
How many students with disabilities scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
23% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Contact & Location


Co-op City (District 11)
Trains: 5 Line to Eastchester - Dyre Ave
Buses: Bx16, Bx23, Bx26, Bx28, Bx30, Bx38, Q50


James Bellon
Parent Coordinator
Majorie Austin

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with its middle school
Metal detectors?

Zone for the 2019-2020 school year. Call school to confirm.

You may also like …

P.S. 178 Dr. Selman Waksman

850 Baychester Avenue
Bronx, NY 10475

P.S. 160 Walt Disney

4140 Hutchinson River Parkway East
Bronx, NY 10475


  • Is this your school? Please post any news, updates, events, changes, or other information!
  • We welcome questions, open discussions, and disagreements but comments with personal attacks, rude language, or those with seemingly malicious intent will be deleted.
  • Very long comments, those that contain links, or repeat comments may be blocked by our spam filter.
  • Problems? email us at [email protected].
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.