Get more from InsideSchools

A Message from InsideSchools: The data below is the most up-to-date data available from City and State systems. We are working hard to update the narratives for all schools. We welcome your insights in the Comments section. Questions? Ask us!

Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School (CASA)

Grades: 6-8
3441 Steenwick Avenue
Bronx NY 10475
Phone: 718-794-7970

Our Insights

What’s Special

Strong sense of community; engaging student work; emphasis on S.T.E.A.M

The Downside

No foreign language instruction

2020 UPDATE: Eduardo Calderon became principal in 2020 after the school's founding principal, Jamaal Bowman, stepped down to run for the United States Congress. Bowman was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020.

2017 PROFILE: The Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School (CASA) is a nurturing place with strong leadership and engaging work. In classes and activities, students are encouraged to think big, explore their interests and value their community.

We visited CASA on the day of its annual Black History Month celebration, where the school's theme of social action was on full display. Founding principal Jamaal Bowman led off the program in the auditorium by reciting the lyrics to the rap "The Racist;" children sang, danced and performed skits on stage. During a particularly poignant moment, a staff member spoke about her cousin, Kalief Browder, who committed suicide after his release from Rikers Island where he was held for three years without being charged or tried. The staffer had come across a girl's research project on Browder displayed in the hallway and wanted to thank her and the school for honoring his memory.

Bowman is highly-regarded by teachers and parents, based on their responses to the NYC School Survey. A former guidance counselor, teacher, and dean of students at The High School of Art and Technology in Manhattan, Bowman is a critic of high-stakes tests and their impact on students of color. He advises parents on their rights to opt their children out of the exams and is a proponent of using other forms of assessments such as student presentations, research papers and in-depth projects, which we saw in abundance during our visit.

There's a big emphasis on S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and math). Students take more than the typical five classes per week in math and science; they learn computer programming and everyone participates in the weekly genius hour, when kids explore topics of their own choosing.

By 8th grade students are tackling complex work. As part of their study of genetics, 8th-graders map out their dominant and recessive inherited traits and write papers on topics such as "Mutating Genes to Cure Diseases." After reading Of Mice and Men, they examine the theme of power in the novel by creating colorful flip-books detailing which characters exercised power to their advantage.

English and social studies are taught in a combined, double-period class led by two teachers--one specializing in English and the other in social studies. While one teacher works with the bulk of the class, another works with a small group of kids.

Teachers do not shy away from difficult topics. Students examine the theme of personal identity and how it impacts our perceptions when reading the essay, "Little Things are Big;" they read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and then draft arguments for or against banning it in schools because of its mature content.

Elective classes are offered in music, chorus, art, creative writing and Beat production. Onsite after-school activities include tutoring, sports and arts.

The school does not offer foreign language instruction, opting to teach computer programming instead.

The school is housed in the Rosa Parks Educational Complex, a large, contemporary building it shares with PS 189 (Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Elementary School) and a program run by District 75, the citywide district for students with severe disabilities. Cornerstone Academy elementary and middle schools operate independent of each other.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers self-contained and ICT classes as well as SETSS. There are two full-time guidance counselors and a social worker on staff—a lot for a small school of fewer than 300 students.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to students from Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Elementary, then to District 11 students or residents. (Laura Zingmond, February 2017)

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 the 2022-2023 NYC School Survey

How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
78% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
59% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
84% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
82% Citywide Average

From the 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
4% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
80% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
46% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
51% Citywide Average

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
89% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From the 2022-23 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
91% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
34% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

From the New York State 2022-2023 Assessment Database

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
15% Citywide Average

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

Contact & Location


Eastchester (District 11)
Trains: 5 Line to Eastchester - Dyre Ave
Buses: Bx16, Bx23, Bx26, Bx28, Bx30, Bx38, BxM7, Q50


Eduardo Calderon
Parent Coordinator
Linette Lathman

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with its upper school
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Was this information helpful?

Get more from InsideSchools

You may also like …

M.S. 180 Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

700 Baychester Avenue
Bronx, NY 10475

I.S. 181 Pablo Casals

800 Baychester Avenue
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
  • Users must comply with our Terms of Use.