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!

BELL Academy

Grades: 6-8
Staff Pick
18-25 212 Street
Queens NY 11360
Phone: 718-428-0587

Our Insights

What’s Special

Unusual electives; lots of projects and small-group learning

The Downside

Limited spaces for students who don't attend PS 169; some friction between teachers and administration

BELL Academy is a small school that takes the methods often used in gifted and talented programs and extends them to all students. Based on the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM), developed by Drs. Joseph Renzulli and Sally Reis at the University of Connecticut, the school seeks to provide challenging, in-depth, enjoyable learning for all students.

Classes encourage research projects and small-group work, often revolving around current events. Students take up to three enrichment classes a year, with offerings in the arts, social justice, board games and the stock market, among other topics. Technology also is key with a videoconferencing center that lets students take virtual trips and haven meetings with students around the world.

By many accounts, the program has been successful. Although BELL does not screen applicants on the basis of academics, test scores are well above average. A prominent education researcher for the Century Foundation who visited the school in 2014 was unstinting in her praise, writing “I came to BELL in search of a more equitable approach to gifted education, and found a model I think other city schools should examine closely.”

The small, diverse school fosters a sense of community, and everyone apparently knows everyone else. Students responding to the annual NYC School Survey saw less bullying and a safer environment than their counterparts at other middle schools.  The survey also indicated an unusually high level of parent involvement, with many parents volunteering at BELL.

One down side based on the survey is the relationship between teachers and the principal. In general, teachers gave long-time principal David Abbott low marks.

BELL shares its building with PS 169, with both schools using the library, cafeteria, auditorium and gym.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: BELL has ICT (integrated co-teaching) and self-contained classes. Special education students outperform their peers in other schools on state standardized tests.

ADMISSIONS: The school is open to all students living in District 25, with students who attended PS 169 or live in the zone getting priority. There are more applicants than seats. (Gail Robinson, web reports, April 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 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?
58% 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?
0% 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?
79% 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 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
39% 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 2023 End-of-year Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism Report

Average daily attendance
90% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% 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


Bayside (District 25)
Buses: Q13, Q16, Q28, QM2, QM20, QM32


David Abbott
Parent Coordinator
Lori Belcastro

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares a building with PS 169
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

Was this information helpful?

Get more from InsideSchools


  • 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.