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Baccalaureate School for Global Education

Grades: 7-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Ambitious IB program in a laid-back atmosphere

The Downside

No full-size gymnasium

Serving a diverse population primarily from Queens, the Baccalaureate School for Global Studies combines serious learning with a laid-back atmosphere. Kids whirl through typical high school requirements by the end of 10th grade, then take demanding upper level courses. It is the first public school in New York City in which all students prepare for the International Baccalaureate (IB), a degree widely accepted at universities in more than 100 countries. The school is located in a former pocketbook factory, an inviting space, where light streams in through lofty windows.

Many staff wear jeans and students are trusted to keep cell phones out of sight. Adding to the informal feel, kids carry coats and backpacks from class to class. Music wafts out of the teen-friendly college office filled with posters. Seniors can go out for lunch if they have permission from parents. 

In grades 7 through 10 students prepare for the New York State Regents exams and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, which includes 100 hours of community service and a creative personal project. On the day of our visit the 10th grade class was off to the main branch of the New York Public Library with their advisors to do research for their projects—past topics of which include "My Ecuadorian Culture," "How to Make a Thermoelectric Cooler" and "Animation: My Future."

Students in grades 11 and 12 study six subject areas: chemistry or biology, math, History of the Americas, visual arts or technology, English and another language (Spanish, Mandarin or French). Other features include a Theory of Knowledge course, 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and a research essay of up to 4000-words. CAS might involve volunteering in a library or tutoring, exploring the arts and getting involved in a sport.

The school day runs from 8 am to 2:20 pm. Up to one third of the 7th grade class and some upperclassmen stay for another hour for extra help or simply to work away from distractions. Students said they have between one and three hours of homework a night. "You can’t be lazy," said an 8th grader.

In a 7th grade history class we watched students jot down their thoughts after they’d read and discussed primary sources and differing viewpoints on the legacy of Christopher Columbus. The amount of writing they churned out was impressive. Graduate students from Sarah Lawrence teach a creative writing elective and an after school seminar.

In most classrooms, students sat in groups of four at square tables. They love discussions, said Mike Mehan, a math teacher. He and a colleague said they employ mini explorative projects, such as cutting up strips of numbers written in scientific notation and asking kids to order and convert them into standard notation. On the other hand, an 11th and 12th grade math class was entirely on Power Point.

One challenge is bringing incoming 9th graders up to speed, said teachers. “We are a 7th through 12th grade school so those students who came in earlier have all gotten that pre-IB teaching, which is really heavy in reading and writing,” said a staff member in a phone interview. 

A number of the staff speak Spanish and try to meet the needs of those who speak no English at home. One former staffer mentioned that the school's small size poses social challenges for some teens.

Gym takes place outside in one of two nearby parks, in the fitness room or in the mirrored studio filled with yoga gear. The school has a band, orchestra and theater. Clubs vary depending on interest but one constant is a service club called Helping Hands and another is the newspaper. Many of these motivated kids pursue talents on their own time.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: Peter Wilson, long-time college advisor, works closely with students: "If I don’t see kids for a week I go find them," he said. Rising seniors gather in the summer for six weeks to work on college applications and essays. All graduates in 2017 were accepted to four-year colleges. Acceptances have included the University of Michigan, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Barnard and Sarah Lawrence. About half the seniors receive IB diplomas. More than 90 percent of the graduating class earns the full IB diploma and students have earned more than 20 million in scholarships, according to Wilson. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has made an effort to increase its special education population in recent years. (November 2011, Lydie Raschka; updated, phone interview, October 2017)

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
97%
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
 
82%
Average daily attendance
 
97%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
5%
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

528
Number of students
611 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
47%
Students with disabilities
 
13%
Multilingual learners
 
3%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
0%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
89%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
26%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
16%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
91%
14.5
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
557
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
94%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

Not offered in 2019-20

Computer Science

 
13%

Physics

 
62%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
45%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
100%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
100%

Music

 
20%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
94%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
95%
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
89%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
 
41%
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

International Baccalaureate Program

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Pre IB Diploma Programme and Diploma Programme for achievement in math, science, technology, humanities, arts, foreign language, and community service requirement.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

French, Mandarin, Spanish

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Softball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location

Location

34-12 36th Avenue
Astoria NY 11106

Trains: M Line, R Line to 36th St; N Line, W Line to 36th Ave

Buses: Q101, Q102, Q104, Q66


Contact

Principal: Heather Page

Parent Coordinator: Margaret Pasach

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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