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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)

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average
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?
80% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
51% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
77% 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?
1% 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?
42% 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?
60% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
91% 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
86% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
45% Citywide Average

From the 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

How does this school serve special populations?

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

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
84% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

International Baccalaureate Program (Q41A)

Admissions Method: Screened With Assessment


  • Average Course Grades - 10%
  • Humanities Writing - 20%
  • STEM Writing - 20%
  • Video - 50%

Program Description:

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


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses

Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science), Econ/Gov (International Baccalaureate), IB Biology SL, IB Chemistry SL, IB Computer Science HL, IB English HL, IB History HL, IB Mathematics Analysis and Approaches SL, IB Mathematics Applications and Interpretation SL, IB Spanish ab initio, IB Spanish SL, IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Visual Arts HL, Physics (Advanced Science), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Outdoor Track, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


34-12 36 Avenue
Queens NY 11106

Trains: M Line, R Line to 36th St; N Line, Q Line to 36 Av-Washington Av

Buses: Q101, Q102, Q104, Q66


Principal: Heather Page

Parent Coordinator: Margaret Pasach


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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