Baccalaureate School for Global Education

Grades 7-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Ambitious IB program in a laid-back atmosphere

The Downside

No full-size gymnasium

Our Review

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.

ADMISSIONS: There is an open house in mid-December for prospective 7th graders. The school administers a test on reading, writing and math skills in January. Group interviews take place in March. Incoming 9th graders take their test in the fall. Roughly a third of the 9th grade class leaves to attend specialized or private high schools opening up about 25 spaces but that number changes year to year. “We try to keep our school diverse and accessible to all,” said Wilson. (November 2011, Lydie Raschka; updated, phone interview, October 2017)

 

About the students

Enrollment
518
Asian
45.6%
Black
2.7%
Hispanic
16.8%
White
30.9%
Other
4.1%
Free or reduced priced lunch
42%
Students with disabilities
3%
English language learners
1%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
123%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
96%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
6%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
75% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
17%
45% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
95%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
82%
49% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
9.4
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
50%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
50%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
38%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
94%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
80%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
45%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
99%
29% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
100%
38% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, and Visual arts
This school has 5 licensed arts teacher in Visual arts (part-time), Dance, Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
62%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
74%
56% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
73%
69% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
100%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
100%
87% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
100%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
54%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
0%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
100%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
96%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
98%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
100%
43% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
67%
67% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
72%
86% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
86%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
86%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

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.

Academics

Language Courses

French, Mandarin, Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Softball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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Location

34-12 36th Avenue
Astoria NY 11106
Long Island City (District 30)
Trains: M, R to 36th St; N, Q to 36 Ave-Washington Ave
Buses: Q101, Q102, Q104, Q66

Contact

Phone
718-361-5275
Principal
Kelly Johnson
Parent Coordinator
Margaret Pasach