Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about MELS.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page or elsewhere on this site, please feel free to reach out to us.

Instructional Program

1. What is Expeditionary Learning and how is Outward Bound involved?

See our Academics section for more information on our instructional model.

2. What is Project-Based Learning?

Project-Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.

In a project-based unit, students are engaged in solving a real-world problem that includes a motivating kickoff experience, relevant and inspiring guiding questions, meaningful fieldwork, and a culminating event where students share their projects.

3. What is Crew?

Crews are a special and supportive aspect of the MELS experience.  Crews are teams of 10-16 students led by a teacher, the Crew Advisor, that meet daily at the beginning of the day.  Crews focus on building essential character and academic skills through a combination of team building, student-centered academic support, conflict resolution, and adventure.

Crews support the development of personal and academic goals and foster a positive connection between students, as well as between students and their advisor.

During Crew, students and advisors discuss life in and out of the classroom, organize work for student portfolios, and engage in activities aimed at strengthening academic performance and building character skills such as perseverance, initiative, compassion, and empathy.

4. What is Crew Orientation?

Crew Orientation is a unique feature and benefit of attending a NYC Outward Bound Schools like MELS. By integrating a four day outdoor course trip with classroom activities, Crew Orientation helps students develop character skills—such as grit, resilience, and curiosity—which have been shown to be key contributors to students’ success in college and beyond.

During their 6th grade year, middle school students participate in this experience at an Outward Bound wilderness course in update New York. While on course, students tackle team-building initiatives and develop the ability to camp and communicate under challenging circumstances. In the classroom, students are prepared to get the most out of the course before they go, and upon their return they participate in a series of activities aimed at helping them to internalize their newly developed character skills, so that they can draw upon them when faced with challenges at school, in college, and in their lives

5. What Special Education services are provided?

For all grades, we provide related services, SETSS, Team Teaching, and Special Class (12:1 and 12:1:1).

6. Will there be honors classes?

Honors classes will not be offered. Students will not be grouped by ability level. In high school, AP classes are offered to students who choose to take them.

7. Does MELS provide rich experiences in the Arts?

Yes- we have a very strong program in the arts! Visual Arts and Instrumental Music are offered in both middle and high school. In addition, once our students enter high school we offer additional programs that allow students to explore theater and vocal music. Our school believes in supporting the whole child, which includes a rich experience in the arts.


1. Who else shares the campus?

We share the building with the Queens Metropolitan High School as well as P.S. 233.  Although we share the building, students from each of the schools are separated from the other students during school hours. In addition the Middle School students and the High School students each have their own distinct areas within the building.

2. Is there a uniform?

Our students wear a uniform consisting of khaki pants and a school shirt (t-shirt or collared shirt).

3. Do you offer afterschool programs?

Yes, we offer a wide variety of programs including Sports, Speech and Debate, Theater, Coding, and Yoga. Our Afterschool Programs change each year based on student interests and instructor availability.  Information is provided to families at the beginning of each school year.

For students interested in learning more about Music Club, Speech Team, National Honor Society, and other activities, please reach out to Ms. Mills (

Our afterschool PSAL (Public School Athletic League) sports teams start in high school and are campus-wide (students from both MELS and Queens Metro HS participate).

For students interested in PSAL athletics, please contact Ms. Priestly ( about campus teams.

4. What about sports programs?

Our afterschool PSAL (Public School Athletic League) sports teams start in high school and are campus-wide (students from both MELS and Queens Metro HS participate). Offerings include:

Girls Varsity Swimming
Girls Cross-Country
Boys Cross-Country
Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball
Girls Varsity Soccer
Boys Varsity Soccer

Girls Indoor Track & Field
Boys Indoor Track & Field
Boys JV and Varsity Basketball
Girls JV and Varsity Volleyball
Blended Varsity Wrestling

Girls Outdoor Track & Field
Boys Outdoor Track & Field
Boys Varsity Baseball
Girls Varsity Softball
Girls JV Soccer
Boys Varsity Volleyball
Coed Stunt

For students interested in PSAL athletics, please contact Ms. Priestly ( about campus teams.

5. How do I apply to work at MELS?

Please reach out to to learn more about opportunities to work at MELS. Please include a copy of your resume with a brief paragraph about why you are interested in joining our team.