The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

145 WEST 84 STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10024 Map
Phone: (212) 787-1189
Website: Click here
Admissions: Manhattan priority
Principal: Madeleine Ciliotta-Young
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
District: 3
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: MARIA SOTO
Environmental Science
Vocational

Buses: BxM2, M10, M104, M11, M5, M7, M79, M86-SBS

What's special:

Engaging hands-on work and positive school culture

The downside:

Below average attendance

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers delivers on its theme: it prepares students for eco-friendly jobs in construction and agriculture.

In a program called Green Buildings, students learn how to retrofit old buildings with solar panels and insulation. They learn about design, engineering, architecture, renewable energies and buildings management and maintenance. All work towards a professional GPRO (Green Professional Building Skills) certification by graduation.

In the Green Spaces program, students cultivate crops in the school’s outdoor garden, design outdoor spaces, cook in the kitchen classroom and develop eco-friendly solutions to problems such as pest control. Students study agriculture, botany, forestry, landscape architecture and green technologies.

The school climate has improved markedly in recent years. The Department of Education called it “well-developed,” the highest possible marks on its Quality Review. However, the school still has high rates of chronic absenteeism and the graduation rate has a way to go.

During our visit, we found the school’s tone to be calm and friendly. Students worked quietly together and were respectful of one another. Many academic classes serve a mix of grades. In these, older students model good behavior for the younger ones; freshmen appreciate working alongside juniors and seniors.

Teachers and staff have put in a lot of effort into creating a system of supports known as Keepers of the Culture (KOC). Students who exhibit learning or behavioral challenges receive peer mentoring and develop strategies to improve their conduct. For instance, a student may promise to not sit next to a certain friend in class in order to fend off the temptation to talk rather than work.

In all classes students have a lot of self-paced work. In a mixed-grade English class, a senior may work with a freshman on a project and shared readings and then each will tackle an independent assignment and books tailored to their skill levels and interests. In a geometry class we visited, students worked at their own pace—some were reviewing concepts with the teacher or watching a lesson on Khan Academy, while others were plowing through problem sets or creating study guides.

At the heart of academic instruction is the school's use of a program called “unison reading.” In most classes, students break into small groups and read aloud—in unison. In English and science, students choose from magazine articles or essays on topics they are studying; in math they may review a student-created study guide and discuss how to solve problems. Whenever a student is unsure of the meaning of word or passage, or wants to address something raised in the text, the group "breaches", meaning they stop reading, discuss, jot down notes, and then get back to reading in unison.

We observed students in an English class reading and writing on topics such as mental illness, sexual identity, Buddhism, and mandatory vaccination policies. Every two weeks students are expected to submit written papers that synthesize their readings.

In addition to English studies, students take a separate class dedicated to writing where they explore their interests and develop their voice. All present their work, both drafts and polished pieces, to their class for peer review.

Students take four years of science: Earth science (9th grade), living environment (10th grade), and a two-year course in applied physics that emphasizes hands-on work and problem solving.

Classes in each subject meet three times a week for 70 minutes each. This allows teachers time to incorporate discussions and group work into lessons as well as one-on-one counseling with students. Homework tends to be an extension of classwork; students have projects and tasks to complete and whatever they don’t finish in class, they work on at home.

The school has a fulltime college counselor and a partnership coordinator, who manages internship placements at places such as the United States Forest Service, Siemens and the Sustainable Directions program. Juniors take an SAT prep class during the school day, where you’ll find groups of students working through practice problems in unison.

Jacob’s Pickles, a local eatery that supports urban gardens, helps raise funds for the school and provides paid summer internships for Green Careers students.

Green Careers opened in 2008 and is housed in the Brandeis High School Complex. All high school students in the building may participate in campus-wide sports teams.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT classes and SETSS.

ADMISSIONS: Limited unscreened. Priority to Manhattan students who attend an open house. Many students from other boroughs are admitted. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus with four other schools

Number of Students 333

Average Daily Attendance 83%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
28%

Hispanic

  
66%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
93%

Special ed

  
27%

English Language Learners

  
14%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.18 2.39 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

71% 74% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

81% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

87% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

50% 41% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2015

How many students graduated within 4 years?

68% 69% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

0% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

55% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

13% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

0%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

1%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

3%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

10% 32% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

371
424 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 495 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

43% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

393
432 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 511 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

59% 48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

43% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

48% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

Limited Unscreened

Academics

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Gardening, Green Team, After-school Tutoring, Central Park Sports, Latin Dance, Gay-Straight Alliance, Student Government, Video Game, Theatre Arts, Poetry Writing and Performance, Running and Fitness, Weightlifting

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Volleyball

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Intramural Basketball, Yoga

Source: High school directory 2015-2016

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