Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology

An Insideschools pick
439 WEST 49TH STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10019 Map
Phone: (212) 246-1041
Website: Click here
Admissions: Priority to Manhattan
Principal: April Mckoy
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
District: 2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Greisys Feliz
Computer Science & Technology
New School

Buses: M10, M104, M11, M20, M31, M34A-SBS, M42, M50, M57, M7

What's special:

A friendly haven for techies

The downside:

Popularity reduces the odds of getting in

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Students at Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology have unusual access to computers every day, yet human bonds are all-important in this safe, close-knit school, where students greet each other with hugs and high-fives between classes and collaborate on creative projects and lessons.

In addition to the typical array of high school courses, students pick one of three career tracks: Digital Animation and Web Design, Computer and Information Technology, or Health Information Technology. As early as 9th grade, students may earn IC3 certification, a globally recognized and exam-based certification in basic computer and internet literacy.

The school's theme has struck a chord—more than 800 8th-graders applied for 108 spots in 2011, its founding year, and the applicant list topped 1,300 in 2015. Boys outnumber girls about four to one, but girls take a leadership role in the school's Mouse Squad, the team that keeps computers in running order and does random online "history" checks to curb improper internet use. Girls may also participate in an all-female advisory group. Those we spoke to said they are eager to jump into technology careers: "I want to be a part of it," said one.

Principal April McKoy, a former social studies teacher from Brooklyn College Academy, has an eye for good instructional practice and helps maintain a balance between screen-time and face-time. We saw discussion and activities in every classroom rather than long teacher lectures.

The humanities are strong here too and several students said history or English was their favorite subject. Complementary themes in English and social studies help students deepen their understanding. Tenth-graders study Afghanistan in global studies, for example, at the same time that they read The Kite Runner, a novel set in Afghanistan, in English class. Teens read novels such as The Joy Luck Club and Great Expectations, supplementing with poetry or articles that inform the time period or themes.

During our visit we noted kind and friendly relations between students. We also noticed tardiness, particularly among seniors. McKoy tries to help teens solve problems leading to tardiness such as those who must drop a younger sibling at their school first. She often greets students with a cheery, "Good morning, darling!" Teachers like her management style: "We've got the best principal in the DOE," a technology teacher said.

Students who fall behind visit the after-school tutoring program called GOLD (goal-oriented learning development). Teachers set goals with 3 to 5 students who are falling behind each day, so they "don't lose hope," said McKoy. She believes GOLD is a key to students' above-average Regent's exam passing rates in history, math and English. A guidance counselor on each grade level also keeps students on track. Teachers are highly visible and engaged.

Some students do not have computers at home, and they must learn to curb their impulses to get off-track or they lose privileges. "It's flexible but strict, in a good way," said a 9th grader. There isn't time to teach touch-typing so we saw a lot of hunt-and-peck–typing, but students also write the old-fashoned way, especially when composing stories.

The school year begins with an overnight camping trip, and staff visits the home of every incoming 9th-grader. Clubs include martial arts, skateboarding, drama, programming and digital photography. The "gamer haven" club is especially popular.

Community service begins close to home with students assisting in bulletin board design, sprucing up classrooms and improving the atmosphere in the cafeteria. They also take trips to college campuses and may secure internships at the Hospital for Special Surgery, among other locations.

UAG is one of more than 20 schools created and run by the nonprofit Urban Assembly. It shares the Graphics Educational Campus along with the High School of Graphic Communication Arts, the Business of Sports School and Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School. Sports are campus-wide.

COLLEGE: The first graduating class in 2015 included a POSSE scholarship winner, as well as acceptances to Northeastern University, Occidental and St. Lawrence University. A few students planned to join the military.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students are integrated in ICT classes with general education students and two teachers.

ADMISSIONS: Priority to Manhattan students or residents who attend an information session or fair. (Lydie Raschka, April 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Graphics Educational Campus

Number of Students 472

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
8%

Black

  
31%

Hispanic

  
54%

White

  
6%

Free Lunch

  
100%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
2%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.43 2.40 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

25 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

65% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

85% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

100% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

20% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

NA 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

NA 10% 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?

NA

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

NA

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

NA

Are students ready for college?

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

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

NA
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

NA
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

84% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

NA 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

NA 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

71% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

82% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to Manhattan students or residents who attend an information session
  2. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to Manhattan students or residents
  4. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

UA Gateway

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: Art History, Calculus AB, English Language and Composition, Physics B, Spanish Language and Culture, Studio Art: 3-D Design, United States History

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Individualized Peer and Teacher Tutoring, 3-D Modeling, Big Brothers Big Sisters (American Express), CoderDojo, Cooking, Drama, Film Production, Gamer Haven, Homework Help, Martial Arts, MMO 3.0 (Massive Multiplayer Online Games), Math, Media Crew, Men of Strength, Moth StorySlam, MOUSE Squad - Beginner and Advanced, Regents Preparation, Robotics, JROTC, Skateboarding with Stoke, Student Government, Technovation Challenge (App-Design for Girls), Yearbook

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Outdoor Track

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Handball, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

Other schools sports: Flag Football, Running, Skateboarding, Weight Training, Yoga

Source: High school directory

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