The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science

An Insideschools pick
An Insideschools pick for Special Education
1595 BATHGATE AVENUE
BRONX NY 10457 Map
Phone: (718) 466-7800
Website: Click here
Admissions: Priority to Bronx residents
Principal: David Krulwich
Neighborhood: South Bronx
District: 9
Grade range: 6-12
Parent Coordinator: Yelena Ramirez
Science & Math

Buses: Bx11, Bx15, Bx17, Bx21, Bx32, Bx41

What's special:

High expectations and lots of support, strong math and science instruction

The downside:

Space is tight in a shared building

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science (AMS) creative, hands-on lessons and supportive staff help students stay engaged in math and science. Most students arrive in 6th grade and stay through high school. Though many start off with weak skills, by the end of 8th grade roughly half of the students pass the algebra Regents exam. The school has graduation and college-readiness rates that far exceed the citywide average and sends some graduates to highly selective colleges like Cornell and Brown—a particularly impressive accomplishment given that the school doesn't screen students for ability and most come from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country.

The school is orderly and calm, but not rigid. Students wear uniforms and have to follow the rules, but the staff is more likely to admonish a student for getting to class late than for sporting an untucked shirt. Teachers also offer an unusual level of support—making home visits to 6th-graders before the school year begins, or sending an early-morning text message to a child who struggles with attendance. In class, teachers promote good work habits, like how to take notes and organize a binder. They also lead advisory groups that give students a forum to discuss their feelings and connect with others. Instead of the rushed parent-teacher meetings that take place in most schools, parents at AMS meet with their child’s advisor three times a year for in-depth conferences. 

Instruction emphasizes depth over breadth and teachers devote a lot of class time to lengthy projects, which encourage students to think creatively and develop what Principal David Krulwich describes as “stick-to-it-ness.” Krulwich joined AMS in 2005 first as a math coach, then as assistant principal under founding principal Ken Baum. He became principal in 2012. “In higher level courses kids need to be challenged to figure things out,” said Kulwich. “How many kids are asked to spend 10 minutes, one hour or even three hours on a math problem?”

For instance, 9th-graders in algebra 2 learn about functions by spending a week researching the income tax code and evaluating the merits of a progressive tax (a piecewise function) versus a flat tax. In living environment, they head to a nearby park to collect data on its biomass (total mass of living organisms). In the 6th and 7th grades students hone their fundamental math skills, spending a week charting their dream cross-country trip or planning a party, working out all measurements, calculations and costs involved. Students write essays explaining their choices and conclusions and wrap up their projects with oral presentations to their class.

In 6th and 7th grade, classes mix children of different abilities. Starting in 8th grade, struggling students are placed with the strongest teachers in smaller groups. In one class, we watched the teacher explain a graphing activity. A girl in the back row did the work perfectly, explaining it step-by-step to a visitor. “Teachers are nice and young and inspiring,” said 8th-grader Ishmael.

Not all students excel in math, but everyone sticks with it. If they are not ready for geometry or trigonometry, struggling students take applied math courses such as city planning or modeling. Stronger students, mainly those who pass the algebra Regents in 8th grade, stick with a traditional sequence that keeps them on path for calculus. Students can also take advanced placement biology. All high school seniors study statistics and take a non-Regents physics class that emphasizes design and hands-on learning, such as building a model airplane wing and then testing it in a wind tunnel for design flaws.

Sixth-grade students have an extended day as part of the Department of Education’s Middle School Quality Initiative that provides extra support in literacy for high needs middle school students.

AMS shares its sleek, modern building with Validus Prep Academy and Bronx Mott Hall. The facilities are nice, but space is limited. To keep most class sizes small, the school had to convert a resource room to a regular classroom. High school students can participate in campus-wide sports teams. There’s a range of extra-curricular activities such as art, dance, chess, hip-hop, science research, robotics, math league, Mock Trial and student newspaper. Students make multiple overnight trips to Black Rock Forest to study science and to camp outdoors.

AMS founded and hosts Pi5NY, an annual, citywide math competition for middle school students.

College: Top students attend colleges like Cornell, Brown and NYU. A large block of graduates attends the entire range of SUNYs as well as two-and four-year CUNYs. Over half attend four-year colleges. The college office stays in touch with alumni to an unusual degree via email, Facebook and phone.

Special education: To manage an increase in students with special needs, AMS has added an extra guidance counselor, in addition to the licensed special education teacher on each grade. Children who need special help are often placed in smaller classes with strong teachers, rather than in larger team-taught classes.

Admissions: Priority to Bronx residents who demonstrate an interest in the school by attending a fair, information session or open house. (Lydie Raschka, October 2012, updated, Laura Zingmond, March 2014)

Middle InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Bathgate Educational Campus

Number of Students 605

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
33%

Hispanic

  
64%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
93%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.73 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Safety & vibe

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

54% 64% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say this school offers enough programs to keep them interested?

70% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE KIDS NICE?

How many students complain about bullying?

76% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students say students at their school respect one another?

48% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

82% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

80% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

86% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

22 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

31% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

17% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

12% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

35% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS Prep

How many 8th graders pass high school regents exams?

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass the algebra regents:

50% 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 8th graders who take and pass a science regents:

0% 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

91% 85% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

4% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

8% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

8% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

3% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

14% 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HS InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Bathgate Educational Campus

Number of Students 605

Average Daily Attendance 90%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
2%

Black

  
33%

Hispanic

  
64%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
93%

Special ed

  
19%

English Language Learners

  
11%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.41 2.80 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


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

Middle school students reading at grade level:

2% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Middle school students doing math at grade level:

2% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

28 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

54% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

80% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

77% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

82% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

31% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many students graduated within 4 years?

89% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

97% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

94% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

13% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

NA 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

3% 11% 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?

8%

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

9%

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

16%

Are students ready for college?

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

33% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

400
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 62% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

426
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

75% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

75% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

100% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

90% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

74% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Priority to continuing 8th graders
  2. Then to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session
  3. Then to New York City residents who attend an information session
  4. Then to Bronx students or residents
  5. Then to New York City residents

Source: High school directory

The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Art Club (Ceramics, Chess, Community Service Projects, Dance (Classical, Digital, Drama, Graphic), Hip-Hop, Japanese, Jazz, Literature Circles, Math League, Mock Trial, Music (Instrumental, Peer Counseling, Piano, Production, Robotics, Siemens Science Research Class, Step), Student Advisory, Student Government, Student Newspaper, Tutoring, Visual Arts, Vocal), Wilderness/Camping.

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Cross Country, Softball, Wrestling

Other schools sports: Boys: Basketball (JV); Girls: Basketball (JV and Varsity), Double Dutch, Volleyball; Co-ed Tennis, Track

Source: High school directory

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