The Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law

350 GRAND STREET
MANHATTAN NY 10002 Map
Phone: (212) 505-0745
Website: Click here
Admissions: Manhattan priority
Principal: Alison Breedy
Neighborhood: Lower East Side/ Chinatown
District:2
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: EMILIA WOODS
Law & Government

Buses: M103, M14AD, M15, M15-SBS, M21, M22, M9

What's special:

Lots of support for incoming freshman; early college awareness

The downside:

Limited course offerings; some teacher turnover and discontent

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The Urban Assembly Academy for Government and Law (AGL), delivers on its name, infusing law and civics into most areas of the curriculum. The school was founded with the help of Urban Assembly, a not-for-profit group that assists in the creation of small college preparatory schools.

The school has a traditional feel. Housed in the Seward Park Educational Campus, the school’s stately blue hallways are lined with college banners; students wear preppy uniforms of khaki or blue pants and blue collared shirts. In classrooms observed, teaching styles were mixed and student-teacher interaction was relaxed. Some teachers rely on lots of hands-on learning, like in chemistry class, where students hovered over tin pans filled with water and splashes conducting “oil spill” experiments aimed at identifying factors – rain, waves, objects, etc. – that cause oil to disperse in a body of water.

In all grades there are themed classes, such as the 11th grade government class, where students sat quietly in rows watching a political cartoon connecting Occupy Wall Street to periods of economic unrest in the 1930’s and 1960’s.   In Forensics, AGL’s 10th grade science class, students were chatty, but on-task as they took measurements of each other as part of a lesson on anthropometry, the science of human measurement.

Most of AGL’s students start high school performing below grade level. Some arrive with a history of “massive absences” in middle school, according to Assistant Principal Andrea Brand. To ease their transition to high school, 9th graders attend classes in a cluster of rooms tucked at the end of one hallway. They also attend a mandatory, extended-day program, and, with 10th graders, take separate classes for reading and writing instruction each day.

Students in all grades attend themed, small group advisories. Advisory in the lower grades focus on study skills and community service; the upper grade advisories address preparation for college. Graduate students in law and social work from New York University provide tutoring and counsel services to students.

Typical of small schools, Urban Assembly’s course offerings are limited. Students can take Advanced Placement American History, Spanish and English as well as several College Now classes. Spanish is the only foreign language taught. Extra-curricular activities, such as the school’s law and mock trial teams, are where students enjoy variety.

David Glasner has been principal of the school since July, 2009. Prior to taking the helm, he served for one year as the school’s assistant principal and taught for several years at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics.

In the 2010-11 Learning Environment survey, teachers gave low marks to the administration. Brand said there is teacher turnover every year, and that the dissatisfaction expressed in the survey stems, in part, from some teachers leaving because they’re not a good fit for the school. “Our students have a lot of needs and teaching them is a very demanding job,” said Brand. “Everyone has multiple responsibilities here. If you’re not wearing five hats in this school, you’re not doing a good job. “

College admissions: Most graduates attend CUNY or nearby SUNY schools, but some have ventured further to schools including Howard University, Syracuse University, Virginia State and Wheaton College. In addition to college-focused advisories, students visit colleges and take an SAT prep course onsite.

Special Education: Roughly ten percent of students have special needs. There are ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) classes, each lead by two teachers and a student support team that includes two full-time social workers and several social work interns.

After school: Ninth graders have mandatory extended day instruction. Offerings range from student government and academic help to after school clubs such as art, drama, basketball and step team. Student athletes can participate in the campus-wide PSAL teams.

Admissions: Limited unscreened. (Laura Zingmond, October 2011)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

Seward Park Educational Campus

Number of Students 326

Average Daily Attendance 86%

Uniforms? Yes

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
6%

Black

  
41%

Hispanic

  
50%

White

  
3%

Free Lunch

  
82%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
5%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.80 2.80 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?

49% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

20% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

42% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

40% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

83% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

71% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

78% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

2% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

77% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

12% 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?

17%

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

15%

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

13%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

17% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

413
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

68%

SAT math scores

389
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?

79% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

46% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

80% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

96% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

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

Source: High school directory

The Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law

Limited Unscreened

Academics

AP COURCES: Economics: Micro, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language, United States History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Student Government, Art, Basketball, Soccer, Music, Weight Room, Law Team, Freaks and Geeks, Senior Committee, Mentoring, Soccer, Tutoring in all subject areas.

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

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball, Bowling, Tennis, Volleyball

Other schools sports: AGL Intramural Basketball

Source: High school directory

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