Urban Assembly Unison School

170 GATES AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11238 Map
Phone: (718) 399-1061
Website: Click here
Admissions: District 13
Principal: Emily Jarrell
Neighborhood: Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill
District:13
Grade range: 6-8
Unzoned
Wheelchair Accessible
New School

What's special:

Commitment to parent involvement; school day ends at 6 p.m.

The downside:

Low enrollment

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The Urban Assembly Unison School is a new middle school District 13 that offers a school day which ends at 6 p.m and a commitment to parent involvement. Teachers make home visits and invite parents on field trips such as an overnight trip to an outdoor education center. Unison, opened with a 6th grade in fall 2012, shares space with PS 56.

The Urban Assembly, a nonprofit organization, has a track record for opening small, innovative, theme-based middle and secondary schools.

The inspiration for the Urban Assembly Unison School came from the work of New York University Professor Cynthia McCallister, who pioneered a practice called “unison reading.” Working closely with a successful Manhattan school, PS/MS 126, McAllister introduced this structured, yet hands-on method of teaching reading. “Her instructional model is the best one I have seen,” said Jennifer Ostrow, Unison's founding principal. Ostrow left the school for personal reasons after the 2012-2013 school year but was replaced by Emily Jarrell,  a "learning cultures coach" in the unison reading instructional model. (Video on this page, taken from the school's website, describes the unison reading model.)

In unison reading, students of different levels “read aloud in synch but stop when they have an ‘huh?’ or ‘ahah’ moment,” said Ostrow.  “The slower readers do better when reading with a social group and the more proficient readers improve their skills when they stop to explain to others.” In class, students alternate between group activities (such as unison reading), working independently on projects or one to one conferences with the teacher.

The school day at Unison ends at 6 pm. Extended day activities are provided by Citizen Schools, an organization which works with middle schools in low income neighborhoods. Students connect with adults from different professions, get academic support and take part in teamwork activities.

Enrollment in the first few years has been low, making it difficult to offer as many courses and activities as the school would like, according to Sharon Jacker, Unison's business manager.

Satellite III middle school, also sharing the PS 56 building, is phasing out and will close by 2014.

Special education: Integrated co-teaching classes are offered.

Admissions: Priority goes to District 13 students who attend a fair or information session or otherwise express interest in the school. (Pamela Wheaton, interviews, July 2013 and March 2012)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares a building with PS 56

Number of Students 139

Average Daily Attendance 94%

Uniforms? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
8%

Black

  
74%

Hispanic

  
16%

White

  
1%

Free Lunch

  
89%

Special ed

  
22%

English Language Learners

  
14%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.68 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?

38% 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?

87% 71% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

32% 57% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

77% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

85% 79% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

22 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students are chronically absent?

15% 24% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam

7% 25% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ela exam

15% 22% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 science exam

NA 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:

NA 21% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

NA 14% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How do graduates do in 9th grade?

Percent who pass all their classes freshman year:

NA 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 2014 math exam:

0% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 1% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 5% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 4% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 math exam:

0% 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

0% 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

8% 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the 2014 ELA exam:

NA 13% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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