Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Grades 9-11
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Hands-on instruction in design and technology

The Downside

Too soon to tell how the school will develop.

Our Review

The Urban Assembly Maker Academy (UA Maker) is a CTE (career and technical education) school inspired by the maker movement, which promotes the use of technology and design principles to solve everyday problems. The school opened in September 2014 with strong partnerships with Control Group, a design firm that helped develop the maker components of the curriculum, Parsons School of Design and Spring Point Schools, which helped design the school and provided start-up funds. UA Maker started with a 9th grade and plans to expand by one grade each year.

Founding principal Luke Bauer worked at Odell Education as the director of professional development prior to opening UA Maker. Bauer also taught high school and middle school social studies for many years, first in Kansas and then as a teacher and assistant principal at East Bronx Academy for the Future.

All students take a full load of academic classes in addition to learning design skills in maker classes. Ninth- and 10th-graders study three core areas in design: interaction design (which focuses on the user experience of design), physical computing and digital media. In the upper grades students will pick one area to major in. Seniors will have to complete an exit or capstone project where they will work in teams to design a marketable solution to an industry problem.

Plans are in place to open a maker space at the school during the 2015-16 school year. The large open space is set to be the hub for all hands-on design work, equipped with heavy-duty equipment such as laser and vinyl cutters and 3-D printers that the school has already purchased.

As an unscreened school, UA Maker serves a broad range of struggling, average and high-achieving students. The school has put in place some innovative measures to ensure all students get individual attention and the opportunity to work at their own pace and skill level.

For example, students take structured study halls called independent choice periods. They set goals at the start of each period such as working on a group project or doing some extra practice exercises in a skill they struggle in, and the teacher in charge monitors students fulfillment of their goals. Teachers also use this time to work with individual students to help them identify learning obstacles and devise solutions. One girls solution to incomplete homework was to eliminate a big distraction at home: She gave her cell phone to her mom for one-and-a-half hours each night.

Classes in each subject meet three times a week for varying lengths of 45, 70 and 90 minutes. This allows teachers time to incorporate lots of discussion and projects into the lengthier classes, and to focus on specific skills and review during the 45-minute classes.

All freshmen take an applied physics course that emphasizes more design concepts and hands-on learning than the standard Regents physics curriculum. They also take United States history and either algebra or geometry, depending on their incoming skill level.

To help all students keep up with instruction in English, teachers rely on differentiated texts (middle-, high school- and college- level) covering the same topics of study.

The upper-grade academic curriculum was still in development at the time of our visit, but will include standard Regents courses such as living environment, chemistry, global history and algebra II/trigonometry as well as Advanced Placement courses, said Bauer.

UA Maker is housed in the Murry Bergtraum High School building, which is home to the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising and Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management. In addition to school-run activities such as photography, debate and dance clubs, students from all schools in the building may participate in campus-wide sports teams.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has ICT (integrated co-teaching) classes and SETSS (special education teacher support services).

ADMISSIONS: Priority to Manhattan residents or students who attend an information session and then to all New York City students who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, March 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
290
Asian
11.7%
Black
26.2%
Hispanic
46.6%
White
10.0%
Other
5.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
77%
Students with disabilities
13%
English language learners
3%
Male
70%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Murry Bergtraum Educational Campus with three other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
51%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
88%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
39%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
9%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
90%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
70%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.0
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
44%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
94%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 0 dedicated spaces for the arts.
This school has 0 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, Theater or Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
78%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
46%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
77%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

Are students prepared for college?

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
58%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
81%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
81%
89% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Urban Assembly Maker Academy
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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