The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Engaging hands-on work and positive school culture

The Downside

Below average attendance

Our Review

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers delivers on its theme: it prepares students for eco-friendly jobs in construction and agriculture.

In a program called Green Buildings, students learn how to retrofit old buildings with solar panels and insulation. They learn about design, engineering, architecture, renewable energies and buildings management and maintenance. All work towards a professional GPRO (Green Professional Building Skills) certification by graduation.

In the Green Spaces program, students cultivate crops in the schools outdoor garden, design outdoor spaces, cook in the kitchen classroom and develop eco-friendly solutions to problems such as pest control. Students study agriculture, botany, forestry, landscape architecture and green technologies.

The school climate has improved markedly in recent years. The Department of Education called it well-developed, the highest possible marks on its Quality Review. However, the school still has high rates of chronic absenteeism and the graduation rate has a way to go.

During our visit, we found the schools tone to be calm and friendly. Students worked quietly together and were respectful of one another. Many academic classes serve a mix of grades. In these, older students model good behavior for the younger ones; freshmen appreciate working alongside juniors and seniors.

Teachers and staff have put in a lot of effort into creating a system of supports known as Keepers of the Culture (KOC). Students who exhibit learning or behavioral challenges receive peer mentoring and develop strategies to improve their conduct. For instance, a student may promise to not sit next to a certain friend in class in order to fend off the temptation to talk rather than work.

In all classes students have a lot of self-paced work. In a mixed-grade English class, a senior may work with a freshman on a project and shared readings and then each will tackle an independent assignment and books tailored to their skill levels and interests. In a geometry class we visited, students worked at their own pacesome were reviewing concepts with the teacher or watching a lesson on Khan Academy, while others were plowing through problem sets or creating study guides.

At the heart of academic instruction is the school's use of a program called unison reading. In most classes, students break into small groups and read aloudin unison. In English and science, students choose from magazine articles or essays on topics they are studying; in math they may review a student-created study guide and discuss how to solve problems. Whenever a student is unsure of the meaning of word or passage, or wants to address something raised in the text, the group "breaches", meaning they stop reading, discuss, jot down notes, and then get back to reading in unison.

We observed students in an English class reading and writing on topics such as mental illness, sexual identity, Buddhism, and mandatory vaccination policies. Every two weeks students are expected to submit written papers that synthesize their readings.

In addition to English studies, students take a separate class dedicated to writing where they explore their interests and develop their voice. All present their work, both drafts and polished pieces, to their class for peer review.

Students take four years of science: Earth science (9th grade), living environment (10th grade), and a two-year course in applied physics that emphasizes hands-on work and problem solving.

Classes in each subject meet three times a week for 70 minutes each. This allows teachers time to incorporate discussions and group work into lessons as well as one-on-one counseling with students. Homework tends to be an extension of classwork; students have projects and tasks to complete and whatever they dont finish in class, they work on at home.

The school has a fulltime college counselor and a partnership coordinator, who manages internship placements at places such as the United States Forest Service, Siemens and the Sustainable Directions program. Juniors take an SAT prep class during the school day, where youll find groups of students working through practice problems in unison.

Jacobs Pickles, a local eatery that supports urban gardens, helps raise funds for the school and provides paid summer internships for Green Careers students.

Green Careers opened in 2008 and is housed in the Brandeis High School Complex. All high school students in the building may participate in campus-wide sports teams.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT classes and SETSS.

ADMISSIONS: Limited unscreened. Priority to Manhattan students who attend an open house. Many students from other boroughs are admitted. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016)

About the students

Enrollment
319
Asian
1.6%
Black
27.0%
Hispanic
64.6%
White
4.4%
Other
2.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
84%
Students with disabilities
27%
English language learners
14%
Male
55%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus with four other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
88%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
83%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
49%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
16%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
87%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
50%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
2.9
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
81%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
89%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
67%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
50%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
59%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
88%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 5 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and an Auditorium
This school has 3 licensed arts teachers in Visual arts (part-time) and Dance

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
67%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
51%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
64%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
60%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
0%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
13%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
10%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
8%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
49%
63% Citywide Average
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 many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
52%
65% 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?
67%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
62%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
66%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
64%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
38%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

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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