Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, The

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick Staff Pick for Special Ed
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What’s Special

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

The Downside

Space is tight in a shared building

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 sends some graduates to highly selective colleges like Cornell and Browna 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 supportmaking 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 childs 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 Educations 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. Theres 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. ( Laura Zingmond, March 2014; updated February 2015)

About the students

Enrollment
635
Asian
0.5%
Black
35.0%
Hispanic
63.3%
White
0.6%
Other
0.6%
Free or reduced priced lunch
95%
Students with disabilities
27%
English language learners
12%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Bathgate Educational Campus with two other schools
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
117%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
90%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
30%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
83%
74% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
31%
22% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
81%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
44%
48% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.9
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
89%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
83%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
84%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
53%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
88%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
88%
83% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
28%
30% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
18%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 4 licensed arts teachers in Dance (part-time), Music, and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
69%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
52%
52% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
68%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
80%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
82%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, The and Fordham HS for the Arts
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
86%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
25%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
5%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
43%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
71%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
64%
71% 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%
7% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
80%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.96
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
1.99
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.78
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
1.97
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.33
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.17
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
69%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
84%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
89%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
88%
87% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
71%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Softball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Double Dutch

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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