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Our Insights

What’s Special

Engaging hands-on work; prepares students for eco-friendly jobs; positive school culture

The Downside

Student attendance needs to improve

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 study design, engineering, architecture, renewable energies and buildings management and maintenance. Among the projects they tackle, students build a “tiny house,” a one room structure fitted with all necessary facilities including a working bathroom, solar energy and insulation. All students work towards a professional GPRO (Green Professional Building Skills) certification by graduation.

In the Green Spaces program, students cultivate crops in the school’s 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.

Principal Madeleine Ciliotta-Young has been at Green Careers since it opened in 2009, starting out as a teacher and then an assistant principal before taking the helm in 2016.

The school gets mainly high marks for curriculum and environment in its most recent Quality Review. Its graduation rate has improved dramatically in recent years, though it has high rates of chronic absenteeism.

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.

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 math, students work at their own pace—some review concepts with the teacher or watch a lesson on Khan Academy, while others were plowing through problem sets or creating study guides.

The school’s tone is calm and friendly and teachers and staff have put in a lot of effort into creating a supportive environment. Students who exhibit learning or behavioral challenges receive peer mentoring and develop strategies to improve their skills and 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.

Teachers also lead four sections of classes a day, which is less than the typical load of five. The manageable instructional schedule allows them more time to provide individualized help to students and to pitch in as a co-teacher in another class. 

At the heart of academic instruction is the school's use of a program called unison reading where students read aloud together in small groups. 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.

In English students select their own topics to read and write about and every two weeks students produce written papers that synthesize their readings. All take a separate class dedicated to writing. 

Students take four years of science including a two-year course in applied physics that emphasizes hands-on work and problem solving. Math classes range from algebra to calculus. Statistics is a popular option for seniors.

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 don’t finish in class, they work on at home.

Some seniors take a reduced class load so they may leave school early for internships or to take free courses for credit at CUNY schools such as Hunter and City College. There is 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 you’ll find groups of students working through practice problems in unison.

Jacob 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 and activities such as theater. Green Careers also offers their own range of clubs and activities

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are ICT classes and SETSS. The school has an above-average graduation rate for students with disabilities. (Laura Zingmond, May 2016; updated via interview, August 2018)

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School Stats

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


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 599


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers (A13A)

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

UAGC's CTE program engages students through both hands-on and academic exposure to the chief theories, and practices within both the urban agriculture and building science fields. Within this program, students learn directly from industry experts, engage in work-site visits, compete for industry-based paid internships, and have the option to earn industry certifications. All students select their major after 9th grade. CTE Endorsed diploma is available for Building Science pathway.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Calculus (Advanced Math), Physics (Advanced Placement), Physics (Advanced Science)

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


145 West 84 Street
Manhattan NY 10024

Trains: 1 Line to 86th St; B Line, C Line to 81st St - Museum of Natural History

Buses: BxM2, M10, M104, M11, M5, M7, M79-SBS, M86-SBS


Principal: Kerry Rutishauser

Parent Coordinator: Paloma Paredes Jaquez


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Louis D. Brandeis Educational Campus with four other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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