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Urban Assembly School for Music and Art

Grades: 9-12
49 Flatbush Avenue Extension
Brooklyn NY 11201
Phone: 718-858-0249

Our Insights

What’s Special

Arts focus; longer school day

The Downside

Many students miss more than 18 days of school

In a renovated warehouse in downtown Brooklyn, Urban Assembly High School of Music and Art offers music and art during the school day and additional arts after school. Every student gets a free cell phone with free high-speed wireless internet through the Sprint 1 Million project. Some students take college classes in partnership with Bard College. 

Parent coordinator Cecily Zayas says that about half of the students stay after school to participate in dance, hip-hop, poetry, digital photography and music production. The school does not require special auditions or portfolios for application. In addition to passing Regents exams, UAMA students prepare and present academic and art portfolios as a graduation requirement.

Founding principal Paul Thompson is a trumpet player, who formerly taught music and social studies at Bard High School Early College.

The school serves a challenging population: two-thirds enter 9th grade below grade level in reading and math (Level 1 or 2 out of Level 4 on state test scores according to the yearly plan). About one-fourth of the student population has special needs. The school offers tutoring before and after school and during school holidays, according to the website.

Half the students miss more than 18 days of school, a significant interruption for students as well as teachers, who must take extra class time to help absent teens catch up on material they missed. Attendance is improving with some new strategies, says Zayas; for example, teachers use an app to text parents immediately if their children are late or missing that day. 

The school has a full-time counselor. About 40 percent of graduates enroll in college and career programs, but most graduates must take remedial courses in college based on their low scores on Regents exams.

Students and teachers report feeling safe in school—but they also report more bullying than at other schools. Teachers are less experienced and leave more frequently, according to the most recent New York State data. 

The school is working on the climate. “We are a zero-tolerance school,” Zayas says. “As soon as we see something happen, we take action so no students feel unsafe.” 

As a College Access for All school, UAMA offers several Advanced Placement classes and a college humanities class in partnership with Bard. “It’s going great. Kids love it,” Zayas says. 

Zayas says parents and kids appreciate the free cell phones. Some teachers design lessons around them and students participate in class discussions online. They also use them for research and to log in and check their progress and grades. 

The school, which no longer has an affiliation with the Urban Assembly network but has kept its UAMA name, is located in the Water's Edge Educational Campus, a building it shares with Science Skills High School and Brooklyn International High School. Students may participate in Water’s Edge Campus sports, according to the school handbook.

ADMISSIONS: Preference is given to Brooklyn students and residents. (Lydie Raschka, web reports and interview, April 2018)    

Read more

School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2018-19 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
79% Citywide Average

From 2017-18 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
2% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
48% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
41% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
67% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2019-20 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
38% Citywide Average

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2018-19 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

The Bard Early College Academy at UAMA
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description:

The Bard Early College Academy is an early college partnership that establishes a satellite campus of Bard College at UAMA. The early college partnership enables students in 11th and 12th grade to enroll as part-time undergraduate students of Bard College, where they can earn up to sixteen tuition-free college credits concurrently with their high school studies. All class take place at UAMA.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English Language and Composition, AP Psychology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Human Geography, AP World History: Modern


Boys PSAL teams

Bowling, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Bowling, Soccer

Coed PSAL teams


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

Contact & Location


Downtown Brooklyn (District 13)
Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line to Borough Hall; A Line, C Line to High St; B Line, Q Line to DeKalb Ave; F Line to York St; R Line to Jay St-MetroTech
Buses: B103, B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65, B67, B69


Paul Thompson
Parent Coordinator
Cierra Copeland

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the Water's Edge Educational Campus with two other schools
Metal detectors?

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