Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice

School Description

"The Urban Assembly School for Law & Justice (SLJ) is a small, public high school located in downtown Brooklyn. Our mission is to prepare our students, many of whom come from underserved communities around the borough and will be the first in their family to attend college, for success in college and career."

"Our theme reflects our conviction that educating is in itself an act of social justice, and that learning can be amplified when done through the lens of the law, with a focus on analysis, critical thinking, and persistent, reasoned questioning."

"SLJ stands on the belief that the success of each student is a community responsibility. Staff, families and partners work together to challenge and support students with a curriculum that respects their right to learn at high levels and with enrichment services that every student deserves. SLJ delivers personal attention in an empowering environment that fosters intellectual independence and civic engagement. Equipped with an understanding of law and social justice, SLJ's students graduate ready to succeed in college and effect change in society."

Contact Information

Website: www.sljhs.org

Principal: Merilee Valentino

Additional ETA Contact: Laura Hecht

Four-Year Plan Goals

Goal One: To create a flexible arts program for all 10th and 12th graders, including arts electives and arts-integration in select academic classes.


Goal One: The school builds rotating arts offerings into the 10th and 12th grade programs that include, ultimately, visual arts, music and theatre. The school deploys a mix of providers: music is taught by a long-time guest artist, visual arts is with a newer guest artist, and theatre is with a teacher teaching one class out of license. It is important to the school leadership that the investment in this personnel not be limited to the arts offerings, so the teachers are also deployed to push-in to a small number of academic classes to design arts-integrated projects for specific units.


Goal One: The music and visual arts prongs of the Goal have relied on partnership with Young Voices Big Sounds (music) and freelance teaching artist Christy Hayner (visual). Both have worked with academic teachers to co-plan and execute new lessons, as well as teach in their own discipline during arts electives.


Goal One: Continued cycles of peer share-outs will continue to help staff feel prepared for arts integration projects in their own classrooms, and it will prepare new staff members joining the school. Staff will have a growing library of ideas to pull from, and the school will program regular arts classes that 10th and 12th graders may choose from.

"By the end of the four years, 100% of 10th and 12th graders took arts classes. All members of the community seek to make arts a part of their regular teaching and learning."

Four-Year Plan 2012-2016.