Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts

Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts


School Description

"The Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (UASPA) aims to sustain a challenging college-preparatory curriculum that infuses the performing Arts into all aspects of the academic experience. By using the Arts as a teaching tool and providing students with the means to express themselves, UASPA will breathe life and confidence into all members of our school community. We will use the cultural and professional resources of New York City to ensure that students receive a rigorous education which exceeds state standards, are successful in earning a college degree, and have a vision for what their future holds. "

Contact Information

Website: www.uaperformingarts.org

Principal: Meghan McMahon- mmcmahon3@schools.nyc.gov

Additional ETA Contact: Curtis Buckner, Partnerships Coordinator- cbuckner2@schools.nyc.gov

Four-Year Plan Goals

Goal One: To further develop the performing arts program so that more students are eligible to sit for and are prepared to pass the Arts Exit Examinations. 

Goal Two: To infuse the performing arts into all aspects of the curriculum


Goal One: Each arts teacher was tasked with identifying the particular challenge areas in his/her curriculum that were obstacles to students' preparedness for the Arts Exit Exam. Different programs had different issue areas: for example, dance seniors needed opportunities to develop their choreography skills, whereas music needed to bolster its history and theory curricula. ETA provided targeted support through PD, inter-visitations, field trips, supplies, etc. to address these specific needs and help bolster each program's overall efficacy.

Goal Two: Long-time and trusted partner organization, Epic Theatre Ensemble, developed monthly PDs in the Fall semesters to help develop the "buy-in" among the full faculty. Participants had the opportunity to engage in hands-on art activities and draw connections between the activities and their own classrooms and curricula. In Spring semesters, a handful of classroom teachers who had exhibited the greatest interest in the work in Fall would be targeted to partner directly with Epic on a specific project or unit. The teacher and artist would co-plan, co-teach, and de-brief and document the unit for future sharing,  iteration and execution.

Arts Partnerships

Goal One: Theatre: theatre tech-focused residencies were provided by Town Hall and later the Apollo Theater. Music: master classes and individual coaching sessions provided by Opera Ebony. Dance: residencies provided by Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Exousia Dance Fitness and The Ailey School.

Goal Two: Epic Theatre Ensemble was the lead partner for all arts integration, including PD for teachers, co-planning lessons, and co-teaching/observing pilot lessons.

Sustainability Plan

Goal One: All new curricular elements developed during the four years will be documented for ongoing iteration and execution. The continued culture of high-quality student performances - demonstrative of the work required for the Arts Exit Exams - will continue to support the school theme and culture around the arts and continue to encourage students to enroll in the courses and stay the course for the Exit Exam.

Goal Two: 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. With all new lessons, units and electives documented, staff will also have a growing library of ideas to pull from.