Urban Academy Laboratory High School

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Urban Academy Laboratory High School
Julia Richman HS 2Av 68 St jeh.jpg
Urban Academy building in Julia Richman Education Complex
A Small school with Big dreams
317 East 67th Street
New York, New York 10065
United States
Coordinates 40°45′58″N 73°57′36″W / 40.766047°N 73.960101°W / 40.766047; -73.960101Coordinates: 40°45′58″N 73°57′36″W / 40.766047°N 73.960101°W / 40.766047; -73.960101
School type Public/alternative
Established 1986
School district New York City Department of Education
Teaching staff 15 (as of 2013-14)[1]
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 146

The Urban Academy Laboratory High School (also known as the Urban Academy) is a small, progressive, transfer public high school located on the Upper East Side of New York City. Founded in 1986, its goal was to create a place where students could learn in a nontraditional sense. In 1995, it became one of six small schools located in the Julia Richman Education Complex.

The structure of the classes is non-traditional. Teachers don't lecture; rather, they facilitate class discussions. They create their own curriculum and direct students with a focus on inquiry, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Students' primary source of information is not textbooks.[2][3][4] Almost all classes are discussion based, with students expected to make arguments and support them with evidence, drawn either from course materials (primary and secondary texts) and/or their own experience. Urban's academic program is rigorous and college-oriented.[5] It has been designated a U.S. Department of Education "Blue Ribbon School of Excellence" and a "New American High School National Showcase Site."[6]

As a member school of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, Urban Academy has a waiver from the New York State testing curriculum. Students must pass only the English Language Arts Regents exam, and complete six other performance-based assessments. Students must obtain 44 credits, as in every other public school in New York. Urban Academy does not offer credit recovery, and all students are required to spend a minimum of four semesters at Urban, regardless of the number of credits they enter with (most students spend more than four semesters).

The school's six sports teams (Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball; boys and girls teams for each) are composed of students from Urban Academy and the other three high schools housed in the building: Vanguard High School, Talent Unlimited High School, and Manhattan International High School.

Urban Academy has a selective admissions process, as one cannot simply enroll through the central New York City Department of Education office.


  1. ^ "School Detail for Urban Academy Laboratory High School". National Center for Education Statistics. 
  2. ^ What Kids Can Do - Urban Academy Intro, retrieved 2012-04-09
  3. ^ Edutopia, Testing Is Anything But Standard at the Urban Academy, 2/11/2002, retrieved 2012-04-09
  4. ^ CES Change Lab, retrieved 2012-04-09
  5. ^ School webpage, retrieved 2012-04-09
  6. ^ School webpage, retrieved 2012-04-09

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