The Urban Assembly Academics and Leadership Team develops schools’ leadership and academic capacity with measurable impact on adult learning and student outcomes for long-term success. The team helps schools build high-quality, relevant curriculum that engages students and prepares them to be able to engage in rigorous college-level work. Through this program, school principals and assistant principals receive leadership coaching to refine and help improve their management skills.

There are three programs under the Leadership portion of this program:

Principals’ Community, Assistant Principals’ Community, and Teacher Leader Community: Effective leadership is at the core of the UA’s success, and having a strong and tight-knit community of principals, assistant principals, and teacher leaders is the most effective method through which way to build this leadership. The success of these professional learning communities bolsters the collaboration between the UA and the schools we support. In these communities, school leaders convene to devise effective and efficient ways to address challenges that emerge both within and across the family of UA schools. Through Instructional Rounds, principals and assistant principals have the opportunity to complete intervisitations, observing, analyzing and developing practical solutions to specific problems of practice.

Leadership Coaching: At the Urban Assembly, we believe that development of leadership is a core activity for school The UA provides coaching to principals and assistant principals throughout their leadership journey.

Data Exploration Coaching (DEXPRO): The Urban Assembly Data Exploration Coaching program combines DEXPRO, a suite of protocols and data-dives, and strategic leadership coaching to improve student outcomes. Through this program, schools address credit accumulation issues, explore trends, prepare students for the Regents, and monitor progress with learning targets.

There are three programs under the Academics portion of this program:

Algebra Success: The Algebra Success program was designed to increase 9th grade students’ class pass rate, algebra Regents rate and college-ready rate by addressing issues of discourse in their classroom, and by prioritizing students’ needs.

Start Smart - Effective Literacy Interventions to Support 9th Grade Student Success: The Urban Assembly Start Smart program addresses the academic performance of 9th graders through targeted literacy interventions that are data-driven and research-based. Participating 9th grade team leaders will guide their teams to identify academically at-risk students, and will determine and implement interventions best-suited to address students’ needs. Team leaders will also track progress and make the adjustments based on the analyzed progress trends.

Middle School Math Support: The UA Middle School Math Support program combines access to robust curricular activities, a professional learning community, and strategic coaching to provide teachers with proven curricular resources that can be used to increase students’ middle school math scores.

The Urban Assembly Academics and Leadership Team builds schools' capacity by strengthening educator and leadership practice in order to impact student outcomes.

Team Members

  • Fabiola serves as the UA's Special Populations Program Manager. In this role, Fabiola focuses on the growth of and support for exceptional learners and English Language Learners. Prior to joining the UA, Fabiola worked at the Relay Graduate School of Education as an Instructional Fellow, at Achievement First as a middle school science teacher and curriculum developer, and as a middle-school science teacher at Hyde Leadership Charter School. As a first-generation American college graduate and English Language Learner, Fabiola is deeply committed to closing the opportunity and achievement gaps that plague urban and rural areas due to institutionalized racism. Fabiola earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, a M.A.M in Business from Columbia College Chicago, and a M.A in General Education from Teacher U at Hunter College. She is also a proud alumna of Teach For America.

  • Debra began her career as an English teacher and senior advisor at John Jay HS in Brooklyn NY and then moved into a role as a writing coach for the NYC Writing Project at Lehman College. During her tenure she designed and facilitated graduate seminars in reading and writing theory, inquiry-based and writing-intensive models of instruction, and taking a reflective stance toward practice for teacher teams and school leaders. Prior to joining the Urban Assembly Academics and Leadership Team, she became an instructional coach for a network of ISA high schools which led to her conducting Quality Reviews and Principal Performance Reviews for schools across the city. She received her Master of Arts in English Literature, and is a Harvard-trained Instructional Rounds facilitator.

  • Duane leads the academic programs at the UA, working across all schools and internal departments to measure and improve student achievement and graduation growth for our students. As the Director of Academic Programs, Duane works intentionally with a team of pedagogical experts who are program managers and coaches at the UA. His goal is simple: improve academic outcomes across the breadth of the middle and high schools, and improve systems for collaboration at the UA in service of student achievement. He works closely with school leaders with data-driven short-term and long-term objectives for student success.

    As a bridge between the UA's Academic programs and as the primary point for school-facing data, Duane uses his knowledge of public policy, a suite of data tools and protocols, and a talented academics team to optimize data and academic planning for improved student outcomes. Duane has worked in the public sector for over ten years, as a consultant, as a NYC Urban Fellow, and in operations within the innovative Empowerment Zone at the NYCDOE. Duane earned his B.A. in Government from Cornell University, his M.P.A from the Cornell University Institute for Public Affairs, and his Fulbright Scholarship from the Universite de Berne, Switzerland. After being with UA from 2007 to 2009, he is back at UA as of 2013.

  • As Managing Director of School Support, Alexis coordinates and aligns supports across our programs and for all Urban Assembly schools and our partner schools. Alexis has been with the UA since 2010, starting as an Achievement Coach, then as Director of the Academics and Leadership team before moving into her current role. Before joining the UA, Alexis taught high school English as a member of the New York City Teaching Fellows. Alexis has also taught education courses at Fordham University and Bard College. She received a B.S. from Northwestern University, an MsED in English Education from Queens College, and MsEd from Bank Street in Educational Leadership in the Arts. Alexis is also a graduate of Coro’s Leadership New York program.