The Urban Assembly Social-Emotional Learning Team builds schools' capacity to ensure that all staff and students receive relevant training and instruction to develop competencies impacting students' mental health in order to achieve and sustain success in school, work, and life.

SEL accomplishes its goals through its work in the following programs:

Deans’ Climate and Culture Community: This program develops deans’ capacity to create, and implement systems and structures that create safe, and supportive environments for learning. The program also assesses schools’ cultural climate, and addresses underlying issues that stunt students’ academic and social-emotional growth.

Positive Behavior Interventions & Support: This program establishes behavioral support for students to achieve social, emotional and academic success. The program’s main goal is to reduce suspensions by increasing positive reinforcement for desired behavior and adopting less traditionally punitive measures for misbehavior.

Resilient Scholars Program: This program is a guided implementation model designed to test and support Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in high schools from implementation, integration and continuity. The program functions as an paragon of SEL best practice in an urban environment that can serve as a replicable model for NYC schools and other districts throughout the United States.

Social-emotional learning supports early college and career readiness by helping students build on their resiliency, develop pro-social behavior, and take part in positive experiences beyond the classroom. These experiences are essential for students to become strong candidates as they apply to college, and give them cultural competency as well as transferrable meta-cognitive skills to succeed after their transition from their high school to a post-secondary institution.

Working across schools with key school staff, including principals, deans, social workers, teachers and counselors, the Urban Assembly Social-Emotional Learning Team employs the following key strategies to address mental health, emotional, behavioral, and social challenges:

  • Develop and Establish Behavior Support Systems
  • Develop and Establish Social-Emotional Learning Programming
  • Monitor and Enhance School Culture/Climate

Team Members

  • Josh is the UA’s Social Emotional Learning Program Manager. He previously served as Grade-Level Lead, Instructional Coach, Diversity Coordinator, and Dean of Students - though always with a foot in the classroom - in Crown Heights. He has both developed curriculum for and taught a Mindfulness and Positive Psychology elective, additional SEL/college readiness courses, and history courses spanning 7th-11th grades. He was the recipient of the Knowledge Grant and co-created the ClearMindEd initiative to bring network-wide PD and resources related to mindfulness inclusion. He has his M.Ed in Secondary Social Studies Education from Lehman College, his 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks, and has completed trainings related to trauma-informed teaching, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and meditation/mindfulness instruction. He is currently a candidate for a MSW at the NYU Silver School.

  • Brandon Frame is Deputy Director of Social-Emotional Learning at The Urban Assembly where he ensures that all students develop the skills, values, and attitudes necessary to anchor their success in their school, homes and the larger community. He previously served as the Director of Business Partnerships and Development at High School, Inc. in Hartford, CT. In that role, he created an award winning program called “Taking Students from the classroom to the boardroom” in which he built and strengthen partnerships and opportunities with business and higher education partners in order to extend learning outside the school walls. Brandon is also the Founder of the nationally recognized non-profit and digital media platform TheBlackManCan, Inc. and author of Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal of Boys and Men of Color. Brandon is a graduate of Morehouse College.

  • Ellen is the Social-Emotional Learning Program Manager at The Urban Assembly. Prior to joining the UA family, Ellen spent 28 years, in myriad geographic locations, as a classroom teacher, intermediate school (gr. 3-8) principal, and in roles as a central office administrator, specializing in curricula and instructional design and implementation. Additionally, she is a certified social-emotional learning practioner and coach. Ellen received her Ed.D. in Education Leadership Administration and Policy from Fordham University.  Her purpose and passion in life resides in her stewardship and advocacy for ensuring equity and a high quality of life for all students.  Ellen lives with her husband Tim and two fabulous dogs, Louise and Gipper.

  • David is the Director of Social-Emotional Learning at The Urban Assembly. He previously served as the Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator for District 75 where he shaped the District's approach to social-emotional learning for students with severe cognitive and behavioral challenges. He has worked internationally in schools in England, standing up and evaluating programs of positive behavioral supports and Social-Emotional Learning as a research intern at Yale University’s Health, Emotion and Behavior Lab, and published multiple academic papers around the relationship of social-emotional competence, and student academic and behavioral outcomes. He is married with two children and is an Engineering Officer in the Army Reserve. David holds an M.Ed in Educational Psychology from Fordham University.