New School On The Block

In November of 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio released a School Renewal Program for 94 of New York City’s lowest performing schools. The Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering in Bushwick, Brooklyn is one of these schools. What is the plan for these 94 schools? What is the future of the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering and its students? 

In the fall of 2015, CUP collaborated with Teaching Artist Aubrey Murdock and Aisha Haynes-Harrison’s 10th grade English class at the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering to figure out what it means to be labeled a “Renewal School.”

To investigate, students brainstormed ways they noticed their school had changed since 2014, then interviewed a panel of experts from the school’s own administration, a representative of the Coalition for Educational Justice, and a Community School Coordinator. They created a booklet to help other students and schools understand the School Renewal Program and what people think about these new changes.

New School on the Block debuted at the Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering, where students presented the booklet, discussed their creative process, and explained how to be more involved in your school.

Get your own booklet here!

What People are Saying

“Before this project, I thought schools always remained the same. This project made me think outside of the box and helped me realize that I could be involved with the decisions made about my school.” – Nicole Vasquez, student

CUP taught me that it’s okay to ask weird questions. I learned different ways to investigate and became a better note-taker in all of my classes.” – Jose Torres, student

Resources & Links

The Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering (AUPE) is a public school in Bushwick with an urban planning theme-based curriculum.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by the Bay and Paul Foundations, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Cassie Ang, Pema Domingo-Barker, Rachel Bland, Natasha Capers, Jorge Sandoval, and Valeria Vu


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Aubrey Murdock
  • Project Lead
  • Jenn Anne Williams
  • Project Support
  • Christy Herbes
  • The Academy of Urban Planning and Engineering
  • Students
  • Carlos Alvarez

    Carlos Arias

    Stephen Campbell

    Alexis Chavez

    Carlos Chiqui

    Jean Colon

    Cindy Garcia

    Jennifer Herrera

    Kayla Lora Paredes

    Alyssa Medina

    Katiusca Mejia

    Christopher Palacios

    Nathaly Pallchizaca

    Alexis Perez Filpo

    Alex Ramos

    Lasann Rodriguez

    Yesica Rodriguez

    Danirda Rodriguez-Nivar

    Deybi Rubio Padilla

    Litzy Tapia Guerrero

    Ahmad Thomas

    Jose Torres

    Moises Torres

    Nicole Vasquez

  • Classroom Teachers
  • Aisha Haynes-Harrison
  • Yolanda Iglecias