UPDATE
Round 2 of School Choice for the 2020-2021 school year is now open.

Round 2 is first-come, first-served so be sure to enroll today!

UPDATE
Exciting news

Following the Denver Public Schools announcement, U Prep will be offering full-time, in person school when the new academic year. Complete the back to school planning survey today!

Welcome to U Prep

What is

University Prep

University Prep’s two elementary schools (kindergarten – 5th grade) in Northeast Denver are tuition free public charter schools with a simple and clear mission – prepare every child for a four-year college degree and a life of opportunity.

At University Prep (U Prep) we dream big with our children and families. We call our students scholars because we believe that’s what they are, and we want them to believe it too. At U Prep, we’re not just preparing our children for college, we’re preparing them to pursue whatever dreams they may have.

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The U Prep Experience

Our Approach

At U Prep, we’re doing things differently.

Academics

Girl in purple glasses smiles

Academic excellence for every child sits at the center of our work. U Prep offers all scholars challenging, college prep content, along with the support and encouragement necessary to master it. We believe every child will achieve greatness when they are equally challenged, supported, and loved.

Character

Girl in class doing work with a pencil and notebook

A focus on growing good students and good people is at the heart of our mission. U Prep knows that to succeed in life, scholars must have a strong and confident character. Our schools go beyond a foundation of academic skills and knowledge with the development of our PREP values – Pride, Responsibility, Enthusiasm, and Perseverance.

Vision

Kids in class doing standing exercises

You can only dream as far as you can see – we make sure all of our students see what’s truly possible. All children deserve the opportunity to see the opportunities that live outside of their classrooms. Within our K – 5 experience our scholars get to see a range of colleges and careers that will become their reality.

Achieving big dreams takes hard work and a team effort. Our approach to education and the genuine partnership we build with our families means the possibilities for U Prep scholars are unlimited.
Our Values

Drive Us

Kinds in uniform and lined up smile for the camera

Scholar Core Values:

Pride

“We take pride in everything we do.”

  • We do excellent work because our work represents us.
  • We speak in a loud and proud voice – what we have to say matters.
  • We strive to be our best selves.

Responsibility

“We own our words and actions.”

  • We admit our mistakes and learn from them.
  • We think about how our choices affect others.
  • We try to solve our own problems.

Enthusiasm

“We celebrate ourselves and each other.”

  • We are eager to participate.
  • We cheer on ourselves and our teammates.
  • We are excited to take on challenges.

Perseverance

“We believe the struggle makes us stronger.”

  • We take feedback and work to improve.
  • We keep trying even when it’s hard.
  • We help our teammates in times of need.

U Prep believes deeply that our values are at the core of who we are and what we do. Having our values firmly planted in our hearts and minds allows our words, actions, and decisions to always be in the best interest of our children, families, and mission.

Adult Core Values:

Educate our Scholars:

Scholar achievement comes first.

Serve Our Families:

We make a promise to every family we serve. We do everything we can to uphold our promise.

Serve Our Team:

Our mission cannot be achieved alone. We are always team players.

Walk the Walk:

We hold our scholars to the highest expectations and accept nothing less from ourselves.

My Child:

Our schools are places where we would be proud and honored to send our own child.

Our

Schools

View of the University Prep Arapahoe Street Campus

2409 Arapahoe St.
Denver, CO 80205
303.292.0463

U Prep – Arapahoe St. was founded in 2011 as a fresh start Denver public charter school. After two years of planning and preparation with our founding board, nearly 3,000 conversations across our community, and tireless efforts by the team to prepare every element of the school, our doors opened with 110 kindergarten and 1st grade scholars. Today the school serves 330 children in kindergarten through – 5th grade on the path to a four-year college degree and a life of opportunity.

2409 Arapahoe Street, Denver, CO 80205

Outside of the University Prep Steele Street Campus

3230 East 38th Ave.
Denver, CO 80205
303.329.8412

U Prep – Steele St. was founded in 2016 as a turnaround Denver public charter school. The previous school, Pioneer Charter School, had been struggling for many years and was in need of a restart. Working directly with families and community members, U Prep spent the 2015-16 school year getting ready to launch our Steele St. campus and opened the doors with 226 scholars. Today the school serves 330 children in kindergarten through – 5th grade on the path to a four-year college degree and a life of opportunity.

3230 East 38th Ave. Denver, CO 80205

U Prep

In the News

Don’t take our word for it. These news articles, both local and national, highlight the incredible work our children and team are doing with our families and community.

  • Why U Prep Invests in Targeted Teacher Professional DevelopmentEvery day, U Prep educators equip their scholars (students) with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in college and beyond. The demand for college-educated adults in Colorado is fifth highest in the nation with more than 74% of jobs requiring a post-secondary credential. Yet, only 25% of current 9th graders in our state

    Read More
  • Charter School Turnaround at University Preparatory Schools

    The National Charter School Resource Center developed a four-part case study to share the unprecedented success story of University Prep’s turnaround work across our country. This link includes four short videos that tell our turnaround story through a wide range of U Prep stakeholders (parents, children, educators, leaders and community members).

    Read More


See more news stories

Boy with a pencil in class smiles
U Prep

Results

At U Prep results matter. Our children have dreams worth chasing and those dreams require an academic foundation.We’re proud of these numbers because they represent not only the hard work that goes into achievement, but bring our children closer to their dreams.

The graph to the side demonstrates the amazing growth our scholars are making from one year to the next.

Our Team

Home Office Staff & Board of Trustees

Cuneyt Akay
Cuneyt Akay Partner, Greenberg Traurig
Tyler Atkinson
Tyler Atkinson Development Associate 303.329.8412 tatkinson@uprepschool.org
Thelma Behnke
Thelma Behnke Director of Finance 303.329.8412 tbehnke@uprepschool.org
Renae Bruning
Renae Bruning Director of College Access Services, Denver Scholarship Foundation
Brenna Copeland
Brenna Copeland Founder & CEO, EdPlex
Alastair Dawe
Alastair Dawe Chief Operating Officer 303.329.8412 adawe@uprepschool.org
Chintan Desai
Chintan Desai Manager of Scholar Recruitment & Enrollment 720-248-8817 cdesai@uprepschool.org
Emily Eikelberner
Emily Eikelberner Director of Education, Tuchman Family Foundation
Naomi Lopez
Naomi Lopez Director of Talent 303.329.8412 nlopez@uprepschool.org
Tracey Lovett
Tracey Lovett Vice President, Scholar Relations, Daniels Fund
Nicholas Martinez
Nicholas Martinez Co-Founder, Executive Director, Transforming Education Now
Juan Pena
Juan Pena Executive Director, CrossPurpose
David Scanavino
David Scanavino Founding Principal, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer - MMM Healthcare
David Singer
David Singer Founder & Executive Director 303.329.8412 dsinger@uprepschool.org
Bev Sloan
Bev Sloan Retired Non-Profit Executive
Taryn Tong
Taryn Tong Director of Academics 303.329.8412 ttong@uprepschool.org