“This is what is going to keep me in the classroom forever” – Kia Smith (4th Grade Lead Teacher) “Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling.” We have known and directly witnessed this tremendously researched truth since our first U Prep campus opened its doors in August of 2011.
UPrep in the news
The staff and board of University Prep Charter Schools stepped up this spring, recognizing an urgent need to develop an ambitious vision and catch-up plan that would support all children in getting back on track following more than a year of disruptions and struggles. Our objective: To ensure that, despite the significant challenges brought on by the pandemic, all our scholars will remain on track with grade-level performance, while receiving any and all supports they may need (academically, socially, emotionally and beyond).
Elias Nelson stood at the whiteboard, dry erase marker in hand, facing down a five-digit math problem: 93,213 minus 59,758. He glanced at the boy next to him, who was working on a three-digit problem, and then back to his own trickier equation.
Every 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
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).
Following the 2016-17 school year, U Prep – Steele St. had the highest math growth in the state (out of 1,500 schools) and the eighth highest English Language Arts (ELA) growth. On the Denver Public Schools School Performance Framework (SPF) the school went from the lowest rating to the highest rating after one year of U Prep operating the campus.
This Denver Post article illuminates the challenges across our state’s educational system while highlighting the impact U Prep is having to change that reality saying, “The key to cutting into Colorado’s stubborn achievement gap between white, more-affluent students and their minority, less-affluent peers could reside in a public charter school in northeast Denver.”
Doug Lemov and his “Teach Like a Champion” team invited U Prep to share our turnaround story from the perspective of our leaders. Writing on his blog, this five-part series pulls back the curtain on each effort that went into converting the lowest performing school in DPS into being ranked in the 91st percentile.
As a result of University Prep’s track record of performance and deep commitment to children and families living in historically marginalized communities, U Prep was awarded a 3.7 million dollar grant by the Department of Education to support growth and expansion efforts.
The 74 million, a national blog focused on covering critical news in the education space ran a story on University Prep’s transformative turnaround work. “It’s an important reminder that when you have a team of teachers and leaders that work very thoughtfully, and with skill and love, of the remarkable things they can accomplish,” said the superintendent, whose district encompasses 199 schools and 92,000 students.