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Our Mission

The Mission of University Prep Public Schools is to prepare students for success in college, leadership and life.  We achieve this mission by creating a student-centered environment that unifies the efforts of family, community and school to foster life-long learning, cross-cultural relationships, social responsibility, and academic excellence.  The underlying belief at University Prep is that all students can go to college and that their preparation is our professional responsibility and moral obligation.

 About University Prep Charter High school

University Prep Charter High School opened in 2008. UPCHS is a free, public, 9-12, college-preparatory school serving 440 students in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx. We boast an average 99% four-year graduation rate, 100% college acceptance rate, and a 98% parent approval rating. UPCHS is a proud recipient of the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award and is consistently ranked among the top performing high schools in New York State

 Expanding our Impact – University Prep Charter Middle School

University Prep Public Schools is excited to expand our locus of impact to grades 5-8 with the opening of University Prep Charter Middle School in the fall of 2019.  At UPCMS we are extending our highly successful model and providing a path for younger students to reach even more impressive heights by 12th grade. We strongly believe that our track record at the high school level, our use of a content-specific, cumulative, coherent curriculum that is knowledge-rich, and our use of shared teaching practices across all classrooms and schools will allow us to actualize our mission for the underserved and under-resourced community of South Bronx.

 Commitment to Shared Leadership

University Prep was co-founded by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and as such, staff and faculty benefit from the security and collective voice of the UFT. The cornerstone of our collaboration is our shared commitment to authentic staff voice and shared leadership throughout the network. Teachers serve on the board of trustees and are part of all aspects of school governance. Our model is unique in that we encourage collaboration with staff members from a position of strength—as members of a unionized body with all the benefits and privileges and responsibilities of a partner. It is our intent to serve as a proof point for charter-union partnerships, to actively encourage the development of similar communities, and to serve as a role model for best practices. Because of this culture of partnership collaboration, the teacher retention rate at University Prep is above 90% on average, unusually high for the charter sector.