Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education

Children in School

The Culture of UPCS

The culture of UPCS is one of excitement, engagement, and support. Students come to school excited to learn. The teachers at UPCS are not simply teachers—they are mentors and advisors for their students on academic and personal issues. With their relentless passion and unflinching belief that all students can achieve at high levels, teachers motivate students to succeed and drive the achievement of the school.

Education at UPCS is not driven by teachers alone. Students at UPCS take collective responsibility for ensuring that their fellow students succeed. Juniors and seniors mentor younger students, formally and informally. Students support their peers in class, until every student fully grasps the material at hand. Even friendships within the UPCS community revolve around academic success and support.

The culture of UPCS supports students and staff alike. For staff, UPCS has created a system of embedded professional development where all faculty members continually support one another and veteran teachers mentor their younger colleagues. Through analysis of student data, the sharing of student work, and continual dialogue among the staff during weekly common planning times, every teacher knows the strengths, weaknesses, and plan for success for each student. This open door culture leads to a group of reflective teachers who are continually striving to improve their own practice.