Urban Charter School Students Get a Taste of College

Group of high school students standing outside of LeChase Hall
Studying for the New York State Regents exams has been a success for some local students looking to end the school year on a high note.
The 50 tenth-grade students from University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men (UPrep), along with their teachers, made their way to the first-floor classrooms of LeChase Hall, the new home of the Warner School of Education, to prepare for the upcoming Geometry, Earth Science, U.S. History, and English Language Arts exams. During their time on the University of Rochester’s River Campus, students have been working diligently to wrap up their academic courses while getting a feel for life on a college campus.
UPrep administrators say that Warner has embraced UPrep students with open arms, allowing them to continue flourishing in their coursework.
“Giving students access to LeChase Hall has allowed them to be a part of a different and serious environment,” says UPrep Assistant Principal Arkee Allen. “Whenever you take students out of their norm, behaviors change and their best comes out. Being here on a college campus—in a beautiful new building—increases their hope.”
The three-week exam preparation at LeChase Hall began May 20 and continues through June 7. Students meet five days a week, between 9 a.m. to Noon, and bus transportation is provided to and from River Campus.
Amenities of the new building, like access to new technology and open classroom space, have allowed UPrep teachers to go into exam preparation the ‘UPrep way’—an approach, Allen says, where teachers spend as little time as possible in front of the classroom and more time leading and supporting students through independent work.
UPrep opened doors in August 2010 as an all-boys charter school in the city of Rochester. The school’s mission is to equip seventh- through twelfth-grade students with the knowledge, skills, character and dispositions that meet and exceed learning standards of New York State. Through individualized learning, substantive content, daily advisory, and continuous relationship building, UPrep teachers help students master skills needed for success in higher education and future employment in the global marketplace.
“Opening LeChase Hall to UPrep has been mutually beneficial,” says Edward Brockenbrough, who directs the Urban Teaching and Leadership (UTL) Program at Warner. “Not only have their students benefitted from being on a college campus, but several students in Warner's UTL Program have gained additional instructional experience by working with UPrep students in LeChase. UPrep's commitment to inquiry-based learning makes the school a good fit with Warner.”
LeChase Hall, which officially opened this year, allows the Warner School to maintain close ties to Rochester’s educational community. With the classroom and community spaces provided by the new building, Warner will continue to host events and support local schools and partners in their education endeavors.
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and health professions education. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
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Tags: college access, Ed Brockenbrough, urban education, Urban Teaching and Leadership Program (UTL)