Charter School Students Take Regents Prep to the University Level

UPrep studentsUrban charter school sophomores experienced college firsthand this month at the University of Rochester’s River Campus in preparation not only for the Regents exams, but also for success in college.
Nearly 80 students from University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men (UPrep) spent three weeks in LeChase Hall, the home of the University’s Warner School of Education, preparing for the upcoming U.S. History, Geometry, Earth Science, and English Language Arts Regents exams.  UPrep sophomores were bused to campus every morning for three weeks, from May 26 to June 12, where they occupied five classrooms on the first floor of LeChase Hall.
UPrep English language arts (ELA) teacher Allie Zornow said that the open classroom space and new technology have been ideal for each student.  These young men have benefited from a new and different learning environment as part of their overall academic experience at UPrep.
A tradition that began in 2013, this visit marked the third year that UPrep has been sending sophomore students to the University, in an effort to help students flourish in an actual college classroom. By placing the high school students in a university setting, these sophomores have proven to be more serious about their studies ahead, UPrep officials said.
“This experience puts students in an environment among college students that makes them feel scholarly and more focused,” said Zornow. “Students have been asking about their visit to the University throughout the course of the school year.”
UPrep studentsA blended curriculum, where classes are co-taught by teachers of different subject areas, is implemented back at UPrep, located on Lake Avenue in Rochester.  Coming to LeChase Hall has helped school officials to separate the classes so that students can hone in on each subject area in preparation for the Regents. The charter school also uses a constructivist, student-centered framework—an approach, Zornow explained, that has been carried over to the classroom instruction and Regents prep that students continue to receive on River Campus.
Tom Sigler, a geometry teacher at UPrep, believes that these visits to LeChase Hall over the years have positively impacted students’ pass rates on the Regents exams.  He has also seen how his students have been more serious about academics in this college setting.
“At UPrep, its more about discovery,” added Sigler, “where as here it’s more about applying the concepts.”
To learn more about UPrep, click HERE or visit: http://www.upreprochester.org/.

Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
(585) 275-0777; (585) 278-6273 (cell)

Tags: charter schools, Regents prep, urban education