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UPHS distinguishes itself from the rest of the county

UPHS distinguishes itself from the rest of the county

TCOE’s University Prep High School is named to state’s 2019 California Distinguished Schools list

@TheSunGazette

SACRAMENTO — In California’s most populous state, it’s difficult for schools to distinguish themselves from the pack. For those schools that demonstrate the ability to achieve exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years or closing the achievement gap between two school years, California deems them worthy of its Distinguished Schools list. Of the 162 middle and high schools on this year’s list, only one was from Tulare County. 

Over the last two years, University Preparatory High School (UPHS) had 40% more students score proficient in English Language Arts and had a higher percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in math. The school also saw a 22% increase in the number of students who were proficient in math from 2017 to 2018.

Distinguished School award winners also represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention. UPHS was created by the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) in partnership with COS as a high-performance, free, public high school which opened in 2009. UPHS welcomes all highly-motivated students looking for an accelerated and rigorous academic program that prepares them for college success. One of the many strengths of University Preparatory High School is the opportunity it provides students to acclimate to college culture and develop the many skills required for college success while still in high school. UPHS students learn to navigate the complexities of the modern college experience, develop academic and social self-reliance, and acquire learning strategies that will serve them well for a lifetime. Students will experience their high school years in a college setting, participate in college classes and earn a minimum of 20 college units before graduating from high school.

UPHS students will experience their high school years on the COS campus, participate in college classes and earn college credits. This approach, known as an “early college high school,” is a time-tested method proven to increase academic success and college readiness. 

“I would like to commend these schools for fighting for a better future for our students, closing achievement gaps, and improving academic performance,” said Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Thanks to teachers, administrators, classified employees, and parents working together, these schools meet the needs of all of their students, provide high-quality educational experiences, and put kids on a pathway to great careers.”

A component of the California School Recognition Program, the Distinguished Schools program was on a three-year pause while California transitioned to its new assessment and accountability system. From 2015 to 2017, California recognized schools that demonstrated exemplary achievements with the California Gold Ribbon Schools Program. 

The Distinguished Schools program returned last year. It recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years and allows eligible schools to apply once every two years. Schools recognized as awardees hold the title for two years.

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