University Park Campus School Institute
Few urban high schools working with students who are demographically underrepresented in higher education have been able to prepare all of their students to attend college. Donna Rodrigues of JFF founded one such school—the University Park Campus School in Worcester, Massachusetts. All UPCS students have passed the rigorous, state-mandated graduation exam, and all graduates have gone to college. The school was named the highest-performing urban high school in Massachusetts by MassINC and the #68 high school in the nation by Newsweek.
JFF has partnered with the University Park Campus School and Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts to create the UPCS Institute. It uses UPCS as a “learning laboratory” to train school developers, leaders, and teachers to implement the proven instructional and leadership practices that have made the University Park Campus School into a national model. Because the professional development takes place on site with real teachers and students, the Institute provides a concrete example of excellence to the early college high schools and other small schools in attendance.
The UPCS Institute offers a summer institute where participants observe the school’s August Academy orientation session for incoming seventh graders and attend instructional leadership workshops. During the academic year, the institute hosts 2.5-day immersion residency trainings at the school. It also develops print and online resources to support practitioners as they implement the best practices used by UPCS at their own sites.