Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC): Preparing Every Student for College

October 3, 2011

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At some middle and high schools, students are "tracked;" some are put in honors, others in basic classes. But not at PUC charter public schools. At PUC, the staff has the same high expectations for every student and all are prepared to graduate from high school prepared for college success.

PUC applies these high-standards and expectations to students who need them most. By creating their schools in 2 high need communities that are characterized by low-achieving schools, PUC is proving that there is a successful model for teaching at-risk students.

Founded in 1999 by two educators who came together through a similar vision and frustration with low-performing LAUSD schools, PUC has grown to 13 schools, all of which are located in Northeast LA, and the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

PUC's successful school model includes: small class sizes, individualized instruction, total immersion for English Language Learners, and a partnership between the school, student, parent, and community. Through their unique early college program all PUC high school students take courses at local community colleges, giving them the chance to access high-level courses and start earning college credit. Many of the students have graduated with 30 or more transferable college credits.

Though serving communities where many schools struggle to graduate even half of their students from high school, PUC graduates over 90% of its students, and 100% of those graduates enroll in colleges and universities.

"An unwavering commitment to the success of every student is the vision shared by all PUC staff, parents and students. This ensures that students don't fall through the cracks and every student is prepared for college." - Dr. Jacqueline Elliot, PUC co-founder and 25-year Northeast San Fernando Valley educator

Partnerships to Uplift Communities
Web site: www.pucschools.org
Founded: 1999
Number of schools: 13
Number of students: 4,000

This is one of a series of profiles about high-performing charter schools in Los Angeles that are participating in the latest round of Public School Choice (PSC). The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board passed this historic initiative in 2009 to reform the operation of new schools and turn around the lowest performing schools in the district. PSC allows non-district school operators - like charter schools, teacher teams, and community groups - the opportunity to run these schools. More than 30 schools have gone through this process to date. Find out more about Public School Choice and read profiles on the other charter applicants.

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