Volume 1 | September 2020
A Message From Our CEO

The 2020-2021 School Year has officially launched! I want to thank all of our Parents, Teachers, Scholars, School Leaders, School Support Crew, and Central Office Crew for a strong start. It wasn’t what we hoped for, yet, we demonstrated the U Prep Spirit every step of the way!!! We are engaging our scholars through digital links and supporting our families’ dietary needs via drive-up service. We hope to return to in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so.

Staying true to our Vision, we establish annual priorities, and this year is no different. Our Vision states: University Prep Schools provides a culturally responsive educational experience for our scholars that builds academic competence, habits of work and scholarship, and self-actualization empowering them to successfully accomplish their post-secondary plans, as well as socially and civically engaged as change agents for themselves and their community. Our 2020-2021 goal is to improve curriculum and educational experiences for all students in our network by ensuring it is more culturally responsive across all subject areas. 

We launched this goal at our annual Leadership Conference. We gathered the leaders in our network to reignite their flame as lifelong learners. Leaders experienced a week-long convening of expectations, new structures, and training. Leaders left understanding the proclamation that, at U Prep Schools, Culturally Responsive Education is not only a practice; it is what informs our practice. It is the lens through which every layer of our organization examines curriculum, instruction, policy, and approaches to staff and student relationships to ultimately meet our Vision. 

Thank you for your partnership and for entrusting your child’s education to us, as we navigate through this new digital space, and remain committed to serving your family in excellence. 

In community,

Danielle Jackson, Chief Executive Officer
Detroit 90/90 & U Prep Schools 
U Prep Annual Leadership Conference 
This year's U Prep annual leadership conference was invigorating! Each year, we hold this event for our Crew, just prior to the start of school. The conference reinforces our Academic Vision while motivating and inspiring the U Prep Crew. The focus of this year’s invigorating leadership conference was Culturally Responsive Education.

Our keynote speakers were Colin Seale, author of “Thinking Like a Lawyer” (which explores how to close the critical thinking gap for all students) and Dr. Christopher Emdin, Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education and Associate Professor of Science Education at the Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Christopher Emdin is the author of the award winning book, "Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation" and the New York Times bestseller "For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood and the Rest of Ya’ll, Too." He shared seven principles with our crew, called "The Rights of the Body," that each of our schools have incorporated into their vision, affirming each and every student. You can find them at the link shown below.
Mr. Colin Seale
Dr. Chris Emdin
A Gift That Lasts A Lifetime:
Donor-Funded Scholarships
U Prep provides several academic college scholarships each year, made possible by donors like The Thompson Foundation. These donor-funded scholarships help our students pursue their college and career aspirations to ensure they reach their full potential in their community. For that, we are very grateful. In just one example, U Prep alumna Gabrionna Jones-Cummings received the Joseph G. Horonzy Scholarship for the 2019/2020 academic year, earning it for her excellent character, solid work ethic and remarkable effort towards achieving academic success.

Read more of Gabrionna's story at the link below.
Ms. Gabrionna Jones-Cummings
We've Added to the U Prep Line Up!
The 2020/21 school year brings U Prep the gifts, talents and passions of many new Crew members. Please join us in welcoming our new Crew to the U! Click on the link below to see our new crew members and where they will be working.

If you're interested in joining the U Prep Crew, please visit our careers page for more information.
What We're Looking Forward to This Year
We love the positivity of our Crew! Prior to the start of the new school year, we asked our teachers and staff to share what they look forward to in this school year in spite of the challenges of the pandemic.

In one example, Erica Allen, Dean of Culture at UPA Elementary - Mark Murray told us, "This school year, I am looking forward to seeing the fruit that will come from all of the 'heart' work that my U Prep family has done to make sure our Crew of scholars are nurtured socially, spiritually, emotionally and academically.

We Are Crew! We will paddle through, by any means necessary!" #CulturallyResponsive

Click the link below to read more of the comments from our Crew in our video on YouTube.
Meet Rachel Fernandez
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Rachel Fernandez was a member of the graduating class at University Prep Academy in 2016. She went on to the College of Creative Studies, earning a B.F.A. in Photography in May of 2020.

Currently, she is working on personal photo projects and assisting notable automotive and editorial photographer Jenny Risher. She told us, "UPrep gave me the confidence to be a creative person and strive for the best!" Learn more about Rachel Fernandez and her career aspirations at the link below.
Ms. Rachel Fernandez
Danielle Jackson, U Prep CEO,
Shares Her Unique Perspective on Education
Danielle Jackson, CEO of Detroit 90/90, the management company for U Prep Schools, shared her perspective on how to improve the US educational system with two education thought leadership publications this fall, Authority Magazine and Thrive Global.

In discussing U Prep's approach, Ms. Jackson said, "The strategies we use to engage our students with the educational material takes full advantage of the rich culture they bring to school every day. We want our students to see the myriad of contributions that black people have brought to our country. We are moving toward more project-based learning experiences where students engage in learning in the classroom and in the field with experts. These projects will embolden our students to actively participate in the renaissance of Detroit." Read more of the interview at the link below.
UPSM's Zoology and Aquarium Studies Classrooms Undergoing Transformation
The Walters Family Foundation has provided support to help our U Prep students transform the Detroit Zoology and Belle Isle Aquarium studies classrooms at UPSM High School into themed learning spaces. Using artwork and graphics, these rooms will take students into the worlds of zoology and aquatics.

UPAD alumna and faculty member Taylor Childs has been leading the effort, overseeing the painting of support columns to be completed by UPAD students. The goal is to create a completely immersive, environmental aesthetic for these rooms.
U Prep Birthdays and Anniversaries
We have several birthdays and U Prep anniversaries in October! Click the links below to wish happy birthday or happy anniversary to our Crew members who are celebrating.
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