In this edition of Client Spotlight, we focus on Uplift Education, the largest charter school network in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Uplift Education’s schools are tuition-free, and admission is granted by lottery. Established in 2005, Uplift serves over 17,000 students from Pre-Kindergarten through high school on 16 campuses, and we are very proud to have them on our client roster.
So what makes Uplift Education special? While their size alone is impressive, what really excites us here at Torsh are the incredible results they are delivering for their students, 75% of whom qualify for free lunch.
At Uplift, conversations about college begin in kindergarten (Yes, kindergarten!). Students are taught what it means to go to college, and each classroom has a college theme (often borrowed from the alma mater of the teacher). It’s not unusual to hear teachers and “scholars,” as the students are called, singing university fight songs throughout their school. Uplift shines a spotlight on the world of endless possibilities that can be unlocked with a college degree. As students progress onto middle school and then high school, they enter the “Road to College” program that includes campus visits and curriculum focused on college preparation.
Sending the message that college is not some distant dream but rather, a highly-attainable reality is having an impact on the hearts and minds of Uplift’s students. Take for example the graduating class of 2016, which included 464 students across six high schools. 94% of those graduates attended college last fall. Of those, 75% of those were first generation college attendees. Collectively they earned $54 million in college scholarships and grants. Last year also marked the eighth consecutive year that 100% of Uplift’s graduating class was accepted into college. Those are numbers that would make any school proud.
Torsh’s relationship with Uplift began three years ago with two schools, Uplift Mighty and Uplift Peak. These schools, which are Kindergarten through 11th grade and 12th grade respectively, began engaging with TALENT as part of teacher training, to include video observation and peer reflection. Now, every Uplift school leader has the ability to access TALENT – and we hope that as our relationship grows, TALENT will be accessible to every Uplift teacher on every campus.
Uplift Education demonstrates what charter schools can achieve when they set high standards and have a culture of accountability and uncompromising excellence. Teachers and administrators at Uplift Education expect great things from their students. And in turn, students learn to expect great things from themselves.