Spotlighting efforts to boost reading proficiency in NY post pandemic

October 23, 2023 | By: Halena Sepulveda at Spectrum News 1 According to the Nation’s Report Card, 33% of fourth-grade students performed at or above proficiency levels in 2022, which was 2% less compared to 2019. “Post-pandemic we’ve really figured out that we need to target exactly what our kids need and our curriculum has … Continued

Rochester Prep celebrates Senior Signing Day

WHAM ABC 13  | Fri, May 19th 2023, 7:28 PM EDT Rochester Prep celebrated its Senior Signing Day on May 19 to commemorate students’ college decisions and to cheer them on as they begin their next chapter. 98% of the seniors are graduating and heading to college in the fall. “So often we hear about … Continued

Rochester Prep Students Earn Full Scholarships to Prestigious Colleges

By Tocarra Hughes | Feb. 10, 2023 Four students from Rochester Prep will attend Notre Dame, Colgate University, the University of Chicago, and Boston University on a full, four-year academic scholarship through the QuestBridge National College Match. The Rochester Prep students were selected from among more than 17,900 applicants for the scholarship. Read more on … Continued

A national model locally for K-12, higher ed collaboration

By Ronald L. Zarrella In this Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Op-Ed, Ronald L. Zarrella discusses how a partnership between the Rochester Institute of Technology and Rochester Prep is helping students experience the rigors of academia, learn exactly what it takes to be successful in college, and discover fields of study that they may not have … Continued

A call to teach now more than ever

By Brett Peiser In this New York Daily News Op-Ed, Uncommon Schools’ co-CEO Brett Peiser acknowledges how hard the past two-and-a-half years have been on teachers, but he also knows that students and families need teachers now more than ever. Read this story as it originally appeared on October 17, 2022 in New York Daily … Continued

Program helping combat teacher shortage in Rochester

The worker shortage is affecting a wide variety of professions, including teaching. Local school districts are dealing with a shortage of both teachers and staff, just like every other district in New York. Rochester Prep is trying to combat the shortage by helping people who want to become teachers go to school to do so … Continued

13 Uncommon Seniors Receive QuestBridge Scholarships to Top Schools

Please join us in congratulating Uncommon’s QuestBridge Scholars! Thirteen seniors from Uncommon’s network in New Jersey, Rochester, and Brooklyn have accepted their QuestBridge matches and will receive full four-year scholarships to 9 colleges and universities, including Wellesley and Yale. We are so proud of these graduating seniors and the work they have done to achieve … Continued

11 Rochester Prep Alumni Join RIT City Scholars Program

Spectrum News1: Rochester Prep Works to Close COVID-Related Learning Loss

Read the full story here.

Rochester Beacon: Rochester Prep Educators Kept Students’ Dreams Alive During Pandemic

Minority Reporter Op-Ed: Rochester Prep Meeting My Childrens’ Needs

Uncommon Sense: An Instructional Blog for Educators by Educators

Uncommon Schools has a history of collaborating with local school districts and sharing resources through in-person professional development trainings, online workshops, and multiple best-selling books. Why? Because we believe that every child deserves a great education. Why a Blog? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink our traditional sharing avenues, but being confined to … Continued

Rochester Beacon: Alumna Returns to Alma Mater to Teach

A Letter to the Uncommon Community

Dear Uncommon Schools Community, A few weeks ago, after we chose to close Uncommon Schools for a day to allow our community to process in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, I wrote an essay about how our charter school network was founded to battle racism and advance social justice. Since writing that … Continued

Juneteenth: A Reflection

My Uncommon Family— I am truly thankful for the opportunity to write to you on this day: June 19, 2020. As I write this, monuments of history told from a single story are coming down all over the world, as people refuse to continue to accept a single version, a single truth, a single lens … Continued

Rochester Prep Seniors Celebrate College Signing Day

Senior Signing Days are usually a raucous affair with students and families convening at a theater, all cheering as each senior declares where they will be going to college. This year, the event turned virtual on Youtube. Students proudly shared which college they will be graduating from in four years, and listened to guest speaker … Continued

Op-Ed: We Were Founded to Battle Racism and Injustice

In an op-ed for The 74 Million, Uncommon Schools President Julie Jackson explains why the Uncommon Schools network shut down for a day. “With protests erupting across the country, with our own staff and families and students participating, with countless conversations happening about the toll these events were taking on us personally, it became clear … Continued

Uncommon Schools to Close for Mental Health Day on June 1

Uncommon Schools is taking an organization-wide mental health day June 1, 2020 for the sake of our community. Like you, we spent the weekend watching, reading, grieving, raging, reflecting, and marching. We spent the weekend trying to explain to our own children what was going on, as we tried to explain it to ourselves. As … Continued

Together, We are Here

One Mission, One Vision. We may be separated from one another during this pandemic, but we are together in one purpose. With joy and love, our teachers continue to show their commitment to their students and families. North Star Academy and Camden Prep performing arts teachers created this video, singing out our mission to get … Continued

One Teacher’s Perspective on Uncommon’s Demands on Students and Teachers

When Mike Taubman was studying to become a teacher, he didn’t buy the anti-charter school sentiment. As an undergraduate, he interned at Uncommon Schools and now, at 39, is in his 15th year at the network and thriving. Many teachers at charter schools, like Taubman, are willing to work the long hours because, writes Jay … Continued

Reinventing Education Amid the Pandemic

In an op-ed for the Rochester Beacon, Assistant Superintendent Paul Powell describes how Uncommon Schools Rochester Prep revamped itself to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Echoing CEO Brett Peiser’s op-ed in the New York Daily News, Powell highlights the principles that guided this work, and how teachers are creating virtual curricula and … Continued

Making Remote Learning Easier and Engaging

Many educators across the country are navigating a huge challenge: how to keep students learning while away from school during the coronavirus pandemic. As Juliana Worrell notes in an op-ed for The 74, we created a remote learning platform that we believe will keep K-8 students learning until we’re able to return to classrooms. We … Continued

Uncommon Schools Launches Virtual K8 Program

No one knew how much the coronavirus pandemic would impact K-12 learning. Schools, including Uncommon Schools, initially made sure their students had enough learning packets and assignments for about two weeks. It quickly became apparent that more was needed. Starting March 30, every Uncommon student will be on a virtual school program with daily lessons … Continued

Literacy Nonprofit Donates Books to Children in Need During Pandemic

A Freeport-based nonprofit, The Book Fairies, donated more than 11,000 books so children can keep reading during the coronavirus pandemic. Educators approached the organization about books to send home to students. In response, Book Fairies temporarily opened its headquarters for scheduled pick-ups. Natasha Cherry-Perez, Senior Associate Director of Community Engagement, went to pick up books … Continued

3 Guiding Principles for Our Transition to Remote Learning

Days after we closed all of our school, Uncommon opened back up as a remote learning organization. In New York City alone we were serving nearly 10,000 students in their homes. Our teachers and staff scrambled to survey families about their Internet capabilities, became couriers to get equipment to families, and made wellness calls to … Continued

Uncommon School Leaders Attend TFA School Leaders of Color Conference

Seven hundred school leaders of color — including over 10 from Uncommon — gathered in Las Vegas on February 7 for Teach for America’s annual conference. This year, the focus was on resilient leadership and providing school leaders with inspiration and motivation to continue the work of supporting young people of color in achieving their … Continued

2,550 Strong — We are One Uncommon

In 1997, we began as a single school in Newark, New Jersey. To that founding class of 72 students and their families we made a promise. A promise to provide them with an outstanding education that prepares them to graduate from college and achieve their dreams. Our steadfastness and commitment to that promise has allowed … Continued

Charter School Leaders Invite Democratic Presidential Candidates to Visit Their Schools

In an op-ed for the Daily News, Brett Peiser (CEO, Uncommon Schools), Dacia Toll (President and Co-CEO, Achievement First), and Richard Barth (CEO, KIPP Foundation), invite Democratic presidential candidates to visit their schools and see firsthand how public charter schools are making an impact on student outcomes. Democratic presidential candidates have spoken on the need … Continued

RIT Professor Who Led Rochester Prep Students in Capstone Project Recognized at National Role Models Conference

Professor André Hudson, head of the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, was celebrated at the National Role Models Conference — one of multiple awards given to RIT for their work on diversity and inclusion. Professor Hudson led three Uncommon Rochester Prep High School seniors in a capstone project … Continued

Rochester Prep Alumna Joins RIT’s 10th Class of Destler-Johnson Rochester City Scholars

Cheyenne Williams, a Rochester Prep alumna, is one of 21 students who were welcomed at the Rochester Institute of Technology as the college’s 10th class of Destler-Johnson Rochester City Scholars. The program is designed to give graduates from the Rochester City School District the opportunity to attend college tuition-free. Watch the coverage on News10 here.

Paul Powell: Three Factors That Have an Impact on Students’ Lives

While attending a K-12 forum on the future of education, Rochester Prep Assistant Superintendent Paul Powell kept thinking about Jahnury Acosta, a Rochester Prep alumnus and freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology. Jahnury’s journey to graduate at the top of his class wasn’t an easy one but watching him succeed through rigorous AP courses in … Continued

Rochester Prep West Campus Identified as “Recognition School”

Rochester Prep West Campus has been identified by the New York State Education Department as a 2018-19 Recognition School, one of only four K-8 schools outside of New York City to achieve the distinction. Under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), schools identified as “Recognition Schools” have high academic achievement, student growth and graduation … Continued

Rochester Prep HS Teacher Shares First Year Teaching Experience

Susan Spencer, a geometry and algebra teacher at Uncommon Schools Rochester Prep High School, recently spoke with Evan Dawson, host of Connections on NPR, about her first year of teaching. “I was surprised by how purpose driven this work is for so many people. I’ve never worked in a profession where people were so dedicated … Continued

Rochester Prep Students Discover Rare Bacterium

Atlantis, Joyceline, and D’Asia — three Rochester Prep seniors — made a surprising discovery with professor Andre Hudson while working in a science lab at Rochester Institute of Technology. The young women are co-authors on a scientific paper announcing a rare bacterium that kills e-coli. Their work will be published in the April issue of … Continued

Patch: Rochester Prep Celebrates Graduation and 100% College Acceptance