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  Home > Relocation Resources > Top U.S. High Schools > University Park Campus

University Park Campus

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High school is a name used in some parts of the world, and particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of compulsory secondary education. In the United States, high schools generally consist of grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, although the inclusion of grade 9 varies by school district.
The school’s record of accomplishment is all the more remarkable given the low academic skills and limited English profi ciency  of its entering students. Located in the poorest section of Worcester, the second largest city in Massachusetts, UPCS, the University Park Campus has as its only requirement for entry that students live in the immediate neighborhood of the school. Chosen by lottery, the vast majority of students enter at least two grade levels behind in reading and math. Seventy two percent of students enrolled at the school qualify for free lunch; nearly 80 percent come from homes where English is not spoken. One third of the school’s students are Latino, 19 percent are Asian Americans and 7 percent are African American. Many of the white students are recent arrivals from Eastern Europe who enter the school speaking only a few words of English.
The school’s powerful educational program and deep partnership with Clark have created a culture where academic success is universal. Beginning in the ninth grade, all students pursue a rigorous college-preparatory program consisting of all honors classes. At the same time, instruction is individualized to connect to each student’s particular level of development. There is no tracking. Instead, there are small classes, personal relationship-building with a caring and competent faculty, 90-minute learning blocks, and homework
sessions in the morning and evening.
UPCS has no pull out classes. The school uses a full immersion model for its English Language Learners and special education students, meeting the needs of these students within its 20-student classes. In addition, teachers work to promote students’ social and emotional development as a critical piece of their overall academic and life success. By offering a common curriculum with few electives, the school is able to deploy its teaching resources more efficiently than the typical high school, keeping class sizes low in core academic subjects.

Their mission is to provide a safe, supportive environment that promotes tolerance and respect for diversity. They challenge students to become active learners and critical thinkers, and foster the development of scholarship, leadership, citizenship and integrity.

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