Uplift Community High School , in the Uptown neighborhood, is providing a quality, college prep education for its youth. Although statistics don’t tell the whole story, as of the 2009-2010 school year, Uplift is “not on probation” and is in “good standing” per the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) website.
Many CPS schools are on probation and Uplift’s “good standing” is a major accomplishment, especially within the context of the Uptown community. Several years ago, there was controversy regarding Arai Middle School being phased out, and Uplift Community High School now occupies the space formerly used by Arai. Admissions preference at Uplift is given to those who live in Uptown, but if space is available, others may enroll.
Eighty-one percent of Uplift’s students are African American, and the next largest demographic is Latino at 12 percent, while 96 percent of its students are low income. Uptown parents know the near impossibility of finding a school that meets their children’s needs.
The beauty of Uptown is its diversity, but meeting the needs of the diverse population is a challenge. Children face adversity, gang recruitment, parental unemployment, and neighborhood violence. There is gentrification and prosperity in Uptown for some, along with displacement and poverty for others.
Those who live in Uptown know that unless their child is fortunate enough to obtain a coveted slot at a selective enrollment high school that they will attend Uptown’s only high school–Uplift. Because of this, Uplift’s parents have worked hard at securing their children’s current and future success.
The last CPS scorecard reports that 95 percent of parents are satisfied with the school overall, and 97 percent are satisfied with opportunities for involvement. This clearly shows that parents’ voices are being heard, and they are backing their children’s, the principal’s, the teachers’, the administration’s, and the staff’s efforts on their children’s behalf.
Stephanie Y. Moore, principal of Uplift, is at the helm of the school and is doing an excellent job. She has implemented programs that bring the college experience to the high school. Currently, there is a partnership with Loyola University where pre-service teachers work in the classroom with Uplift students.
Northeastern Illinois University and Truman College also send observers and student teachers to Uplift. All this is done to assure students’ future college success. This, along with the honors and advanced placement classes will help all Uplift students make college a part of their lives.
Uplift Community High School Website, uplifths.org/
Chicago Public Schools, cps.edu/Schools/Pages/school.aspx?unit=221