Charter school banks on innovation for students
Sitting on the edge of the UH campus is a public charter school that admitted around 135 students from kindergarten to fifth grade.
The UH Charter School, which has been a part of the University for 16 years, works to provide a well-rounded education to young students.
“As a charter school, UHCS was established to increase innovation in public education,” said UHCS Principal Carolyn Black.
Each spring, UHCS takes in about 30 kindergarteners to fifth grade siblings and lottery applicants to build its enrollment of about 135. Its six classes, which are held from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday are taught by lead and assistant teachers.
“The specific mission of UHCS is to implement a constructivist model of elementary education based on the research of Jean Piaget and the program developed by John Dewey,” Black said
The school focuses on empowering students, parents and faculty in the Houston community while also giving those students the technological and intellectual skills as well as leadership abilities that will help them succeed.
Black said building a community within the charter school and extending that to a larger community is also a focus.
“We promote the development of the whole child. We enjoy family events including those where we celebrate our student writers, mathematicians and scientists at Authors Night, Family Math Night and Science Fair,” Black said.
Camp Construct is an after school program provided by the UHCS. Math investigations, art, music, science, technology, engineering, handwriting without tears and daily physical education are just some of the many activities that the program includes.
In its larger community, the school participates in the March of Dimes, which is a citywide fundraiser that raises money for premature babies and their mothers. This year’s event will take place at 8 a.m. Sunday at UH. The school also participates by collecting money for other nonprofit organizations such as the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
“We also promote health at our Wellness Fair, Jump Rope for Heart and Field Day. We celebrate our diversity at our World Bazaar,” Black said.
“Parents join us as we trek to San Antonio for the fourth grade Texas history trip and then further west for the fifth grade geological expedition. Parents are active in supporting all aspects of the school.”
For UH students, the charter school gives them a chance to earn educational experience with the help from its family and community.
“We want to get everyone involved,” said school secretary Glenn Carosella.
“This means from the students, teachers and the principal. We want everyone to be involved in the development of our students during these crucial years.”