• 2200 Eureka Way | Redding, CA 96001
  • (530)245-2790
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Welcome from
Shelle Peterson

Superintendent/Principal

Welcome to the University Preparatory School website. U-Prep is widely recognized as a high achieving school of choice aimed at preparing students for a successful transition to university-level coursework. The learning environment and school culture is reflected in our motto, Pursuing Excellence Together. The partnerships between our caring and competent staff, supportive school board, engaged families, and outstanding community businesses and organizations enable us to give students a high quality education that strengthens their ability to compete in the world.

Middle School at U-Prep

The Middle Grade Program serves as the foundation for a successful transition to our High School Program. High expectations coupled with strong supports serve to nurture developing confidence and self-efficacy. A plethora of extra-curricular opportunities stretch learning beyond the classroom: 20 athletic teams (girls and boys soccer, cross country, flag football, volleyball, girls and boys basketball, track, baseball and softball); performing arts including band, choir, orchestra, drum corps, dance, fall musical and spring play (open to all grades), and a myriad of clubs (Student Government, Odyssey of the Mind, Peer Mentors, Mathcounts, Science Bowl, and many more). U-Prep also offers an Academic Support and Advisory Program (A.S.A.P.), which is embedded into each student’s school day. During A.S.A.P., students are engaged in learning developmentally appropriate topics including time management, study skills, and college readiness benchmarks; students may also receive tutoring and connect with their teachers for additional academic support. All of our 8th grade students study Latin; those who master the curriculum in 7th may opt to begin a modern language in 8th. High school students interact positively with middle school students through Big Brother/Big Sister, Peer Mentors and other venues within the athletics, arts, and activities programs.

High School at U-Prep

There are several unique features to U-Prep’s High School Program, including: (1) The graduation requirements are aligned to the UC and CSU A-G admissions eligibility requirements; (2) Students take 7 classes daily rather than 6, which increases opportunities to expand interests in fine arts, world languages, and other electives while pursuing the most advanced academic schedule; (3) The World Language Department offers courses in Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and French. U-Prep is the only school in our community that promotes the study and teaching of the Classical Greek and Latin world; (4) U-Prep hosts an award winning Dance program that offers courses in junior high and high school (fine arts credit); and, (5) All students in grades 9-12 take Honors or Advanced Placement curriculum. Freshman students take AP Human Geography, and junior and senior students take AP English and AP history courses as their default course of study. Dual enrollment courses are taught on-site by U-Prep instructors; courses are offered in the math, English, science departments. With 23 different athletic teams students in our small school setting have ample opportunity to develop themselves as competitors. Several extra-curricular programs serve to develop leadership while fostering a sense of personal responsibility and citizenship.

We Deliver on Four Promises

  • 1) We prepare students for university-level admissions through offering a challenging academic learning environment.
  • 2) We provide academic and relational supports within a close-knit community of faculty advisors.
  • 3) We strive to build positive working relationships with students and families.
  • 4) We empower students to develop their unlimited potential through offering new challenges and engagement in leadership opportunities, the visual and performing arts programs, junior high and high school athletics, and rigorous college-preparatory academics.

Selecting the best school for your child is understandably a ‘head and heart’ process. Simply put, we are pleased to provide an opportunity for parents to consider as they navigate through differing educational options and determine a match. Our staff is available to answer questions if we can be of further assistance, 245-2790.

Sincerely,

Shelle Peterson
Superintendent/Principal

School Profile


University Preparatory School is a public charter school of the Shasta Union High School District. It was granted a charter in March 2004 with the goal of creating an alternative educational experience for secondary students in Shasta County and contiguous counties. U-Prep was born of the stakeholders’ common goal to make a classical, college prep public school uniquely available to north state students. Its purpose is twofold: first to provide a small, comprehensive high school alternative for area students and second to support the academic mission of the school and prepare students for an academically rigorous high school experience with its middle school curriculum. University Preparatory School delivers on the following Four Promises, all of which reflect the school mission:

  • 1) U-Prep prepares students for university-level admissions through offering a challenging academic program. Students may design a course trajectory, 6th grade through 12th grade, unique to their abilities and skill sets which allows them to excel at a rate commensurate with their interests and goals. Junior high students have access to high school courses. All high school students are immersed in college preparatory courses (Honors, Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment).
  • 2) U-Prep provides academic and relational supports within a close-knit community of faculty and advisors. As a small school, faculty are able to build caring and supportive working relationships with students. All U-Prep faculty serve as coaches and/or advisors to school programs, which enable them to build rapport with students outside of the classroom. Academic support programs include a Tutorial/Advisory period for students in 6th through 12th grades, Study Hall courses for junior high and high school, BRIDGE courses for junior high students, and Math Support courses for junior high and high school students. Students may access faculty during Friday Office Hours for individualized assistance. Senior students meet weekly with their counselor in Senior Transition, a course designed to address their post-secondary plans. Three school counselors are on staff to assist students in achieving their goals.
  • 3) We strive to build positive working relationships with students and families. Providing a small school, family-like environment strongly connected to our parents and community is essential to the ongoing support and development of each student. With strong relationships intact, young adults have the freedom to discover and enjoy the process of reaching their fullest potential. Research overwhelmingly supports the power of schools, families, and community groups working together to support student learning. Results show that students tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more when this partnership exists. Additionally, volunteering in one of the Booster or school organizations is a wonderful way to contribute to your child’s school. Staying in touch with school happenings is made user-friendly through the U-Prep Panthers school app, the school website, the U-Prep Marquee, the Panther Pride monthly newsletter, teacher websites, and School Messenger all-call phone system. Fall and spring Academic Conferences allow a team approach to addressing student progress.
  • 4) U-Prep empowers students to develop their unlimited potential through offering new challenges, and engagement in leadership opportunities, the visual and performing arts programs, athletics, and rigorous academics. As a student-centered learning community, students have the opportunity to explore their interests and develop or contribute to new courses, programs, clubs, and/or school initiatives. Many of those currently in place are manifestations of student contribution and collaboration with staff.

University Preparatory School’s middle school curriculum includes Latin in 7th and 8th grade. The high school curriculum is comprised of AP, Honors and CP courses. World Language courses offered at U-Prep include: Mandarin, Spanish, French, and Latin. Advanced Placement course offerings include: AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP US History, AP Microeconomics, AP American Government, AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Latin, and AP Studio Art (Drawing, 2D and 3D). On-campus dual enrolled course offerings include: Precalculus College Algebra, College Physics 2A, College Physics 2B, College Composition, College Literature and Composition, and Principles of Economics. Students also participate in Advisory and Tutorial class.

School Accreditation, Awards and Recognition

U-Prep has completed three cycles of accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Following each term, the school as awarded the highest level of accreditation.

U-Prep continues to receive recognition from The Washington Post, (Most Challenging High Schools, ranked #264 nationally), U.S. News and World Report (Best High Schools – Gold Medal, ranked #255 nationally), and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (Scholar Schools Honor Roll). U-Prep students have received recognition through their performance on the National Latin Exam, and College Board Advanced Placement, PSAT, SAT exams, among other individual awards and recognitions.

For a historical perspective on the world class education that U-Prep was set up to accomplish, click here.

School Safety & Security


University Preparatory School has a comprehensive School Safety Plan. The plan is reviewed annually with the School Safety Committee and practiced regularly to ensure the safety of all students and staff should an emergency arise. 100% of the U-Prep school staff have received training in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) safety practices. Training is ongoing with staff and students. The U-Prep campus hosts two security personnel and is served by a Redding Police Department School Resource Officer.

Vision

We work together to provide students with many opportunities to excel academically and develop their potential as educated leaders and citizens in the 21st century through a rich and varied extra-curricular program. This vision is supported by offering a seven-period day to students from grades 6 through 12 so that they may pursue academic interests, such as studying multiple world languages or continue their development in the arts, including dance, drama, art, and music. Our vision is to enable all students to become self-motivated, competent, and lifelong learners.

Mission

University Preparatory School is an educational community invested in developing confident, capable, and compassionate citizens; its mission to immerse all students “in rigorous academics and meaningful extra-curricular activities” is supported by a collaborative and close-knit community of staff, students, and parents and based upon educational research and professional experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to the school’s academic goals for students are the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO), which articulate the values of the school community and are central to both the academic and Advisory curriculum as well as the student recognition program.

The U-Prep Student is...

A Mature Communicator
Able to read, write, speak, question and listen effectively and professionally to support all aspects of communication.
An Information Manager
Able to ethically and morally access, organize and evaluate information for a complex and technological world.
A Problem Solver
Able to be innovative through critical thinking and decision making to produce solutions, while adapting and facing new challenges.
A Positive Member of a Diverse Society
Able to demonstrate compassion and empathy throughout the community, both locally and globally.
A Lifelong Learner
Able to be accountable in setting and achieving education, career, and personal health goals to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

So that he or she can serve the world with character, skills and leadership.

School History & Founders


University Preparatory School came about as a result of three major factors: a group of five educators/teachers committed to the idea of a new, small, academically rigorous 7th through 12th grade school; a visionary district superintendent who recognized the value of such a school; and a community that was both willing and ready to support a small public school option aimed at providing an academically focused opportunity for all students.

In the fall of 2003 the founders began meeting to discuss the possibility of creating a charter school sponsored by the Shasta Union High School District that educated 7th through 12th grade students:

Erin Stuart:
SUHSD teacher and Principal at the College Connection Program
Sally vonDachenhausen:
Foothill High School AP English teacher and department chair, District English Department Chair
Kathy Malain:
Counselor/Team Leader at Sequoia Middle School
Andy Hedman:
Shasta High School AP English teacher
Susan McGrath:
Foothill math teacher, former FHS Math Department Chair

In September of 2003, the Leadership Team sent a formal petition to the Shasta Union High School District asking its board members to consider the merits of a District sponsored charter school. The Leadership Team conducted public meetings throughout early November of 2003 to share the goals and structure of the school with anyone interested. In November of 2003, the Shasta Union High School District’s Board met, discussed, voted and granted permission for University Preparatory School’s original eight page charter. At that time the Founders/Leadership Team identified and assumed the leadership roles/responsibilities that would form the foundation of U-Prep:

Erin Stuart:
Principal, later Superintendent/Principal 2004-2012
Sally vonDachenhausen:
English Department Chair, AP English, Yearbook, Senior Exit Project/Senior Transition
Kathy Malain:
Counselor, Special Education Coordinator, later Associate Principal, Superintendent/Principal 2012-2014
Andy Hedman:
Athletic Administrator, AP English teacher, New Teacher Mentor
Susan McGrath:
Math/Science Department Chair, advanced mathematics teacher