South Side Charter School Gets Entire Senior Class Into College

The country’s first all male charter public high school gets into college

By Aixa Velez
|  Saturday, Mar 6, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 AM CDT
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Chicago's only public all male, all African-American high school reached an extraordinary accomplishment-- getting all 107 seniors accepted to four-year colleges.  The students were accepted to a total of 72 schools across the nation.

Urban Prep Academy for Young Men in Englewood got a surprise visit from Mayor Daley and Chicago Public Schools CEO Ron Huberman to congratulate them on their success.

"All of you in the senior class have shown that what matters is perseverance, what matters is focus, what matters is having a dream and following that dream," Huberman said reported the Chicago Tribune.

The class of 2010 definitely set standards for years to come since they are the first graduating class at Urban Prep Academy.

The charter school enrolls students using a lottery system.  Only 4 percent of this year's senior class read at grade level as freshmen, according to Tim King, Urban Prep’s CEO.

“I never had a doubt that we would achieve this goal," King told the Tribune. "Every single person we hired knew from the day one that this is what we do: We get our kids into college.”

Students have a strict uniform policy to follow; black blazers, khaki pants and red ties.  But there’s one thing the students look forward to most, the changing of ties.  After a student is accepted into college, he swaps his red tie for a striped red and gold one at an all-school assembly.

Some probably wonder what the school does differently compared to other schools, for starts, the school offers an extended day--170,000 more minutes over four years.

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