Microsoft word - heights prep rated exemplary - final 08 08 11.doc

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts
Britni Manry
Kelly Lane
Uplift Education charter school helps move economically disadvantaged students
in West Dallas to the top of the class
Heights Preparatory rated “Exemplary” school in first year of operation DALLAS (August 8, 2011) – Uplift Education, a Dallas-based charter school network, has announced
that just a year after opening its first school in West Dallas, the innovative school achieved the highest
possible rating, “Exemplary,”
from the Texas Education Agency. The achievement is a major turning
point for public education in the community, which has not had a comprehensive public school rated
above Academically Acceptable since 2007 and faces high childhood poverty rates (90 percent of middle
school students are considered economically disadvantaged).
“Uplift Education entered West Dallas with the attitude that every student has the ability to enter and
succeed in college,” said Uplift Education CEO Yasmin Bhatia. “The Exemplary rating for Uplift
Education’s Heights Preparatory reflects the hard work of its teachers, leaders, parents and scholars
toward our goal of 100 percent college acceptance among graduates,” Yasmin Bhatia continued.
Uplift Education’s Heights Preparatory opened in summer 2010 through a partnership with the Dallas
Housing Authority and is part of the West Dallas “School Zone” initiative. More than 60 percent of its
students live in West Dallas’ 75212 ZIP code, and 80 percent are considered economically disadvantaged.
Led by the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition, city leaders and community groups, the School Zone is
modeled after the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone to put students on a path toward college.
Uplift Education is a Texas-based, non-profit network of public charter schools. Its 20 schools educate
6,000 students.
The network focuses on providing low-income and minority students in Dallas-Ft. Worth
with access to a free, college preparatory education – 100 percent of graduates are accepted to college.
“The model that makes Uplift Education schools successful includes longer school days and school year;
a rigorous, college preparatory curriculum; a dual board structure that engages the local community and
community leaders; recruitment of high-achieving school leaders and teachers; and strong parental
involvement,” Yasmin Bhatia said.

“The Exemplary ranking for Uplift Education’s Heights Preparatory proves that West Dallas students can
achieve,” said Heights Prep parent LaDonna Johnson. “I am so thankful for the teachers’ attitude toward
doing whatever it takes to promote a culture of high expectations and college acceptance.”



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