Frequently Asked Questions
What is the school’s history?
The University of Houston Charter School (UHCS) is a public school sponsored by the university and chartered by the State Board of Education. Once the legislature approved the charter initiative to increase innovation in education, we were one of the first nineteen Texas charter schools. Our particular responsibility is to develop a school that uses constructivist teaching practices with a technological emphasis. Opening day for our first class was January 27, 1997. By 2000 we were six classes, kindergarten through grade 5.
What does the school offer?
At UHCS, each multi-aged class of twenty-two students has a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. Class projects build community and make school interesting. Our technology supports our constructivist math curriculum, our balanced literacy approach and our active science program. Before and after school programs and summer programs are available for a fee. Help is available in identifying and appropriately serving children with special needs.
When is the school open?
During the school year, mid-August—May, students meet 8:00 am to 3:45 pm Monday through Thursday and 8:00 am to 12:30 pm on Friday. Teachers are engaged in professional and curriculem development Friday .
What do parents provide?
UHCS parents are active partners who support their children and the school’s work. They provide transportation, field trip funds and healthy lunches and snacks. They participate in school events. They communicate.
Why is the school constructivist?
The founders proposed to charter a constructivist school because learning is more powerful when curriculum works with child development. Lessons at UHCS are planned to support children’s natural curiosity, activity, and desire to “figure things out.” Teachers tailor school experiences to the needs and interest of this year’s students. To the power of invented technology, from writing to computers, to help children become confident and competent problem-solvers.
What can families expect for their children?
Families can expect charter school students to choose reading and writing and math and technology not just because they can do it but because they want to do it. They can expect children to want to come to school. They can expect children to say, “Yes, the teacher likes me, and yes, I am a good student.” Families can expect that adults and children at school will treat each other with mutual respect. They can expect their children to still be active learners and good students when they are old enough for middle school.
What does UHCS expect of students?
We expect children to be curious, active and respectful of other people. We expect them to show steady growth in reading, writing, making, doing, and knowing about the world and how it works. By the end of fifth grade, we expect that students will be ready to take on middle school with confidence in their social, physical and intellectual activity.
What does UHCS expect of families?
UHCS families partner with faculty to model mutual respect and to help children develop fully. We expect families to encourage the student’s participation in field trips, projects and the university’s research to document how children grow and learn. We expect families to be interested in schoolwork: learning about constructivism, conferring with teachers, and coming to school to visit, learn and help.
How do I learn more?
To get more information, to schedule a visit, or to register for the spring lottery that selects new students, please call 713-743-9111.