About U Prep Schools District


Known as one of Detroit’s longest-standing tuition-free public charter school systems, University Prep Schools (U Prep Schools) encompasses two districts and seven campuses serving K-12 students from all corners of the city. Through a combination of individualized and Expeditionary Learning models, U Prep Schools’ students are afforded the unique opportunity to learn in an environment that extends education beyond the confines of the traditional classroom.

A Message From Our CEO

Welcome to U Prep Schools! As one of the city’s longest-standing tuition-free public charter school system in Detroit, we have served thousands of students and their families since opening our first school in 2000. Service to our students and families, means providing all children the access, opportunity and experience necessary to become not only university-ready, but life-ready. We were the first charter system in Detroit to make, and keep, the 90/90 promise which guarantees a minimum graduation rate of 90 percent and college acceptance rate of 90 percent. University Prep Schools has surpassed this standard with every graduating class since our first in 2007.Each school within our two districts – University Preparatory Academy (UPA) and University Prep Science & Math (UPSM) – may be distinct but they are uniformly held to the highest standards of student achievement and accountability. With a fervent resolve to ensure a culture of post-secondary readiness, U Prep Schools drives all students to reach their academic potential.The hallmark of our system is our commitment to a small, private school-like environment where every student is safe, welcome and engaged in the school community. Every educator in the U Prep Schools system is there to support and inspire our students to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially, so that they graduate with the academic skills and the grit, tenacity and work ethic necessary to achieve their dreams in college and beyond.We provide meaningful and ongoing professional development, so that our teachers remain on the cutting edge of technology and teaching techniques. We will continue to invest heavily in our faculty and staff to ensure that our students are competitive.Not only are our teachers committed to creating an environment that is conducive to student learning, but our campuses are truly state-of-the-art. U Prep Schools boasts several tech-forward facilities that are equipped to teach 21st century learners. However, grooming students for success in the global economy means taking learning beyond the confines of the classroom.At U Prep, we believe in the old adage, “a ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.” We will leverage every relationship and employ every tactic necessary to provide the 3,200 U Prep students, across our seven campuses, access to the world, the opportunity to explore it, and the experience to be able to choose how best to live within it.One of the greatest strengths of our community is the level of investment our parents have in their children’s education.  I have seen this firsthand, in conversations with parents and guardians and within the hallways that line our schools. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our new families as well as seasoned, veteran U Prep parents, to be nothing less than the best.


Mark Ornstein, Chief Executive Officer

Graduation 2014


  • We care about people.
    In everything we do, we care about the needs of others while also taking care of ourselves.
  • Learning is exciting.
    We take joy in learning new things. we approach challenges by thinking about the new things we will discover.
  • We think big and DO.
    Our goals push us to excel, and we work hard to accomplish those goals.
  • We work well by ourselves and in teams.
    We work hard on our own and contribute our personal best to the team, and our work together lets us all shine brighter.
  • Our actions have a purpose.
    Before we do anything, we know why we are doing it and how we will go about it.


We exist to give students the courage to pursue a future full of possibilities.


We prepare students for success in life.


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School Closing Alert

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