University Prep Academy

UPA Elementary School – Mark Murray Campus

Open Seat: 0
Est: 2008
Grades: K-5
Enrollment: 499

University Prep Academy (UPA) Elementary – Mark Murray Campus offers students the promise of a rigorous academic experience through differentiated instruction and dedicated teachers who are committed to ensuring all students reach their full academic potential. Along with a strong academic core, every student who walks through our doors enters into a caring, nurturing and safe environment where they can be brave and have a voice. They can be who they are before they know who they will be, and they can go anywhere from UPA.

School Director: Kimberly Llorens
School Director: Kimberly Llorens
School Operations Manager: Rita Garcia
School Operations Manager: Rita Garcia
Click to email the School Director & Operations Manager

Welcome to University Prep Academy, the Mark Murray Campus.

We are a vibrant school community and we strive each day to create an environment in which our students are excited to get up in the morning and enter the classroom energized to put forth their best effort, where teachers deeply know each individual student and do whatever it takes to engage every student and develop their greatest potential, where students are held to high academic and behavioral standards while pursuing projects that are current and exciting and peek their academic interest. Our students know and live our words of character; cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control, they take risks and show their tenacity when ideas and concepts are difficult. All of these and a small measure of fun enable our students to realize their full academic potential and help them along a proven pathway to success in college and life.

Our school’s strengths are embedded in the high level of commitment we insist upon and receive from our staff, our families, and our students. Parents and teachers work together to monitor each student’s progress and make decisions collaboratively to ensure our students become articulate, ethical, and successful individuals.

Each year brings new experiences to our students through a rich arts program, state of the art technology resources, and a series of field experiences that explore our local communities. For the past eight years, we have offered exciting and engaging learning that broadens every student’s knowledge of all the world has to offer and builds each student’s understanding of his own unique capabilities and interests.

Our goal is for every student Mark Murray students to complete college or another postsecondary educational program and enter adulthood with all the tools necessary to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life. This is our vision for all our student and all our efforts are pointed towards this end.

School Director,

Kimberly Llorens


November 2019

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U Prep’s core values are developed and harnessed as a means of contributing to the community. Our students take pride in their community and demonstrate their pride through their actions and words. Our visible environment is a reflection of our values.

We ensure our students will be college ready through the development of strong work habits and a growth mindset. Our students understand the significance of a college degree and align their efforts in school with a college-bound trajectory.

Students internalize and value the culture of high expectations within U Prep schools. They reflect on how this culture manifests itself through their academic and character development. Key moments- serve as capstone projects for students.

You can learn more about our curriculum if you visit the academic model page.


The M-STEP is the state of Michigan’s primary test to measure student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA), math, science, and social studies.  Students in third through eighth grade complete the test every spring, and parents usually receive results the following fall.  Students’ scores provide information about how well they have mastered grade-level material.  This is a computerized test.


Students in grades two through eight are required to take the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in reading and mathematics.  This test is administered three times per year.  In the fall, students take the assessment to receive a baseline score.  They take a winter test to monitor their progress.  After taking their final test in the spring, students’ scores are compared against their fall scores to determine how much growth they have demonstrated throughout the year.  Each test takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Interim Assessments

Administered 3-4 times per year, interim assessments provide information for students and teachers about how well they have mastered grade-level material.  These results give teachers valuable information about how to tailor their instruction to students based on their needs.  Tests generally take about 2 hours per test to complete.

Early Literacy Assessments

The early literacy screeners are used for students in grades K-3 to identify potential reading challenges.  They are a required component of our assessment program, and the results are used to inform conversations between administrators, teachers, and parents about student’s’ progress.  The tests are administered in two phases–an initial screening test and a diagnostic test to help identify specific areas for support.


For students who are learning English as a second language, the WIDA test is administered to determine progress in the acquisition of the English language.  The test is formatted differently for different ages, and it generally includes reading, writing, speaking, and listening components.  The results from the WIDA inform a student’s placement and level of services for English language learners.

UPA Elementary School students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities early on in their academic career. Learn More
Note: We offer breakfast from 7:30 am to 8:00 am

Food Service Quick Links

Dear University Prep Parents,

As the new Food Service Director for University Prep Schools, it is my mission to ensure we provide a high-quality school lunch program to every student every day.

As a parent with two children, I understand how difficult it can be to make lunch on the fly or wonder if they are even going to eat what you pack them. While I support your any parent who chooses  to prepare their children’s lunch, I also want you to have confidence in the school lunch program that we are providing in the building.

With this in mind, for the 2017/18 school year and I am proud to announce some exciting enhancements to our University Prep food service program! This year our organization has selected Variety Food Services Inc. to serve our young scholars nutritional meals.

Variety has over sixteen (16) years experience providing meals in child nutrition programs that include breakfast, lunch snacks and after school supper. Variety has consistently met the strict USDA nutritional standards for each meal type via annual SMI Nutritional Reviews conducted by the Michigan Department of Education.

Variety’s K-12, breakfast and lunch menus strictly comply with the USDA’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and they consistently incorporate the use of fresh fruits and vegetables (both hot and cold) every week in monthly menus. Additionally, variety has never introduced any fried foods into their programs.

I take tremendous pride in my job and believe school menus are an opportunity to model good nutrition and encourage healthy eating practices. I will work with Variety to provide our U Prep scholars with nutrition information such as an explanation of calories and intake, the dangers of fad diets and nutrition, and the importance of a balanced diet.

In regards to quality assurance I will conduct quarterly food service progress reports, monitor delivery standards, provide lunch staff with robust training and be vigilant about special dietary needs for individual students.
Also, this year our University Prep school menus will contain the following important food nutrition facts:

  • Calories
  • Calories from fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat grams
  • Fat percentage
  • Saturated fat
  • Protein

I thank you for your continued support of our program, and I welcome feedback and ideas throughout the year.

Sandra Collier
Director of Food Services
University Prep Schools

To view and download our handbook, code of conduct, and other important schools documents click here.


UPA Elementary School – Mark Murray Campus
435 Amsterdam
Detroit, MI 48202

Phone: (313) 309-0552
Fax: (313) 309-0487
School Director: Kimberly Llorens
School Operations Manager: Rita Garcia