Our Teaching Approach
At Uncommon Schools, our scholars are our highest priority. We believe that every moment we have with our students is critical so we don’t take a single moment for granted. We invest in our teachers by providing them with professional development and observational feedback on a weekly basis so that teachers are the very best they can be. We also recognize that our ultimate mission is to make sure our scholars enter, succeed in and graduate from college so our teachers provide guided support to our scholars balanced with autonomy they need so that they are fully prepared for college.
Rochester Prep's academic program emphasizes two academic disciplines above all others: English and math. Students receive two hours of ELA each day, focusing on reading comprehension, literature, mechanics and writing. Students in ELA and math get RIT student tutors for additional support.
Because we believe in the importance of diligent and rigorous study, Rochester Prep offers an extended school day and an extended school year. The school day goes from 8:00am until 4:10pm. The school year runs 190 days, plus summer work as necessary.
At Rochester Prep, we think great teachers make great schools, and we invest heavily in teachers as a result. Professional development at Rochester Prep means shared, faculty-wide collective inquiry (discussing lesson plans, watching videotape, examining student work) every Wednesday.
A Typical Day
Uncommon students start their day off on the right foot by shaking hands with a school leader and getting settled for breakfast. Each day, they know they’re in for hard work and the high reward it yields – college matriculation and graduation.
From Kindergarten through 12th grade, we place a huge emphasis on literacy.
Most Uncommon schools devote twice the time to math than local district schools.
Music & Art
We value the arts as a disciplined & creative pursuit that will benefit students throughout their lives. We offer rigorous classes in both Theatre and Digital Art.
We offer afternoon enrichment, giving our students opportunities to explore interests outside of academics. Activities include Yearbook, Debate Club, and Flag Football.
Our students participate in a wide variety of enrichment activities which serve to help students become well-rounded individuals and to better prepare them for college life.
We believe our scholars develop strong character in a supportive environment. Consistent routines allow students to be confident in what to expect each day. Scholars wear uniforms and act with respect for others while at school and when traveling on the school bus. Teachers manage the classroom by using a positive behavior system to reward productive work habits and encourage good behavior. Clear, carefully planned procedures ensure that students feel safe and secure. All of these elements result in a calm school atmosphere that helps students to focus on learning.