UP Excellence Academy: A Bold New Beginning for Houston's Youth

Texas Charter School Development (TCSD) has partnered with a newly authorized charter school in Houston – UP Excellence Academy.

Who is UP Excellence?

UP Excellence Academy is a newly authorized charter school that will open its doors in August 2024, serving 300 students from Kindergarten to 2nd grade. The school is led by Tamika Griffin, founder and CEO, who has 17 years in K-12 education. Her journey has been all about innovation and transformation, and she’s dedicated to making sure every student succeeds.

The school is dedicated to nurturing scholars for success in both their academic journey and life endeavors. They will achieve this by delivering an education steeped in an entrepreneurial mindset, empowering each scholar to discern and embark upon their distinct pathway to achievement.

The Big Challenge

Starting a school from scratch is tough. UP Excellence was in search of a suitable space in Houston’s 5th Ward that could be transformed into the joyful learning environment that they envisioned to serve their future students and the community, while also being conscious of maintaining affordability. But finding an affordable location that fit the bill was a challenge. There were no available facilities in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood and the big worry was that the school might have to delay its opening by a year.

The Solution

TCSD partnered with UP Excellence to find a facility solution which would allow the school to open on time for the 2024-2025 school year. We found a 55,000 square foot, former charter school facility in North Houston that was available. After careful review, it was clear this location could help UP Excellence achieve its mission.

Here’s what TCSD is doing to help make the facility a reality

  • Low-cost financing: We provided an $800,000 below market rate loan.
  • Project management: We handled the entire project, from coordinating with contractors, to managing the budget, to working with the City of Houston on obtaining the school’s occupancy certificate.
  • Lease and legal support: We secured a 15-year lease with flexible renewal and purchase options, and negotiated a lower lease cost for the first three years which allowed the school to grow into the space at an affordable cost.

The Happy Ending

Thanks to TCSD’s efforts and our close partnership with UP Excellence, the academy is set to open on time for the 2024-2025 school year. It’s the only new charter school in Houston to hit this deadline, showing the power of dedication and hard work.

Wrapping Up

UP Excellence Academy isn’t just a new school; it’s a beacon of hope and progress. It shows how community-focused efforts and strong partnerships can make a real difference. We’re excited to see the amazing impact it will have on its students and the community.

Stay tuned for more updates on UP Excellence!