University Gardens High School

University Gardens High School (Spanish: Escuela Superior University Gardens, generally abbreviated as UGHS), formally University Gardens Community School Specialized in Science and Mathematics, is a secondary magnet school located in Hato Rey Sur, San Juan, Puerto Rico. University Gardens is run by the Puerto Rico Department of Education and is overseen by its Specialized Schools Unit (UnEE, for its initials in Spanish).[1]

University Gardens is known for its high standards, its "hard work" culture coming into the national culture.[2] Recognized for featuring some of the highest standardized test scores in Puerto Rico, it has been criticized for having 27.8% of its student population come from living below the poverty line.[3]

HistoryEdit

Since at least 1972 a high and middle school already existed in the gated eponymous community,[4] located in the Río Piedras district.[5] The University Gardens neighborhood is located right along PR-52, and close to the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. It has historically been composed mostly of middle class and upper lower class families, and serves as "serves as a buffering zone between the rich and lower class areas of San Juan". Currently, there has been an influx of upper class individuals, who have transformed some residence into mansions.[6] In 1976, it was converted into a magnet school.

Roxánna I. Duntley-Matos described the school's appearance as it was in 1981 as:

[having] a one level concrete building with modern aluminum-lined see-through glass doors. It gleamed of science—air conditioned science—surrounded by tropical concrete benches in the front patio, embraced by what seemed to be a square wired fence. Youth, dressed in yellow polos and dark blue pants, strolled around the yard discussing each other's romantic adventures, the latest movies, the upcoming parties or school special events, the homework they had failed to complete or tests they would soon have to face.

— Roxanna I. Duntley-Matos, Transformative Accomplices: Multicultural Community Organizing in a Transnational Educational Context, [7]

It used to offer grades 10th-12th,[8] however this was changed by a Department of Education reorganization.

Hurricane María, earthquakes and COVID-19Edit

After the 2019–20 Puerto Rico earthquakes UGHS was evaluated and, while the field inspector declared the school "suitable for immediate operation and occupancy," they did note that there were fissures on the walls, as well as the façade of a wall that was close to breakings off.[9]

During February 2021, it was one of 172 public schools identified as "suitable to open" that formed part of an initial phase proposed by the Department to resume in-person teaching starting in March.[10][11] Nevertheless, this plan was abandoned, and in-person classes did not occur until 13 May.[12]

On the first day of class seniors came in a caravan on the first day of school, as part of their traditional celebration for the beginning of their final school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from August 2021 onwards, classes will start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m., after students receive their take-out only lunch.[13]

School communityEdit

AccreditationEdit

 
The Specialized Schools Unit's logo, the Department of Education's magnet school division.

Accreditation is obtained from the Puerto Rico Education Council for six years. However, in 2014, it was approved, but not accredited, by the Council.[14]

University Gardens is part of the Puerto Rico Department of Education's Specialized Schools Unit (UnEE, for its initials in Spanish),[15] which at times has been under the Assistant Secretary for Academic Services,[16] Educational Transformation Projects,[15] Curriculum and Pedagogical Innovation Division,[17] and the Undersecretariat for Academic and Program Affairs.[18] In 1990, University Gardens was classified as an "Effective School", as instruction was based on Ronald Edmonds' model.[19]

Being what is considered a five star school by the Department of Education, it receives less funds than those given to underperforming school, which receive more money for teachers' professional development.[20] Recognized for featuring some of the highest standardized test scores in Puerto Rico, it has been criticized for having 27.8% of its student population come from living below the poverty line, as of 2018,[3] down from 32.3% in the 1997-1998 school year, when it counted with a 758 total student population.[8]

SuperlativesEdit

In 2018, six students from UGHS were selected to partake in the National Grid Engineering Pipeline Program in Syracuse, sponsored by National Grid, providing them with an all-expenses paid trip to visit the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership, the Niagara Power Project and Syracuse University.[21]

School groundsEdit

The Department of Education tends to use the school to interview applicants for posts at other schools.[22] The school library was one of the first three public high school libraries to be chosen to participate in the Puerto Rico Librarian's Society's Puerto Rican Library Information and Documentation Network (PRILINET) in 1979.[23]

School personnelEdit

List of PrincipalsEdit

Principals From To
Jorge Rivera[19] c.1990
Denisse Valderrama Cintrón[20] August 2019 Incumbent

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Valentín González, Harry (1 September 2016). "Reuniones de directores de escuelas especializadas o proyectos educativos innovadores por especialidad" [Meetings of directors of specialized schools or innovative educational projects by specialty] (PDF). Puerto Rico Department of Education (in Spanish). p. 7-7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  2. ^ Dupey Heding, Robert (2007). Análisis Sociolingüístico Del Discurso De Los Jóvenes Universitarios Puertorriqueños [Sociolinguistic analysis of the discourse of Puerto Rican university students] (in Spanish). University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. pp. 152–152. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ a b Luna Tovar, Linett (2019). "Creen que nosotros somos una silla que pueden mover": Neoliberal Education Reform and Campamento Womanist Resistance. Tulane University School of Medicine. p. 51-51. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ O'Neill, Francisco (1972). Rational intelligence in man: A tool for the social revolution. Union Institute & University. p. 4-4. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ Casey, Geraldine J. (2002). From bootstrap to shoulderstrap: Women secretaries and *class, culture, and voice in contemporary Puerto Rico. City University of New York. pp. 208–208. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ Zambrana Rentas, Jorge Emanuel (2017). Flood Risks and Social Characteristics Analysis of the Population in the Metropolitan Areas of Puerto Rico. State University of New York at Binghamton. pp. 30, 52. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  7. ^ Duntley-Matos, Roxanna I. (2011). Transformative Accomplices: Multicultural Community Organizing in a Transnational Educational Context. University of Michigan. p. vii. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  8. ^ a b Martí-Vázquez, Lillian (2000). The impact of decentralization and school -based management in Puerto Rico: A case study. Columbia University. pp. 226–226. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  9. ^ Gaya Gil, José R. (16 January 2020). "Certificacion de Escuelas 2020: 61531-University Gardens" [2020 School Certification: 61531-University Gardens] (PDF). Puerto Rico Department of Education (in Spanish). pp. 9–11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Primera fase | Evalúan reabrir unas 172 escuelas públicas en marzo" [First phase | Evaluating to reopen some 172 public schools in March]. Telemundo PR (in Spanish). 5 February 2020. Archived from the original on 21 February 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Listado de escuelas aptas o no aptas para reapertura" [List of Schools Suitable or Not Suitable for Reopening]. Primera Hora (Puerto Rico) (in Spanish). 5 February 2021. p. 11. Archived from the original on 10 February 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  12. ^ "Educación reanudará clases presenciales este jueves" [Education will resume face-to-face classes this Thursday]. El Vocero (in Spanish). 8 May 2021. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  13. ^ "Alegría y entusiasmo en el primer día de clases presenciales" [Joy and enthusiasm on the first day of face-to-face classes]. El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 18 August 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Instituciones de Educacion Básica Pública al 30 de mayo de 2014" [Institutions of Public Basic Education as of May 30, 2014] (PDF). Puerto Rico Education Council (in Spanish). 30 May 2014. p. 85. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  15. ^ a b Christian Herrero, María C. (15 November 2017). "Segunda reunión profesional para directores de escuelas especializadas" [Second Professional Meeting for Directors of Specialized Schools] (PDF). Puerto Rico Department of Education (in Spanish). p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  16. ^ Muñoz Marrero, Grisel (14 May 2012). "Recertificación en educación bilingüe para maestros del plan de trabajo "Student Empowerment for the 21st Century"" [Recertification in bilingual education for teachers of the work plan "Student Empowerment for the 21st Century"] (PDF). Puerto Rico Department of Education (in Spanish). p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 June 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  17. ^ Christian Herrero, María C. (14 June 2018). Orientación sobre el proyecto de Escuelas Internacionales [Orientation on the International Schools project] (PDF) (in Spanish). San Juan, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico Department of Education. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2021.
  18. ^ del Valle Cruz, Reinaldo (22 December 2020). Enmienda de listas de escuelas especializadas: casas abiertas y audiciones de las escuelas especializadas [Magnet School Roster Amendment: Magnet School Open Houses and Auditions] (PDF) (in Spanish). San Juan, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico Department of Education. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 June 2021.
  19. ^ a b Kumar, Lillie Mae (1994). Three effective schools in Puerto Rico. Columbia University. pp. 214–214. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.
  20. ^ a b "Diferencia del desempeño entre distintas escuelas del Departamento de Educación" [Difference in performance between different schools of the Department of Education]. WLII-DT (in Spanish). 11 September 2019. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Estudiantes de escuela University Gardens viajan a evento en Universidad de Syracuse" [University Gardens School Students Travel to Syracuse University Event]. Metro PR (in Spanish). 2 July 2018. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  22. ^ del Valle Meléndez, Juan A. (13 July 2016). "Convocatoria por Reclutamiento Especial Escuelas Montessori Eduardo J. Saldaña, Luis Llorens Torres, Santa Rosa III & Eduardo Rexach" [Call for Special Recruitment Montessori Schools Eduardo J. Saldaña, Luis Llorens Torres, Santa Rosa III & Eduardo Rexach] (PDF). Puerto Rico Department of Education (in Spanish). p. 1-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  23. ^ Figueras, Consuelo (1990). A historical appraisal of the establishment, development, growth, and impact of school libraries in Puerto Rico, 1900 to 1984. Florida State University. pp. 427–428. Archived from the original on 18 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021 – via ProQuest.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 18°24′20″N 66°03′57″W / 18.4056°N 66.0659°W / 18.4056; -66.0659