In 2012, Rochester natives and retired businessmen, Joe Klein and Bryan Hickman, approached Drs. Jacqueline Elliot and Ref Rodriguez, co-founders of Partnerships to Uplift Communities, to help them replicate the PUC school model in Rochester. They were desperate to make a difference for the underachieving, struggling Rochester students, increase achievement, decrease the dropout rate, and increase the high school and college graduation rates in the City that they loved. Drs. Elliot and Rodriguez were at first reticent to engage in supporting the founding of a PUC school in a state so far away but after visiting several times and conversing with many parents, elected officials, community service providers, and others, the two were inspired by the vision of the community and decided to move forward in supporting their desire to open a PUC school. PUC Achieve Charter School was ultimately authorized by SUNY and opened in the fall of 2014 with 100 fifth grade students. The school added a grade level each year and currently serves grades 5-8 (beginning in the 2017-2018 school year).
Like the PUC schools in California, PUC Achieve Charter School in Rochester, New York is grounded in PUC’s 3 Commitments: Increase the college graduation rate by 5 times; Students will be proficient after 4 years in PUC; and Students will commit to uplift our communities now and forever.
PUC Achieve Charter School prides itself on its high expectations and rigor in all content areas including ELA, Science, Math, History, PE, and the Arts. PUC Achieve has a strong culture that supports literacy for all scholars. The school’s academic program pushes student-centered thinking in classrooms and offers additional academic support with intervention strategies, tutoring, and after-school programs to help facilitate scholars’ success.
PUC Achieve is committed to building a sense of family and community through monthly Family Nights and other events. Parent engagement is a critical foundational element of all PUC schools.
PUC Achieve is committed to college readiness for 100% of their scholars. In order to inspire the incoming 5th grade scholars with the vision of higher education, they spend time during the summer on the campus of SUNY Brockport College. During that time, scholars are fully immersed in the college culture to increase their motivation to attend college and to provide them with first-hand experiences and confidence when they declare that they are going to college. Students from the other grade levels also visit college campuses during the school year.