ABOUT

ABOUT A+UP

A+UP is a tuition-free, public middle charter school. We provide an innovative approach that creates an educational experience that values both academic achievement and character development. We leverage the power of technology to personalize an academic plan that is unique to each student.

THE A+UP MODEL

A+UP’s model is an anytime/anywhere model. We are committed to student learning, whether we are in school or remote in our homes. Our team of dedicated and trained teachers works with each scholar to set goals and create a plan to achieve them. Our team then works with students through regular cycles of feedback and coaching to develop the habits and skills needed for personal and academic success.

Our learning model focuses on developing three core aspects of each scholar’s life.

SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT

Personalized Learning

Our Learning Coaches provide regular individualized coaching sessions to build relationships with and learn about their scholars, harnessing each scholar’s individual passions to make their learning engaging and relevant.

Our scholars’ personal strengths and experiences guide their development through customized learning paths, giving meaning and context to their learning.

Growth Focused

We leverage the power of technology to adapt to the scholar’s precise academic level, helping scholars make progress regardless of whether they enter at, above, or below grade level.

We encourage gifted scholars to pursue more advanced learning goals, keeping them engaged and challenged throughout the learning process. Scholars with learning challenges can work towards mastery at an adjusted pace, with extra coaching to get them up to grade level as quickly as possible.

COMMUNITY IMMERSION

Socially Embedded

Our campus is embedded within the communities they serve. Scholars learn in environments such as civic centers, museums, and educational institutions so their development occurs both in and out of the classroom.

Our scholars create learning communities by building relationships with their fellow scholars and coaches. Exploring while collaborating helps them connect with scholars developing at different competency rates.

Open-Walled

Learning is constant and happens anytime, anywhere. Our scholars are not confined to desks or traditional classroom structures; instead, they collaborate with other scholars to create the environment that best supports their style of learning.

Our Learning Coaches do not typically assign homework. Instead, they hold each scholar responsible for completing their personalized learning paths and projects to remain on track academically.

Families are invited to actively participate in their child’s learning experience to reinforce the lessons learned after the scholar leaves the classroom.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Learner Agency

We encourage scholars to embrace a growth mindset, believing in their own ability to grow. Scholars feel more confident when they have a sense of ownership in their learning environment.

Our scholars commit to being willing to learn, approaching each experience and challenge with a unique combination of ownership, self-control, persistence, integrity, curiosity, empowerment and social intelligence.

We regularly recognize and celebrate the members of our community who demonstrate these virtues.

TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention)

Our coaches form deep relationships with students that form the foundation of our work together. We aim to demonstrate warmth and acceptance, while also fostering a sense of deep accountability. If a scholar deviates from these norms or exhibits behavior that violates trust, it is that scholar’s responsibility to make amends with the learning community.

Our Learning Coaches hold scholars accountable not only for their behavior, but also for restoring balance to the learning community when their behavior choices disrupt it. We develop their sense of social responsibility by helping them understand that a community is only as strong as the people who comprise it, and that each scholar has a meaningful role to play.

MEET THE A+UP TEAM

A+UP Team Members and Learning Coaches are professional educators with a passion for building relationships with scholars and their families.

They guide, inspire, and engage scholars to help them become self-directed learners who own their education.

 

Paul Castro, Superintendent

Paul Castro, Superintendent
pcastro@aplusup.org

Paul Castro is the superintendent and founder of A+ Unlimited Potential Charter School. In his 26-year career, he has taught high school English, been the principal of four schools in Houston ISD and worked at KIPP Houston as ahead of schools. Three of his HISD schools earned Recognized status from the state. The fourth was a turnaround school that had failed for 5 years. Paul and his team were able to improve the academic achievement enough to get the school out of Improvement Required in one year. As a kid, Paul grew up moving around a lot and got swallowed up by the school system. As an educator, he committed that his schools would be places that cared about each kid and helped them be their best. A+UP is where Paul’s passion for blending personal development meets his drive to achieve academic growth for all kids. There, Paul and his team of dedicated educators are committed to the work of helping middle schoolers become their best selves and meet their personal unlimited potential. When he’s not hanging out with his three kids, Paul is a wannabe chef who makes great enchiladas and enviable gumbo.

Kap McWhorter, Principal

Kap McWhorter, Principal
kmcwhorter@aplusup.org

With over 17 years of education experience as both teacher and administrator, Kap has been able to empower students to change their lives and achieve meaningful impact in their local and global communities.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Theology from Houston Baptist University (HBU). He proceeded to obtain his Master’s in Arts and Theological studies from HBU as well. His career began in ministry and includes work within small churches, local non-profit organizations, and humanitarian relief in Mozambique and Malawi, Africa. Shortly after his time in Africa, Kap began his teaching career as a speech teacher for Humble ISD and launched a new class called Social Action.  This course provided tools for students to become involved in making a difference in their communities and opportunities to serve abroad. After successfully launching the Social Action course, he became the Service-Learning Coordinator for 6 years, creating service opportunities for all students for the entire district.  For the past four years, he has had the privilege of being the Campus Principal at A+UP.  He loves how A+UP is like a family, working directly with students and parents.  When he’s not working, he is spending time with his own family.  He is  married to his college sweetheart, Wendy, and has  two sons, Knox and Max, and a daughter named Camille. Fun fact: Kap started a nonprofit organization called Finding Heroes.  The goal of this organization is to assist other school districts in launching social action courses.

Laura Schuhmann, Chief Academic Officer

Laura Schuhmann, Chief Academic Officer for A+UP 

Laura Schuhmann, Chief Academic Officer
lschuhmann@aplusup.org

Laura Schuhmann is a veteran educator joining the A+ UP team full time this year after several years of working with Coaches at A+ UP as a consultant. She has had a wide range of experiences in over 30 years in education, starting as a middle school reading teacher. She taught high school English and speech before becoming a school administrator. Laura has been an assistant principal at both middle school and high school. She has also been an Associate Principal, an Accountability Administrator, and a Middle School Principal (for 12 years). She has multiple years of experience working with teachers, leading innovative programs, and working to develop campus leadership. Her most recent roles include working with schools to improve their state accountability. The most impactful experience Laura has had in her career was participation in a summer leadership program for school administrators through the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Laura is passionate about the power of education and believes every student can grow. She is honored to be able to help A+ UP achieve its goals. On a personal note, Laura is originally from New York. She is married and loves to travel, ski, hike, and cook.

Terrie Roberts, Business Operations Manager, Registrar, HR, PEIMS

Terrie Roberts, Business Operations Manager, Registrar, HR, PEIMS
troberts@aplusup.org

Terrie has worked across multiple industries giving her a broad experience base to call upon.  She has worked as a corporate travel agent, operations manager of a packing company, an event coordinator, and has even owned her own (Hawaiian themed) food truck, Mahalo Munchies.  Her customer service and business operation skills have been honed over the last 30 years.

Terrie is currently the business operations manager and registrar for A+UP.  She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school; from air conditioning to zoom.com. Terrie is also responsible for student records and reporting.

Terrie spent 40 years playing softball recreationally and in college, and she’s played women’s professional football, women’s professional baseball, in men’s summer baseball leagues, walked-on for college basketball, golf, and just about every other sport involving a ball.  She was an athlete growing up and is an advocate for youth sports.  “There are so many lessons that sports can teach kids, from how to be a team player, to how to be a good loser that everyone should have in their tool belts.” In her sporting-retirement, Terrie enjoys gardening, cooking, reading, and watching crazy videos on social media. You can also find her rooting for the Astros, even though they cheated because she is a believer in forgiving and forget.  Terrie is a self-proclaimed Harry Potter superfan.  Her prowess is proven by her multiple awards from winning publicly played Harry Potter trivia games. She’s read the books and seen the movies multiple times, ask her any question about the franchise; and she should be able to answer!  She loves it when people try to stump her with hard questions about Harry’s world.

Mariah Ochoa, Data Specialist

Mariah Ochoa, Data Specialist for A+UP 

Mariah Ochoa, Data Specialist
mochoa@aplusup.org

Mariah Ochoa is the Data Specialist for A+UP. She describes herself as a data nerd with an intense passion for education. She recently completed her Master’s in Data Science & Statistics at the University of Houston. Mariah is ecstatic about utilizing her skills to enhance and personalize education here at A+ UP. In her free time, she enjoys coding, playing video games, or going to parks. Her dream is to set students up for success regardless of the obstacles before them. She says she is living the dream at A+UP.

Jennifer Bunch, Support - After-School Programs

Jennifer Bunch, Support – After School Programs
jbunch@aplusup.org

Kendall Benford-Ijeoma, Front Office

Kendall Benford-Ijeoma, Front Office

Our Coaches

LITERACY TEAM

Denisha Parry, Literacy

Denisha Parry, Literacy

Aron Newell, Literacy

Aron Newell, Literacy

MATHEMATICS TEAM

Bree Murray, Math

Bria Murray, Support Coach for A+UP

Bree Murray – Math
bmurray@aplusup.org

Bree Murray is the Math Learning Coach at A+ UP. She recently graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cellular Biology and Genetics. This is her first year teaching, but she is excited to start her journey as an educator at A+ UP. When she’s not in school she likes to take walks with her Maltese, Baxter, and watch Marvel movies. She has traveled to France and Spain and wants to visit as many countries as possible in the next five years. One day, she aspires to go to medical school and become a pediatric oncologist.

Drew Campbell, Math
Andy Lui, Math

SCIENCE & SOCIAL STUDIES TEAM

James Menephee, Social Studies Learning Coach

James Menephee, Social Studies Learning Coach for A+UPJames Menephee – Social Studies Learning Coach
jmenephee@aplusup.org

James Menephee is the Social Studies Learning Coach at A+UP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in Media Technology from University of Phoenix and is his first year with A+UP. Before working at A+UP, he was a Social Studies teacher at Wharton ISD. Prior to Coach James’ teaching career, he was a Director of Marketing and Communications for a global medical non-profit organization and served in the United States Air Force.

Coach James believes that teaching social studies is essential for our scholars to learn about their past and their world to become informed, successful leaders. His personal passions are aviation, martial arts, and media production.

Merit Yousef, Science Learning Coach

ART COACH

Chelsea White, Art Learning Coach

Chelsea White, Art

STUDENT NEEDS TEAM

Kap McWhorter, Special Education/504 Administrator
Latrice Leonard, Special Education Lead and Learning Coach

Latrice Leonard, Special Education Lead and Learning Coach
lleonard@aplusup.org

Latrice Leonard is an intervention Learning Coach for A+UP, where she is starting her third year. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Sociology with a focus on Adolescent Development, she worked as a youth mentor/tutor for ten+ years. While working as a tutor, she found a beautiful “melting pot” of a school, A+ UP, and chose to become part of the family. She believes that children are our future, and that as an educator, she has a great responsibility to shape each child to govern him or herself in a way that is beneficial to our future society. She is fully committed to holding up a standard that is customized to fit every child and to get a result that is beneficial to us all.

Mason Parchmont, Interventionist/Support Coach, SPED/504

Mason Parchmont, Learning Coach for A+UP

Mason Parchmont – Interventionist/Support Coach – SPED/504
mparchmont@aplusup.org

Mason Parchmont has been an Assistant Learning Coach with A+UP for two years and is starting his third year. He recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Houston. (Go Coogs!) His dream was to become an English teacher since he was in his 8th-grade book club. Mason’s grade school teacher inspired him to help kids pursue their goals in education and now he is doing just that! His favorite thing to do is–you guessed it–read. In his free time, he likes playing with his cat Devin and cooking. Fun fact, Mason has over 20 Lord of the Rings books and a love for 80’s rap music.

Stephanie Martinez, Student Needs Team

Stephanie Martinez, Student Needs Team

SUPPORT COACHES

Kayla Hartman, Coaching Group

Kayla Hartman – Coaching Group
khartman@aplusup.org

Kayla Hartman is the science Learning Coach at A+UP. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Texas Southern University and has been with A+UP for a year and a half. Before working at A+UP, she was a peer mentor and Career Ambassador at TSU. At A+UP, Coach Kay is also the Trust-Based Relational Intervention Practitioner, and Universal Design for Learning coach. On her off days, you can find her spending time with friends, volunteering at the Houston Homeless Shelter, or hanging out with her dog Harley. Her love for Jesus and passion for helping others is what fuels her. Fun fact: she knows a lot about microbiology and was a state champion cheerleader for 13 years.

Robin Dike, Learning Coach, Support Coach

Robin Dike, Support Coach for A+UP

Robin Dike, Support Coach
rdike@aplusup.org

Coach Robin is a native Houstonian who graduated from Texas Southern University with a degree in Biology. She hopes to make an impact in the world. Robin has over ten years of experience as an administrative professional, with two of those years being in a managerial role. Before joining A+UP, she was a special education teacher working with high-risk behavioral students. Robin’s varied talents and experiences made her a big hire for the A+UP team. She looks forward to connecting with all students and parents. She truly and deeply believes in the culture at A+UP and is determined to be a positive force on the rising Phoenix team.

TEA REQUIRED POSTINGS

A+UP Charter is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Superintendent’s Salary: $150,000

Annual Financial Reports

2019 Annual Financial Report
2018 Annual Financial Report
2017 Annual Financial Report

Audited Financial Statements
If you have any questions about our audited financial statements, please call the Main Office at 713.955.7557 or send us an email at admin@aplusup.org.

2019-2020 Audited Financial Statements
2018-2019 Audited Financial Statements
2017-2018 Audited Financial Statements

Budget

2018-2019 Amended Budget

Donor Privacy Policy
We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations.

This policy applies to all information received by A+UP Charter School, both online and offline, on any Platform (“Platform”, includes the A+UP Charter website and mobile applications), as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

Form 990
If you have any questions about our Form 990, please call the Main Office at 713.955.7557 or send us an email at admin@aplusup.org.

2017 Form 990
2016 Form 990

ESSER GRANT

Board CCMR Goals

Targeted Improvement Plan

Texas Academic Performance Report

Federal Report Card
2021-2022 Campus Report Card
Campus Report Card 2022 English
Campus Report Card 2022 Spanish
A school that receives Title I funds shall prepare and disseminate an annual federal report card that includes information on the charter system as a hole and each school within the charter system. The report card shall be concise; presented in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand; and accessible to the public, including placing the report on the school’s website. 20 U.S.C. § 6311(h)(2)(B)(iii)(I).

State Assessment Information
STAAR tests to be taken.

Special Education Page

SPEDTex
The Special Education Information Center (SPEDTex) provides resources and interactive features for increasing family awareness of disabilities and special education processes, with the goal of improving partnerships between schools and families.
Contact information:
Phone: 1-855-773-3839
Email: inquire@spedtex.org
Live Chat: www.spedtex.org

Student Handbook – English / Español

Student Handbook Statement – English / Español

Texas Transition and Employment Guide – English / Español

SB 139 Notice to Families – English / Español

Resources | Texas Education Agency

Delayed or Denied Evaluations & Compensatory Services – English / Español

Dyslexia Handbook 2021 Update Important Changes / Actualización del manual de dislexia 2021

State and Federal Activity Updates
Regarding Significant Disproportionality Requirements

Notice of Procedural Safeguards – English / Español

Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process – English / Español

Student Handbook – English / Español

Health Related Policies

Immunization Information (Spanish)
What immunizations or vaccines are recommended
Clinics in the Area
Exemption to Immunizations

Process for Reporting Bullying

Food Allergies

Meningitis Information for Students & Parents

Safe Return Policy

Wellness Policy
All stakeholders are able to participate in the development, review, update, and implementation of the Local School Wellness Policy. Please contact Paul Castro, Superintendent, for more details.
Phone: 713.955.7557
Email: pcastro@aplusup.org

Title IX Training Materials
“The updated Title IX regulations require schools that receive federal funding to post on its website all materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process.”

Contact Information for Title IX Coordinator
Paul Castro
Superintendent
pcastro@aplusup.org
713-204-3837

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kathy Welch, Board President

Kathy Welch, Board Member of A+UP

Kathy Welch, Board President

Jess Arnold, Board Secretary

Jess Arnold is Vice President of Pontikes Development, a commercial real estate development firm that focuses on the ground-up development of office, industrial, and multifamily projects.  He is the financial lead of the firm, specializing in project underwriting and financing, investor relations, and return maximization.  He also serves as a financial and strategic advisor to the CEO of Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc., an ENR Top 400 contractor and one of the largest K-12 school builders in Texas.

Prior to starting his career in real estate and construction, Jess served for several years as an English Teacher at Westside High School in Houston.  He considers his time in front of the classroom to be the most fun and rewarding years of his life.  His interest and zeal for public education has not waned over the years, and he is excited for the opportunity to continue to do his part at  A+ UP.

Jess is a native Houstonian and proud product of HISD.  He will always be a Harvard Eagle, Clifton Cougar, and Lamar Texan. He received his Bachelors in English and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and a Masters of Business Administration from Rice University.

Aside from his Board position at A+ UP, Jess sits on the financial committee for the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and volunteers as a student mentor for PAIR – Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees – where he has the honor of hanging out regularly and learning all kinds of things from his Westbury H.S. senior buddy from Rwanda.

Stephen Amante, Board Treasurer
Dr. Anne McClellan, Board Trustee

Dr. Anne McClellan is a teacher, leader, rainmaker, program designer and an innovative thinker with a very diverse education reform career. Anne currently serves as the Executive Director for Growth and Innovation and Research Faculty at the University of Houston, College of Education and her work focuses on developing and funding new initiatives, community engagement and informing educational policy.

Prior to joining the college, Anne was the Director of Middle School Matters at the George W. Bush Institute. She moved from traditional school to the charter school world as Vice President for Growth at YES Prep, a network of Houston-based public charter schools with a mission to increase the number of low-income Houstonians who graduate from a four-year college prepared to compete in the global marketplace. At YES Prep, her primary responsibility was to provide leadership in strategic planning and growth funding.

Anne joined YES Prep after serving as a program officer at the Communities Foundations of Texas-Texas High School Project, where she and her team helped design and support the launch of 35 Texas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) academies and establish a statewide coaching program and network focused on the STEM initiative. She was the founding principal of Challenge Early College High, the first early college high school in Texas and a Principal at Edgar Allan Poe Elementary School. Anne was also a co-founder of the Center for Reform of School Systems, which focused on the improvement of district and school board governance. She was recognized by the University of Houston with the Outstanding Alumna Award in 2006 and the Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 1996 and received the Houston Independent School District – George and Josephine Hamman Foundation Outstanding Educator Award in 1999.

Anne holds degrees from Syracuse University, Buffalo State University and University of Houston. Anne and her husband Michael have a daughter, Reilly, who is an investment banker.

Tom Elsenbrook, Board Trustee

Tom Elsenbrook leads Alvarez & Marsal’s Performance Improvement division, one of the largest and dynamically growing businesses at the firm. Its business advisors bring a “take-action” approach to Global 1000 corporations, working to dramatically improve performance and unlock the promise of top and bottom line results.

Under Mr. Elsenbrook’s leadership, A&M has uniquely blended world-class consulting talent with senior operational executives and restructuring expertise to help the most respected, complex and high-performing companies around the world address and activate change. A&M is one of the fastest growing professional services firms in the world and is consistently recognized as one of the best places to work.

Mr. Elsenbrook works with top corporate management to execute corporate and business unit strategies. His primary areas of focus include driving profitable growth, business process performance improvement and operational cost reductions. For more than 30 years, he has worked with Global 1000 companies spanning a variety of industry sectors including energy, communications, high tech, commercial services and construction. He assists senior company management with the alignment of organizational structures, including post-merger integration activities, in addition to develop- ing and executing growth strategies in product line extensions and by entering new markets. He also works with clients to gain competitive advantage through increased communication and collaboration with customers and suppliers.

Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Elsenbrook served as the partner-in-charge of the Andersen Business Consulting West Region and was the leader of Arthur Andersen’s North American Energy Consulting Practice. He is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer on leadership, accelerating the pace of change and innovation required to achieve profitable revenue growth.

Mr. Elsenbrook is involved in education reform and committed to providing greater educational opportunities to children living in extreme poverty. He was a founding board member of Yellowstone Academy, an inner city private school serving over 400 children living in extreme poverty in Houston. He is on the Board of Houston A+, a non-profit organization focused on public school reform through greater innovation and leveraging technology. He has also been investing and working in Lusaka, Zambia to improve educational opportunities for impoverished children.

Mr. Elsenbrook graduated from Texas Tech University in 1979 where he was a member of the Texas Tech Swimming Team for four years, and served as the Team Captain in 1978 and 1979. His interest in high-performing athletics continues as he sponsors one of the young up-and-coming golfers on the LPGA Tour.

August 24, 2022

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September 2, 2020

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July 16, 2020

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Public Information Requests can be made by mailing request to:

2410 Hamilton Street
Houston, TX 77004

or by emailing request to: info@aplusup.org.