Our Core Principles

UPLIFT Academy’s Core Principles


We believe that school should be a nurturing place where both students and staff can thrive.   We work hard to create a school climate and culture that promotes harmony.  Wherever possible, daily policies and practices are executed using strategies that encourage unanimity.  Specifically:

  • Cooperative teaching and learning strategies drive our instructional practice
  • Students and staff engage in collective responsibility for individual and group academic, social and emotional learning
  • Our school traditions, customs and operating principles inspire staff and students to work together


UPLIFT Academy students and staff are united around a common purpose to improve the life outcomes of the young people enrolled in our school.  Our staff and students engage in a coordinated effort to ensure students:

  • Achieve academic excellence through focus on specific power standards of the NJCCSS
  • Experience personal development as measured by CASEL’s identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, effective and behavioral competencies. (e.g. self-awareness, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, social awareness, self-management)


A key principle of youth development is leadership – that is the capacity to direct, take charge, and guide oneself and one’s peers to a positive outcome and/or solution.  We embrace the principles of distributive leadership, and provide students and staff with opportunities for individual and collective voice and decision-making.  This involves programming and practices that support:

  • Self-determination
  • Self-advocacy


The health of any community rests in the ability to be open and frank about topics which impact municipalities.  School communities are microcosms of society.  Therefore, we expect UPLIFT Academy community members to engage in candid interchanges of ideas, opinions and evidence-based arguments to move the collective group towards meeting established goals. These expectations will be met through:

  • A high level of academic integrity
  • A high level of personal responsibility and integrity
  • Honesty within and among stakeholder groups on performance, and progress towards and achievement of established goals
  • Personal and peer accountability for work product and performance


Success is directly correlated to one’s conviction that s/he will be supported in times of hardship.  We believe this results in one’s willingness to take healthy chances towards academic and self-improvement.  The culture and climate of UPLIFT Academy provides this much needed support for all school community stakeholders and encourages innovation by encouraging staff to:

  • Be committed believers in the potential within each member of the school community
  • Challenge stakeholders to be risk-takers


In order to create a safe and nurturing school climate, members of our school community must be able to rely on each other for guidance and support.  Therefore, our expectations for student and staff performance are clear, the actions undertaken to solve problems are transparent, and our programs instill hope and confidence in the future.  To instill sustainable trust among members of our school community, UPLIFT Academy climate and culture promotes:

  • Mutual respect
  • Dependability
  • Academic integrity