Who we are
“Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats
The Upper Academy has one priority above all else: intentionally build great, post-secondary pathways for all scholars. We strive for this through teaching advanced, engaging lessons; fostering joy in safe, authentic classroom environments; and providing diverse learning opportunities such as extracurricular clubs, a growing athletic department, and college field trips. The UA has a growing Summer Programs and College Team dedicated to supporting students in obtaining enrichment opportunities and preparing them throughout the college application and entry processes – and we don’t wait, this all starts in 9th grade. We want our scholars to feel proud of themselves, confident in their growing interests and abilities, prepared to follow their fire and their next steps post-high school and into the world.
Portrait of a graduate
To be truly curious is to be compelled by the joy of learning. We see our classroom experiences as a launching point of our learning, not the endpoint. This causes us to push the boundaries of our learning environments so we can pursue unexplored knowledge. We find immense satisfaction in the discovery of new ideas and understandings, and we love to share them with the world.
Meet Principal Santos, Upper Academy
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Principal Santos earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and American Studies from Colby College and his masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Kentucky. He began teaching history in Hartford, CT in 2011 and later became the AP U.S. History Teacher and an Academic Dean. He brings over a decade of experience to his role as Upper Academy Principal and is dedicated to expanding our program caliber, creating access to college, and driving college acceptance readiness for our upper academy students.
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE
ADVANCED, ENGAGING LESSONS
We offer advanced placement (AP) and honors courses starting in 9th grade all the way through 12th grade. Access to AP and honors courses is paramount to rigorous learning and college preparation. High quality lessons and academic rigor is a cornerstone of our UA program.
SAFE, AUTHENTIC ENVIRONMENTS
Our program includes emphasis on thoughtful debate and articulation, social and emotional wellbeing, GPA initiatives, summer programming opportunities, and starting the college process in 9th grade.
WE WANT STUDENTS TO FEEL PRIDE
We celebrate ourselves and each other often with honors ceremonies, achievement breakfasts, and more! Students become leaders through student government, theater stage managers, and sports captains, to name a few. We create space for our kids to be kids - school dances, EOY carnivals, and Back-to-School BBQs!
College Access & Summer Programs
Summer Programs provide students with the opportunity to cultivate new interests, learn more about college and other post-secondary pathways, and explore potential career pathways. By participating in a summer experience, students gain skills and real life experiences that colleges and employers look for in applicants, including clear communication and critical thinking schools.
Each year, students will have the opportunity to qualify and select from a wide range of summer programs including competitive pre-college programs, internships in the local community, camps and other programs. Students will receive support and advising from the College and Career Office and will complete their program applications through the winter and spring, in order to secure an exciting and best-fit program. The Office is then available through the summer to provide continued support to students during their programs.
ELA Student Growth Percentile was 4th in state for schools serving low income students.
86% of families gave LACS an A or B when surveyed on our annual family survey in 2022-23.
Of our students met their
literacy growth goal in