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Fall 2010
Features Stories
Vision 2013: Creating a Sustainable Future
Strategic Commitment: Urban is committed to increasing access for students who cannot afford full tuition by devoting a substantial portion of annual tuition revenue to financial aid, actively seeking to develop additional financial resources to increase the funds available for financial aid, and allocating financial assistance among students with varying levels of demonstrated need.

Status: Urban has reached its goal of expanding its financial aid program to provide assistance to at least 25 percent of our students, with 27 percent receiving aid for the 2010-11 school year. We will continue to allocate financial aid to students with varying levels of demonstrated need in order to enroll students from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
Diversity & Inclusion
Strategic Commitment: Urban is committed to attracting a diverse population of students, families, administrators, faculty and staff. Urban is also committed to developing and maintaining a program of curricular and co-curricular offerings, and an overall culture that values and enhances inclusion throughout the school community.

Status: Urban has continued to implement practices designed to foster inclusion, both in the classroom and in the daily lives of our students, and is creating a process for evaluating our success in building an inclusive community among all constituencies (students, faculty, administration, staff, parents and board). Urban has expanded outreach to programs that serve communities historically under-represented in independent schools (Aim High, Summerbridge, KIPP, etc.) to support these organizations' work and to develop relationships that will increase the likelihood that their students will choose to apply to and attend Urban. Also as part of this initiative, we have created our Urban Bridge program to provide a smoother transition for those students who might need additional support in coming to an independent college-preparatory school.
Education for the 21st Century
Strategic Commitment: Urban has a longstanding commitment to extend learning beyond the classroom in order to instill in its students a sense of mission and purpose as citizens of the larger community and world. In keeping with this responsibility, Urban will continue to develop its curriculum and programs to ensure that the school is preparing its students to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities they will face in the future.

Status: During the 2009-10 school year and continuing this year, Urban has undertaken a number of new classes and programs to address the goal. These classes are in four specific areas, however with much overlap and integration opportunities:
  • Environmental Education: See story here.
  • Service Learning: A new Ethnic Studies and Identity class was initiated last year as part of the freshmen Service Learning curriculum.
  • Global Initiatives: Urban is exploring new ways to build connections and interact with local and global communities. We now offer five levels of Chinese language classes and successfully implemented an art exchange program with a school in China during the 2009-10 school year.
  • Technology: As a leader in integrating technology throughout its curriculum, Urban is expanding its use of digital tools to extend the reach of our educational program. Through our annual Center for Innovative Teaching summer teacher workshop series, Urban shares our learning with teachers from all over the United States and abroad. These relationships have led to several joint learning initiatives, most notably the Civil Rights oral history project in collaboration with McComb High School in Mississippi.
Strategic Commitment: Urban will provide to its students and faculty the best possible facilities to support a well-rounded educational experience that includes academics, the arts and athletics.

Status: Urban’s goal to acquire and develop a tournament-sized gymnasium and additional arts facilities is well underway. The school is currently engaged in active negotiations with two properties within a 10 minute walk of the school. In keeping with our overall commitment to environmental sustainability, we are reducing resource consumption and decreasing Urban’s overall carbon footprint. The school has retained a consultant to assist Urban in qualifying for the LEED-EBOM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building Operations and Maintenance) certification. The LEED-EBOM helps ensure that Urban is maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing our overall environmental impact.
Working at Urban
Strategic Commitment: Urban is committed to developing and maintaining programs and policies to attract and retain outstanding faculty and administrators who translate the mission of the school into everyday practice.

Status: In the 2008-09 school year, Urban increased its contribution to the retirement accounts for long-term Urban employees. Urban also benchmarks its salary structure annually against other San Francisco and Bay Area independent schools to ensure that we pay our faculty and staff competitive wages in this expensive region.
Financial Stability
Strategic Commitment: In planning for its future, Urban will be guided by the need to ensure its long-term financial sustainability. This includes managing expenses in a prudent and cost-effective manner, substantially increasing the size of the school’s endowment, and seeking to develop additional sources of support and revenue.

Status: A number of initiatives were implemented and started during the 2009-10 school year. A Major Gifts Task Force was formed, which has resulted in several significant commitments, including named family funds for capital needs and endowment. An Alternative Revenue Task Force comprising board and community members was established to review Urban’s opportunities beyond tuition revenue. The Board of Trustees Investment Committee placed 80 percent of existing endowment funds into TIFF (Investment Fund for Foundations) for long-term management. During the 2010-11 school year, the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees has a goal to review the long-range financial model of the school.

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