Through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the United Community Center operates two charter schools within its campus. Included in this charter is the Bruce-Guadalupe Elementary School (K4 through 4th grade), the Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School (5th through 8th grade), and the UCC Acosta Middle School (6th through 8th grade). The United Community Center also offers an Early Childhood Education Program for 3-year-olds to prepare them early for academic success.
Bruce-Guadalupe Community School merged with the United Community Center in 1990, became one of the first "choice" schools in 1991 and received charter school status in 2000. The schools have a combined attendance of more than 1,200 students. The 54,000 square foot Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School was inaugurated in May 2002. The UCC Acosta Middle School welcomed its first class of 6th grade students in August 2016.
About 97 percent of the schools' students are Hispanic, and about 80 percent come from low-income families. Most of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. 42% of students' parents have a middle school education or less and 58% have completed high school.
The schools operate an academic program of high expectations and high performance in a bicultural environment where parental involvement is one of the cornerstones of the educational program. The curriculum is designed to develop students who become proficient in the English language while maintaining facility in Spanish. Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School emphasizes math, science and technology within a computer-oriented environment. The ultimate goal of the educational program is to exceed national norms in all subject areas at each grade level, based on standardized testing.
- 96 percent attendance rate
- 97 percent retention rate of returning students year to year
- 95 percent of students who graduated in 1998 from BGCS completed high school in June 2002.
- More than half of the students in each graduating class at BGCS have gone on to private high schools. Many have received financial assistance to do so, through the Bruce-Guadalupe Scholarship Program.
When standardized test scores are released, UCC doesn't focus on comparitive scores from other low-income and/or Hispanic schools or districts. We focus on other schools, public or private, urban or suburban that are performing the best as a measuring tool for our own success.
State standardized test results released in 2003 indicate that the Bruce-Guadalupe 4th grade students and Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School 8th grade students each exceeded Milwaukee Public Schools average scores in all five testing subjects: mathematics, reading, language arts, social studies and science. The 4th graders also exceed state averages in four of five subjects; the 8th graders in two subjects. Students at both grade levels also performed well compared to many suburban school districts' students.