Confusion with University School of Milwaukee prompts change
An MPS charter school opening in Milwaukee this fall announced today that it is changing its name to avoid confusion with another local school.
Universal Companies, a Philadelphia non-profit organization dedicated to improving communities through education, real estate, social services technology and wellness,
announced in March that they would be opening Universal School of Milwaukee in August of 2013, with two local campus locations, marking the first time Universal Companies opened a charter school outside of Pennsylvania. They plan to open a number of schools throughout the country under the name Universal School in the coming years.
In May, University School of Milwaukee, a private K-12 college preparatory school in River Hills, filed a federal lawsuit against Universal Companies, claiming this was an infringement on their trademarked names.
After discussions with University School, Universal Companies agreed to change the name of their Milwaukee school to Universal Academy for the College Bound. Future schools outside of Milwaukee will still carry the Universal School name.
“Milwaukee offers a welcoming and congenial environment for charter schools,” said UC President Rahim Islam. “We share the same goal as all local schools – to provide a safe, nurturing environment for students so they can earn the quality education they need to guarantee success in our changing world. The fact that we share that goal doesn’t change, regardless of our name.”
“There’s no need for boardroom battles when it comes to children,” said Ronn Johnson, Executive Vice President of Education – Midwest for Universal Companies and longtime local proponent of high quality educational opportunities in the city. “We have the utmost of respect for University School of Milwaukee, and all it has provided for kids from Milwaukee and its surrounding suburbs. Universal Companies – and Universal Academy for the College Bound – intends to implement a unique and innovative curriculum, in a public school setting, for children growing up in areas where they might not normally have these opportunities.”
The elementary school (Universal Academy for the College Bound – Millennium Campus) will be located at 8th and Capitol Drive and will serve 400 students age kindergarten through 5th grade for the 2013-2014 school year. The middle school campus (Universal Academy for the College Bound — Renaissance Campus) will be located at 55th and Green Tree will serve 200 students in 6th and 7th grade. Once accepted, students may remain at UACB until graduation from 7th grade.
Universal Academy will offer program specialty areas at both school sites catering to students with an aptitude for the arts, or who have excelled in other schools or show the potential for gifted and talented programs.
Universal Companies is a not-for-profit community development and education management corporation formed under the efforts and direction of one of Philadelphia’s greatest talents, world-renowned music composer and producer Kenneth Gamble. Devastated by the blighted conditions of the south Philadelphia neighborhood where he was raised, Gamble, along with his wife Faatimah, cofounded Universal Companies to challenge and reverse the effects of urban decline. Since 1993, Universal Companies has been working to rebuild predominantly African American communities with a comprehensive holistic approach to community revitalization. The Universal Plan integrates real estate and economic development with education, social and supportive services to build stronger communities and change lives for the better.
Universal Academy for the College Bound marks the company’s expansion into other educational markets. The company chose Milwaukee because it shares similar characteristics with Philadelphia, from student demographics and low student achievement levels to neighborhoods characterized by disinvestment and high poverty rates in urban areas.