Learn about student projects, museum partners, and more at the school’s website, www.aplusup.org.

A+UP Inaugural Class Innovative.  Individualized.  Museum-based.  Technology-infused.  Flexible.  Relevant.  Aspirational.  These adjectives describe A+UP, a free private middle school that opened in the fall of 2013 in Houston’s Museum District. Launched by Houston A+ Challenge in collaboration with seven Museum District institutions, A+UP unlocks the unlimited potential of students while exploring the potential of technology to revolutionize learning.

Exploring the Potential of G.R.E.A.T. Personalized Learning

A+UP serves as a an incubator for G.R.E.A.T Personalized Learning – a framework that builds classroom community, strengthens student engagement and ownership, prioritizes relationships, and incorporates online and community resources.  In just its first year, the A+UP model is achieving incredible results in student growth. Learn more about the G.R.E.A.T Personalized Learning framework and find out how A+ can help your school personalize learning at our Campuses page.

Expanding Impact

In 2014, A+ partnered with Neighborhood Centers, Inc., to bring personalized learning to sixth graders at Ripley Middle School, a Promise Community School in Houston’s East End neighborhood.  Through this partnership, A+ is exploring how G.R.E.A.T. Personalized Learning can be replicated and scaled in a traditional school setting. In 2015, A+UP submitted an application to the state of Texas to become a charter school.  If awarded, the new school will open in Fall 2016. To find out how you can support the growth of the A+UP model, or bring G.R.E.A.T. Personalized Learning to your school or district, contact Scott Van Beck.

A+UP In the News

  • “Unlimited Potential For A Small Middle Grade Flex Program,” Education Week, February 17, 2015  Read More
  • ” ‘Mobile’ Schools Use Technology to Break Free of the Classroom,” Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2014 Read More
  • “Students on ‘Perpetual Field Trip’ With New Mobile, Tech School,” Houston Public Media, March 10, 2014 Read More
  • “New Museum District exhibit: middle school,” Houston Chronicle, June 10, 2013 Read More


(scroll down to see stats)

In A+UP’s first year:


years’ growth in reading skills


years’ growth in math skills


total books read

on average

A+UP is




Learning Coaches


Museum District Partners

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Holocaust Museum
  • Health Museum
  • Asia Society
  • Museum of Natural Sciences
  • Houston Zoo
  • Judson Robinson, Jr. Community Center


Meet Jaycee

In her mother’s car.

She checks Edmodo on her iPod and notices that Coach Benoit has sent her some French literature.  As she starts to read, she thinks about how Baudelaire’s The Albatross could be interpreted into a gown for her personalized learning in fashion design.


Meet Frank

In his mother’s van.

He’s texting his best friend about last night’s lunar eclipse. He can’t wait to get to school so he can talk to Coach Rao about how red it looked and share the diagram of umbra and penumbra shadows he drew for the class.


Meet D’Nasia

In her mother’s car.

She checks her wallet to make sure she has a few dollars to buy a souvenir at the Downtown Aquarium. She’s going this afternoon with Coach Rao for a lesson on distance, rate and time.

A+UP is the latest innovative education idea incubated at Houston A+ Challenge.

Read more about our history of innovation on our Impact page.