What is UHA!?

An Important Acronym Explained

If you’ve spent any time around Tampa Day School, you’ve likely heard the expression “UHA!” It’s more than a greeting or enthusiastic chant; it’s an acronym that embodies our mission and describes how we help children succeed. 

U-H-A stands for Understand, Honor, and Achieve! We Understand our students and why they’ve struggled in other school settings. We Honor their unique strengths and needs. And most importantly, we give them the tools to Achieve. The exclamation point that always follows UHA represents the passion behind these initiatives. 

Many families who contact Tampa Day School want to know more about the how and why behind UHA! Read on to find out how we prioritize understanding and honoring our students to help them achieve.

We hire intentionally and provide ongoing education.

Every teacher at TDS is experienced and engaged in ongoing professional development targeted to meet the unique needs of our students. We emphasize research-based training on executive functioning, student engagement, hands-on learning, specialized reading training, and how to promote success for students with various learning profiles such as anxiety, ADHD, dyslexia, and more.  

Last year, our 40 dedicated teachers received over 1,080 hours of professional development. Additionally, they collaborate with community experts to gain up-to-date knowledge about effective practices and strategies students need to thrive.  

Our faculty members are not only well educated, they are passionate. Their enthusiasm radiates down the hallway, making positive energy around teaching and learning evident throughout campus. Teachers are involved in school events and extracurricular activities, supporting our students in tangible ways.

We partner with parents and engage families in the learning process.

At TDS, there is a very clear expectation that creating a supportive home-school environment is in the best interest of students. Parents are welcome to communicate directly with our teachers and administrators regularly, ensuring everyone remains engaged with the learning process.

According to our latest parent satisfaction survey, 96% percent of parents said we were approachable and responsive. This proactive approach is a critical component of the TDS experience.

We build confidence in our students.

When students come to TDS, they are often dealing with diminished confidence caused by struggles in another school setting. We believe that each child has unique potential and build on the smallest of successes so that students begin to feel understood and supported. 

As this trust is developed, teachers are able to raise the bar higher and higher, so that the child feels an ongoing sense of growing and succeeding. This upward momentum results in a sense of confidence that trickles beyond the educational setting.

We make sure every student is involved with extracurricular activities.

When students are encouraged to discover and utilize their unique gifts, they are motivated in the classroom and beyond. TDS students are involved in activities both during the day and after school.  

We offer 22 electives and clubs, and 62 percent of our fifth-eighth graders are involved in competitive sports.  We strive to embed opportunities beyond core academics through daily elective classes because we believe that exposing students to a range of opportunities and honoring individual interests and strengths keeps students engaged and excited about school.  

We focus on each child’s strengths. 

We believe each child has unique strengths; honoring these strengths is a huge part of building confidence and fostering success. Our “brag board” allows students to post photos of themselves in outside activities, and these achievements are honored at the end of the year in a special ceremony.

We also hold an end-of-the-year sports banquet, an art expo, a performing arts showcase, and numerous student presentations to parents, where students can demonstrate their progress across multiple subject areas.

We prepare students to thrive in private and public high schools…and beyond!

Parents often ask where students go when they complete the TDS program after eighth grade. Our graduates thrive in private and public schools throughout the Tampa Bay area. 

At this stage in their education, they are typically able to utilize the study and organizational skills they have learned at TDS to stay on track and complete work independently. Ultimately, they have the confidence and academic competence to take on the challenges of high school — and beyond.

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