In 1997, Uncommon Schools opened the doors of our first public charter school in Newark, New Jersey. We made a promise to those first 72 students and their families—to provide an outstanding education that would prepare them to graduate from college and achieve their dreams.
For more than 20 years, we have remained dedicated to our founding mission. We are proud to operate 55 schools serving 21,000 students across Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, Rochester and Troy. By 2022, we will send more than 1,000 young people from low-income communities to college every year.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to achieving our mission of preparing every student to go to and through college. We believe that students deserve to see themselves reflected in the adults around them, and that diverse, equitable and inclusive teams are strong teams.
We are committed to ensuring our curriculum reflects the diversity, culture, and identities of our students. This includes: prioritizing relevant texts, authors, and experiences that impact communities of color, ensuring our lesson planners are culturally responsive in their work, and creating space for high school students to participate in community meetings focused on identity and empowerment.
A key to a strong school culture is the combination of authentic relationships between teachers and students and supportive academic and cultural systems. These relationships are the basis for caring and nurturing school environments that allow our students to thrive and achieve their dreams. We value our students’ diverse identities and cultural backgrounds and reinforce that in the classroom as well as through community meetings, family events, school clubs, and more. Ensuring our students always feel seen and valued for the whole of who they are is some of our most critical work.
Our teacher and staff training emphasizes relationship-building, and culturally responsive teaching as well as curriculum, instruction, content knowledge and classroom management techniques. All Uncommon staff receive training on anti-racism: both what it means to be antiracists as individuals and in our work as a larger organization. We know being antiracist and supporting our staff on this journey will take ongoing work as we assess our individual and collective gaps, struggles and opportunities.
We have proudly built schools where more than 60% of our teachers and staff identify as a person of color—three times higher than the national average — as well as over half of our school principals and 50% of our Executive Team. We continue to work actively to cultivate and strengthen diversity at all levels of our organization through hiring, retention, and leadership development practices, including our Summer Teaching Fellowship and Operations Fellowship.
Equal Opportunity Employer
We are Uncommon because of our diverse community of phenomenal students, dedicated staff, and amazing families. We are proud to be working with Promise54—nonprofit leaders in DEI and talent work—to further advance our progress in being an anti-racist organization.
New York City – Boston – Camden – Newark – Rochester – Troy