Uncommon Schools is a nonprofit organization that creates and manages outstanding urban charter schools that close the achievement gap and prepare students in high-poverty, high-need areas to graduate from college. Uncommon Schools provides wide-ranging support, including management and coaching of school leaders, professional development, staff recruitment, and fundraising, to allow its schools to focus on teaching and learning. The organization has garnered national recognition to improve student achievement.

Uncommon Schools was formed when the North Star Academy opened in Newark, New Jersey, in 1997. In 2005, Uncommon formalized its mission as a charter school management organization and began managing other schools in the Northeast. After opening four new schools in 2014, the nonprofit now manages 44 schools serving over 12,000 students in five regions across New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.

Our Impact

76 Education Pioneers Fellows have worked across the Uncommon network. Since the beginning of our partnership in 2006, Fellows have:

  • Created a strategic plan for school facility maintenance and developed a toolkit for school operations directors, ensuring all school facilities are maintained as safe and healthy learning environments.
  • Managed the planning and implementation of a new school food program aimed at providing healthier meal plan options and more efficient food distribution across multiple campuses.
  • Paved the way for opening Roxbury Preparatory High School by researching and analyzing curriculum, culture, and staffing models from a cohort of schools around the nation, ensuring that the new school would be engaging for students. 
  • Oversaw the renovation and move of the Leadership Brownsville Prep campus, facilitating a seamless transition for students and teachers into their new school. 
  • And more.