Williamsburg welcomes new school to kick off a new school year

Aug 29, 2023, 8:34pm | By: News 12 Staff Uncommon opened the doors of a brand new elementary school in Brooklyn to begin the 23-24 school year. Williamsburg Elementary School (WES) kicked off a new school year by welcoming 300 kindergarten through fourth-grade students. “We have high rigor, but we’re also building students with strong … Continued

‘Recognize the beauty’: Powerful video of boys saying affirmations in mirror puts NY students in spotlight

By Amanda Lee Myers|Feb. 15, 2023 Boy after boy walks up to a mirror. Some are confident, some seem shy, and many grin as they do a simple act of self-love: Looking in the mirror and saying what they like most about themselves. “One thing I love about myself is I have the ability to … Continued

Leadership Prep Canarsie Wins Sports Grant

December 10, 2022 | SNY When Coach Flaherty at Leadership Prep Canarsie Middle Academy (LPCMA) heard that Chick-fil-a was partnering with SNY SportsNite to give away over $12000 in grant funding to youth basketball leagues, he knew he had to apply for his school. Flaherty won $2,500 for his basketball team, supplying LPCMA with sports … Continued

A call to teach now more than ever

By Brett Peiser In this New York Daily News Op-Ed, Uncommon Schools’ co-CEO Brett Peiser acknowledges how hard the past two-and-a-half years have been on teachers, but he also knows that students and families need teachers now more than ever. Read this story as it originally appeared on October 17, 2022 in New York Daily … Continued

Morehouse Men Visit Excellence Boys Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY — “Welcome to Little Morehouse!” Principal Quinterrence Bell cheered as a big travel bus pulled up in front of Excellence Boys Charter School on Patchen Avenue and the 50 Morehouse Men inside started streaming out to the sidewalk.  The Morehouse students had been on the bus for over 14 hours, having left Atlanta Thursday … Continued

Uncommon Schools’ Summer Program Is Helping College Students Become Teachers

By Molly Chandler | Posted on June 28, 2022 Between her junior and senior years at DePauw University in Indiana in 2014, Estrella De La Torre spent the summer at an elementary school in Brownsville as a Summer Teaching Fellow. At the time, De La Torre had no interest in becoming a teacher, but a fellow … Continued

Brooklyn Students Move on To Next Phase of Their Journey

BY MOLLY CHANDLER |Posted Wed, Jun 1, 2022 Nearly 450 students from Uncommon Schools’ four high schools in Brooklyn announced their plans to attend college or other programs before an audience of teachers, underclassmen, and their families during uplifting celebrations last week. The Senior Signing Day celebrations are similar to ceremonies where student-athletes announce what Division … Continued

Is math education racist? Debate rages over changes to how US teaches the subject

By Erin Richards, Emily Bloch, Gary Stern, and Christine Fernando   Uncommon Schools’ assistant superintendent, Paul Powell, and dean of curriculum and instruction, Alexandria Timoll, are quoted in this in-depth article. The story also spotlights Leadership Prep Canarsie in Brooklyn. Read this story as it originally appeared on December 7, 2021 in USA Today. (Subscription … Continued

Uncommon Leaders Share 5 Recommendations With NYC Mayor-Elect Adams

Uncommon Schools believes that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal. President Julie Jackson and CEO Brett Peiser recently contributed an opinion piece to New York Daily News outlining their top five recommendations to Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, who has pledged … Continued

13 Uncommon Seniors Receive QuestBridge Scholarships to Top Schools

Please join us in congratulating Uncommon’s QuestBridge Scholars! Thirteen seniors from Uncommon’s network in New Jersey, Rochester, and Brooklyn have accepted their QuestBridge matches and will receive full four-year scholarships to 9 colleges and universities, including Wellesley and Yale. We are so proud of these graduating seniors and the work they have done to achieve … Continued

News12 Brooklyn: Students start day with meditation, yoga

Patch.com: UCC receives grant for HBCU Empowerment Tour

Chalkbeat NY: Parents, Educators Emphasize Need for Mental Health Supports

Brooklyn Paper: Summer School Aims to Reclaim What COVID Stole

Uncommon Charter High School Recognized as 20-21 PLTW Distinguished High School

We are proud to announce that Uncommon Charter High School has been recognized as a 2020-21 PLTW Distinguished High School. This award is given to schools and districts that are committed to helping students own their education by increasing student access, engagement, and achievement through program partnerships with Project Lead the Way.

Teaching Today Podcast: Excellence Boys Principal Joins Discussion on Single-Sex Schools

Teaching Today · Data on Single-Sex Schools

Brooklyn Patch: Uncommon Leadership Charter HS Grads Headed to College

Uncommon Leadership Charter High School in Brooklyn, NY is celebrating its first graduating class this year, and nearly every student is headed to a four-year college in the fall. Aspirations vary from pediatrician to Supreme Court justice—a testament to our students’ dreams and desires to make an impact in the world, as well as the … Continued

NYT Op-Ed: When I Applied to College, I Didn’t Want to ‘Sell My Pain’

The personal statement is an opportunity for high school students to “sell” themselves to the college admissions officer for admission. In most cases, there’s a template to follow, one which Elijah, an Uncommon Charter High School senior, recognized as troublesome. “Every time I wrote, and then discarded and then redrafted, I didn’t feel good. It … Continued

Brooklyn Patch: Educators March in Solidarity with Asian Americans

Uncommon Sense: An Instructional Blog for Educators by Educators

Uncommon Schools has a history of collaborating with local school districts and sharing resources through in-person professional development trainings, online workshops, and multiple best-selling books. Why? Because we believe that every child deserves a great education. Why a Blog? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink our traditional sharing avenues, but being confined to … Continued

Kings County Politics: Uncommon Hosts Halloween Voter Info Event

Kings County Politics: 10,000 Uncommon Schools Students Throughout Brooklyn blaze path for blended learning

Uncommon Schools in Visionaries Documentary on PBS

For the last quarter of a century, Visionaries has been producing documentaries for public television, highlighting nonprofit organizations around the world that are making a positive impact on their respective communities. Uncommon Schools is proud to be featured this season in this Visionaries documentary airing on PBS, and to be able to share the voices … Continued

Kings County Politics: Summer Teaching Fellowship Trains Future Brooklyn Teachers

Uncommon High School Students Conduct Research on Microplastics

High school students from Uncommon Charter High School and Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School conducted research on microplastics in local waterways. As part of Uncommon’s High School 2.0 programming, the students interned at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University) with Dr. Joaquim Goes, to explore just how pervasive microplastics are in the environment. From … Continued

A Letter to the Uncommon Community

Dear Uncommon Schools Community, A few weeks ago, after we chose to close Uncommon Schools for a day to allow our community to process in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, I wrote an essay about how our charter school network was founded to battle racism and advance social justice. Since writing that … Continued

Juneteenth: A Reflection

My Uncommon Family— I am truly thankful for the opportunity to write to you on this day: June 19, 2020. As I write this, monuments of history told from a single story are coming down all over the world, as people refuse to continue to accept a single version, a single truth, a single lens … Continued

Excellence Boys Organize Protest March in Brooklyn

Teachers from Uncommon Schools Excellence Boys organized a protest march that attracted about 5,000 participants. Calling themselves Educators for Justice, the rally protested the injustices experienced in communities of color. Educators, according to the group, are “front line workers who are responsible for developing and shaping the next generation.” Several Uncommon Schools teachers spoke at … Continued

Op-Ed: We Were Founded to Battle Racism and Injustice

In an op-ed for The 74 Million, Uncommon Schools President Julie Jackson explains why the Uncommon Schools network shut down for a day. “With protests erupting across the country, with our own staff and families and students participating, with countless conversations happening about the toll these events were taking on us personally, it became clear … Continued

Uncommon Schools to Close for Mental Health Day on June 1

Uncommon Schools is taking an organization-wide mental health day June 1, 2020 for the sake of our community. Like you, we spent the weekend watching, reading, grieving, raging, reflecting, and marching. We spent the weekend trying to explain to our own children what was going on, as we tried to explain it to ourselves. As … Continued

Together, We are Here

One Mission, One Vision. We may be separated from one another during this pandemic, but we are together in one purpose. With joy and love, our teachers continue to show their commitment to their students and families. North Star Academy and Camden Prep performing arts teachers created this video, singing out our mission to get … Continued

One Teacher’s Perspective on Uncommon’s Demands on Students and Teachers

When Mike Taubman was studying to become a teacher, he didn’t buy the anti-charter school sentiment. As an undergraduate, he interned at Uncommon Schools and now, at 39, is in his 15th year at the network and thriving. Many teachers at charter schools, like Taubman, are willing to work the long hours because, writes Jay … Continued

Hofstra Students, Including UCHS Teacher, Continue Teaching Placements

When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of all schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hofstra’s School of Education had over 130 student teachers placed throughout Long Island the New York metro area. Thanks to the actions of Jay Lewis, Hofstra’s Associate Dean for External Relations, Field Place and Recruitment, 100 percent … Continued

Making Remote Learning Easier and Engaging

Many educators across the country are navigating a huge challenge: how to keep students learning while away from school during the coronavirus pandemic. As Juliana Worrell notes in an op-ed for The 74, we created a remote learning platform that we believe will keep K-8 students learning until we’re able to return to classrooms. We … Continued

Uncommon Builds Online High School in One Day

On March 16, Uncommon Schools closed all its schools, including its four high schools, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The next day, over 4,000 high school students logged online for remote learning. The transition to online learning was completed in one day. This meant students were safe and could continue their learning uninterrupted, including … Continued

Uncommon Schools Launches Virtual K8 Program

No one knew how much the coronavirus pandemic would impact K-12 learning. Schools, including Uncommon Schools, initially made sure their students had enough learning packets and assignments for about two weeks. It quickly became apparent that more was needed. Starting March 30, every Uncommon student will be on a virtual school program with daily lessons … Continued

Literacy Nonprofit Donates Books to Children in Need During Pandemic

A Freeport-based nonprofit, The Book Fairies, donated more than 11,000 books so children can keep reading during the coronavirus pandemic. Educators approached the organization about books to send home to students. In response, Book Fairies temporarily opened its headquarters for scheduled pick-ups. Natasha Cherry-Perez, Senior Associate Director of Community Engagement, went to pick up books … Continued

3 Guiding Principles for Our Transition to Remote Learning

Days after we closed all of our school, Uncommon opened back up as a remote learning organization. In New York City alone we were serving nearly 10,000 students in their homes. Our teachers and staff scrambled to survey families about their Internet capabilities, became couriers to get equipment to families, and made wellness calls to … Continued

Uncommon School Leaders Attend TFA School Leaders of Color Conference

Seven hundred school leaders of color — including over 10 from Uncommon — gathered in Las Vegas on February 7 for Teach for America’s annual conference. This year, the focus was on resilient leadership and providing school leaders with inspiration and motivation to continue the work of supporting young people of color in achieving their … Continued

Uncommon Partners with District Teachers for Second Professional Development Session

In January, New York City teachers from districts 18 and 5 gathered together for the second collaborative professional development workshop hosted by Uncommon Schools. As the six-hour session on literacy instruction began, the teachers were asked to think about Kobe Bryant the writer. Celeste Douglas, the Deputy Superintendent of District 18 in Brooklyn, read Bryant’s … Continued

2,550 Strong — We are One Uncommon

In 1997, we began as a single school in Newark, New Jersey. To that founding class of 72 students and their families we made a promise. A promise to provide them with an outstanding education that prepares them to graduate from college and achieve their dreams. Our steadfastness and commitment to that promise has allowed … Continued

Uncommon High Schools Improve the High School Experience with HS 2.0

News reporter Richard Whitmire visited Uncommon Leadership Charter High School in Brooklyn to see students engage in High School 2.0 — a program that provides students an opportunity to explore topics outside core academic subject areas. The program brings outside experts to teach classes from coding to dance. Students are able to learn “the kind … Continued

Alumni Persist in College With Continued Support

The Wall Street Journal published an article highlighting the work that New York City charter schools, including Uncommon Schools, are doing to get high school graduates to college and, importantly, graduate from college. We are excited to share that 61 percent of Uncommon’s high school graduates have completed at four-year institutions in six years ̶ … Continued

Morehouse Students Visit Uncommon to Learn About Future Career and Education Options

On January 9, Uncommon Schools Excellence Boys Elementary Academy hosted students and staff from Morehouse College, to learn more about future career and post-graduation opportunities in education. Sixteen sophomores and juniors from the Atlanta-based HBCU visited the all-boys school to hear from Uncommon’s Recruitment Team, visit several elementary and middle school classrooms, and interacted with … Continued

Teachers Gather for First Charter-District Collab of School Year

Educators from NYC Districts 5 and 18 gathered together for a professional development session led by Uncommon Schools. The topic: literacy. Throughout the day, teachers analyzed what it means to prepare students to access the rigor of common-core standards, and how best to support students in reading and understanding complex texts. The professional development session … Continued

A Principal Discovers His Passion at Morehouse

In an open letter in the Homecoming Edition of the Maroon Tiger — Morehouse College’s on-campus publication — Jaz Grant writes about how his alma mater helped him find his passion and shape a career worth pursuing. Jaz was a chemistry major at Morehouse, and thought to go into medicine. But one day, during the … Continued

Charter School Leaders Invite Democratic Presidential Candidates to Visit Their Schools

In an op-ed for the Daily News, Brett Peiser (CEO, Uncommon Schools), Dacia Toll (President and Co-CEO, Achievement First), and Richard Barth (CEO, KIPP Foundation), invite Democratic presidential candidates to visit their schools and see firsthand how public charter schools are making an impact on student outcomes. Democratic presidential candidates have spoken on the need … Continued

Watch: Charter-District School Collaboration

For the past 20 years, Uncommon Schools has been deeply committed to sharing what we learn with our colleagues throughout the world to improve education for all children. The New York City Charter School Center put together this feature with interviews from Uncommon leaders and alumni, about what a charter-district school collaboration looks like. Charter-District … Continued

STF Alumnus Pays it Forward

When Morehouse graduates of the Class of 2019 were told they were graduating debt free — thanks to a gift by billionaire Robert F. Smith — they were faced with unprecedented opportunities and a future without the burden of student loan debt. For Jacquese Harrison, a Morehouse graduate and Chicago native, this meant pursuing a … Continued

Uncommon Schools Educator Receives Outstanding Educator of the Year Award

Alexandria Timoll, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction at Uncommon Schools Leadership Prep Canarsie, was recently awarded the Outstanding Educator of the Year award by the publication Education Update. “For me, this was shocking. It made me take a moment. It’s nice when people notice the hard work that you’re doing,” she told BC News (Brooklyn … Continued