The UChicago Charter School is a public charter school in the Chicago Public Schools district composed of three campuses serving approximately 1,500 students on Chicago’s South Side. UChicago Charter’s North Kenwood/Oakland and Donoghue elementary campuses serve grades preK–5, and its combined middle and high school Woodlawn campus serves grades 6-12. Together, the three campuses of the UChicago Charter School provide a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade “superhighway” to college, cultivating students to become critical thinkers and leaders who succeed in four-year colleges and beyond.
Our scholars go on to study at some of the best colleges and universities here in the U.S. and abroad.
160 Full-time Staff
With partners from across the University of Chicago and the city, our dedicated people help our students succeed every day.
The University of Chicago Charter School aims to prepare 100% of students for college acceptance and graduation through a preK to 12 superhighway which cultivates culturally aware critical thinkers and leaders.
The UChicago Charter School was founded on the belief that all students are capable of achieving academic excellence and realizing their highest potential through ambitious instruction and strong support networks. At the heart of the UChicago Charter School’s model are ambitious learning goals for students. The UChicago Charter School’s founders believed that school subject matter should be engaging, intellectually challenging, and relevant to students’ lives, and that teachers should go beyond imparting information to elicit student thinking. In contrast to many conventional approaches to teaching, which emphasize the absorption of facts and procedures, the UChicago Charter School emphasizes the development of “higher-order” abilities such as the capacity to synthesize and explain complex ideas, interpret and construct arguments, test hypotheses, discover patterns, evaluate claims, and support conclusions with evidence.
UChicago Charter provides students with rigorous instruction and comprehensive academic and social supports to accelerate learning, develop college readiness, and cultivate self-responsibility and leadership. Our campuses provide extensive instructional time and take a research-based approach to instruction, engaging students in ambitious intellectual work and using diagnostic assessments to gauge their progress toward learning standards as well as tailor instruction to students’ individual needs. Intensive professional development and supports are in place for campus directors and teachers, and an advanced technological infrastructure supports both teaching and learning at each UChicago Charter School campus.
Parent centers and parent leadership are also an integral part of our school culture. The UChicago Charter School’s founders believed partnerships between parents and teachers mattered—not just during a crisis or when a student experiences serious learning difficulties, but on a daily, ongoing basis, to ensure each child was on track to meet the school’s ambitious learning goals.
Consequently, UChicago Charter leaders and teachers make continuous engagement and coordination with parents a central part of their efforts to foster ambitious learning. The UChicago Charter School has a Director of Partnerships, Family, and Community Engagement who is devoted to developing strong relationships with students and families, and connecting them with local community resources when needed. Above all, our teachers, staff, and leaders are dedicated and skilled educators who guide and inspire our students to rise to excellence and achieve at high levels.
Students undertake research projects in the humanities, sciences and social sciences, beginning in elementary school and culminating with thesis projects in the senior year. Each campus envelops students in a culture of high academic achievement, with explicit attention to issues of race, class, culture, and gender that affect urban schooling.
UChicago Charter uses diagnostic assessments to gauge student progress towards learning standards, using the results to fine-tune instruction, introduce interventions, and target academic and social supports. Intensive professional development, supports and incentives are in place for teachers and school leaders. An advanced technological infrastructure supports teaching and learning. Parent centers and parent leadership are integral to our school culture. Above all, our teachers, staff and leaders are dedicated, knowledgeable and skillful educators who teach, support, and inspire our students to achieve at high levels.
The University of Chicago Charter School is led by a team of dedicated, experienced educators—leaders who truly believe that all of our young people are capable of extraordinary things. Our school leaders relentlessly champion students’ potential and possibilities at every grade level to help each student rise to excellence. Click below to learn more about our team.
Tanika Island Childress
Director & CEO
Tanika Island Childress is the Chief Executive Officer and Director of the University of Chicago Charter School and its three campuses, as well as a managing director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI).
Aneesa Sergeant is the Deputy Director of the University of Chicago Charter School and its three campuses.