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North Kenwood / Oakland
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NKO has been featured in The Economist, Paul Bambrick-Santoyo's book Great Habits, Great Readers, and other high-profile publications.

Contact Info

1119 E. 46th Street
Chicago, IL 60653
Phone: 773.536.2399
Fax: 773.536.2435

Get directions

UChicago Charter North Kenwood / Oakland Campus ( Grades PreK - 5 )

North Kenwood / Oakland (NKO) serves grades PreK through 5 and is one of the four campuses of the UChicago Charter School. NKO engages students in a challenging academic environment and fosters in all students a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community. NKO is one of the highest-performing non-selective elementary schools in the City of Chicago.

Approach and Curriculum

North Kenwood/Oakland's academic approach is distinguished by:

  • A school culture of high academic achievement featuring rigorous instruction and curriculum based on research and best practices.
  • Committed, knowledgeable and skillful educators who teach, guide and inspire students to excel, including award-winning and National Board Certified Teachers.
  • An emphasis on teaching students to become independent readers by grade three, using whole group, small group and individualized instruction.
  • A focus on high-order thinking in mathematics.
  • Expert use of literacy and mathematics assessments to measure students’ progress and to tailor instruction and supports to enable all children to reach higher levels of achievement.
  • The infusion of technology throughout the curriculum, including four desktop computers in each classroom and ready access to a laptop for every student.
  • A full-day prekindergarten that offers developmentally appropriate instruction in reading, science, mathematics, art, music, and dance.
  • Increased instructional time through an August–June academic year and a school day that offers extended hours beginning at 7:00 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m.


North Kenwood/Oakland is a high-performing school that has won wide recognition for enabling students to learn and achieve at high levels.

  • For seven years in a row, an increasing percentage of NKO students scored at the meets or exceeds level on ISAT according to the original benchmark. In 2012, 86 percent met or exceeded state standards in reading, mathematics, and science.
  • All students in grades 3 - 5 participate in the UChicago Charter School Science Fair that is designed to improve students’ ability to be successful in STEM fields.
  • Every year since 2001, NKO students have outperformed Chicago Public Schools students citywide. In 2012, 26 percent of NKO students exceeded state standards compared to 17.8 percent for CPS.
  • In 2013, NKO’s campus director Tanika Island was awarded a Chicago Public Schools Principal Achievement Award, a recogniton of leaders who guide their schools to exceptional academic growth. Island was also honored with a Community School Leadership Award in 2012. She now serves as the UChicago Charter School’s Chief Academic Officer.

About the North Kenwood / Oakland Name

North Kenwood/Oakland is named after and located at the juncture of the South Side neighborhoods of North Kenwood and Oakland, historic communities formed by African Americans and others seeking a better life, including high quality educational opportunities for their children. In 2008, North Kenwood/Oakland was honored as the recipient of the Illinois State Federation of Community
Schools’ Dimon Distinguished Community Schools Award.

Campus Leadership

Tonya Howell, Campus Director

Elizabeth Brown, Assistant Director/Director of Social & Academic Supports

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