All students learn the academic and personal skills they need to succeed in higher education, compete in the global economy, and pursue their dreams.
At the core of every Mastery school is a set of values that guides all of our actions. Mastery’s values are infused in the everyday life of the organization -- in the recruitment criteria for new staff, in staff evaluation and promotion decisions, in the organization’s growth strategy, and in the way staff interact with each other and the parents and students we serve.
Mastery Values are:
1) Student Achievement -- Above All
Student achievement is the civil rights issue of our time and the reason we exist. Each staff member is responsible for our students’ success.
2) We Serve
We serve students and their families first. Our business is their success.
3) The High Road
We do the right thing. We are fair and treat folks with respect.
Our students’ futures are at stake – we don’t give up. We do more with less. If it doesn’t work, we fix it. We find a way.
5) Joy and Humor
Our positive, caring culture supports student and staff success. We like fun. We love to laugh.
6) Straight Talk
We face reality, communicate honestly and respectfully, and hold each other accountable.
7) Open Doors
Everybody is welcome to talk to anybody. We are open and transparent.
8) Continuous Improvement
We seek a better way – always. We are engaged in an ongoing cycle of goal setting, action, measurement, and analysis.
9) One Team
We are in this together. We may disagree, but at the end of the day, we support each other 100%.
Mastery’s first school, Mastery Lenfest, was founded in September 2001 by a coalition of business and civic leaders. Based on the success of the Lenfest Campus, in 2005 the School District of Philadelphia invited Mastery to turn around Thomas Middle School. In 2006, Mastery turned around Shoemaker Middle School, previously the second most violent school in the District. In 2007, Mastery turned around Pickett Middle School. In all three cases, the original middle schools have been expanded to include high school grades. In September 2010, Mastery opened three elementary turnaround schools under the School District of Philadelphia’s Renaissance Schools initiative. Mastery merged with Hardy Williams Academy Charter School in the Spring of 2010. During 2011-2012 school year, Mastery turned around Clymer Elementary and Simon Gratz High School as part of the Renaissance Schools initiative. For 2012-2013, Grover Cleveland will be a Renaissance turnaround for Mastery as well as adding 9th grade to our Hardy Williams Academy Mastery Charter School.
Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools that receive public money and can also receive private funding. Because they are privately run, charter schools do not have some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter.
Charter schools are opened and attended by choice. Charter schools are a part of the public education system and provide an alternative to other public schools. They are not allowed to charge tuition. Some charters that are considered turnarounds take the same students from the same neighborhood or catchment area and the same building while changing the management of the school, implementing new systems and bringing in new staff. When enrollment in a charter school has reached its capacity, admission is frequently allocated by lottery-based admissions systems. However, the lottery is not open to all students. Charter school students in Pennsylvania take the PSSA, a state-mandated exam.