About : Mission and History : Mastery Charter Schools History

Mastery Charter Schools operates three charter public school models- Charters, Turnarounds and Renaissance.


Traditional charter schools are tuition-free public schools that receive public funding. Charter schools provide families with choice and provide an alternative to school district run public schools. The charter is approved by the school district in which the charter school is located. Currently, all of Mastery Charter Schools are located in Philadelphia and approved by the Philadelphia School District. When enrollment in a charter school has reached its capacity, admission is allocated by a lottery system. Mastery Charter Schools Lenfest Campus is Mastery’s only citywide traditional charter school.


Mastery Charter Schools also operates Turnaround Schools. The Turnaround Initiative, created under Former Superintendent Paul Vallas, targeted chronically low-performing middle schools to bring about dramatic improvement in student achievement. Mastery Charter Schools Shoemaker, Thomas and Pickett campuses are all turnaround schools.


Mastery operates Renaissance Schools. Introduced in 2010 by former Philadelphia Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, the Renaissance Schools Initiative is designed to turn around the lowest performing schools in Philadelphia by working with school communities who select the school operator that has a proven track record of operating and supporting high-achieving schools.


The main difference between traditional charters and turnaround schools is that turnaround schools are neighborhood schools that take the same students from the same neighborhood in the same building while changing the management of the school, implementing new systems and bringing in new staff.