Learn About the Academic Program at Mastery Charter Schools

Joyful Classrooms Create Academic Excellence.

Our academic program is designed to bring students rigorous, engaging instruction in a fun, joyful environment. We do that through a relationship-driven classroom culture, thoughtful use of data and a continuum of student supports. The foundation of our model is a comprehensive investment in teacher development.

K-12

Rigorous Academics

Academic Program

Mastery’s Common Core-aligned curriculum integrates instructional strategies and robust teacher support so all teachers can deliver engaging, rigorous instruction.

  • Rigorous curricula aligned with grade level standards
  • Active, student-centered instruction
  • Intellectual preparation to internalize content and plan proactively to meet individual student needs
  • Standards unpacking and analysis to develop deep understanding of how to best support students to meet high expectations

See sidebar for Course Descriptions.

Mastery’s school culture systems are designed to create joyful school communities that support students’ sense of belonging and the development of their independence and personal responsibility.

  • Intentional school culture model
  • Restorative practices
  • Mindset & social emotional programming
  • Cultural context & professional learning communities

Mindset & Social-Emotional Programming

At Mastery, we believe social-emotional skills can be explicitly taught and nurtured. We intentionally develops resilience in students by fostering a “success through hard work” culture. Teachers develop students’ “growth mindset” by encouraging them to persevere through difficult work and providing them opportunities to lead.

 

In our elementary schools, social emotional skills curricula is integrated into the regular school day. At the middle and high school level, our students take social emotional courses focused on decision skills, conflict resolution, and emotional self-management. The program culminates with a required 18-week workplace-based internship for all secondary students in either sophomore or junior year.

Every Mastery student will receive a laptop as part of our 1-to-1 computing plan. Additionally, Mastery will provide financial assistance to families who do not have high speed internet access in their homes. We are committed to disrupting the digital divide – lack of technology access will not be a barrier to our students’ learning.

  • Teacher support and development is our priority. Our staff participates in professional development every Wednesday and have more than 250 hours of professional development each year.  Our approach to professional development includes explicitly building discrete skills, practicing execution of those skills, refining execution through feedback cycles, leading to mastery of skills over time.

 

  • New teachers get support through a year-long new teacher induction program.  This includes a week-long Mastery staff institute focused on providing an overview of Mastery’s mission and culture and providing opportunities to develop and practice foundational classroom skills, regular access to a new teacher mentor at your school site and monthly new teacher induction training sessions focused on cultivating emotional resilience and building instructional skills.

 

  • We ensure teachers have the space, resources and practice they need to excel before and throughout the school year. Our teachers participate in robust coaching cycles driven by concrete, manageable goals; frequent real-time feedback; modeling and practice. We are nationally recognized for our teacher coaching model.

 

  • Our teachers participate in outcomes-oriented planning meetings with school or central office experts. Planning meetings drive content expertise, outstanding lesson design and thoughtful collaboration with peers.
  • Teachers drive student achievement.  We believe effort and impact should be reflected in earning power, access to increased responsibilities, and opportunities for leadership.  Positive impact on students is recognized.

 

  • We have a formal teacher leader program that allows teachers to drive positive impact within and outside of their classroom by taking on increased leadership for intellectual preparation, collaborative planning, mentorship for new teachers or additional responsibilities at their school site.  Teacher leaders receive ongoing professional development focused on adult management, adult learning, equity and continuous improvement.

 

  • Our Apprentice School Leader program provides interested teachers with a path to school leadership. ASLs work closely with school leaders and take on meaningful projects.

Cultural Context & Professional Learning Communities

We believe that culture, race, and identity strongly influence how we teach, how students learn, and how the school community interacts; we also believe the cultural backgrounds of our students and families are a source of strength and opportunity. Consequently, Mastery has initiated a comprehensive training program to develop staff’s ability to be aware of – and responsive to — cultural, racial and individual identities. We believe candid conversations about race and bias create a healthier and more effective school community.

We have a multi-part cultural context training for new staff that focuses on awareness of unconcious biases, family engagement best practices and developing our staff’s understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion.

We value data and constantly ask ourselves if students are learning and, if not, how are we responding each day to ensure all students are learning. Teachers implement daily, informal exit tickets and other formative assessments to ensure students are understanding the material and formal end-of-quarter benchmark assessments to gain insight into concept mastery, growth and gaps.

Data analysis informs daily lessons, report period goals, targeted student supports and differentiation. Robust data systems and reporting tools put actionable information into teachers’ hands.

  • Benchmark and checkpoint assessments
  • MAP student growth assessment
  • Data-informed decisions

At Mastery, we believe all students can learn and thrive. Our schools offer a variety of approaches to support learning and development across a diversity of student needs. We meet students where they are and ensure they have the proper supports and systems to leverage their strengths and potential, and accelerate learning.

We have developed a comprehensive safety net to ensure all students succeed, including:

  • Response to Instruction & Intervention (RTII)
  • Emotional Support & Trauma Informed Care
  • Full range of Specialized Services programs and services
  • ELL and bilingual programming

"There's a charter school called Mastery in Philadelphia. And in just two years, three of the schools that Mastery has taken over have seen reading and math levels nearly double - in some cases, triple...Now, if a school like Mastery can do it, every troubled school can do it."

– President Barack Obama

College & Career Prep

Partnering with students for life after graduation.

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Student Life

Mastery is much more than academics. Get involved!

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Specialized Services

Serving all students with excellence.

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