UChicago Charter School

The University of Chicago Charter School

The University of Chicago’s unique commitment to urban education is clear in its role as operator of four public charter school campuses serving nearly 1,900 students on the South Side of Chicago. The campuses operated by the Urban Education Institute are at the core of our work and place the University among a small group of higher education institutions in the nation directly responsible for the public schooling of pre-K through 12 students.

The University of Chicago Charter School's four campuses share a common mission: To prepare 100% of students for college acceptance and graduation through a PreK to 12 superhighway that cultivates critical thinkers and leaders.

Students are admitted by a random lottery without academic screening. The UChicago Charter campuses demonstrate that it is not only possible but probable that urban children achieve at high levels given the proper academic and social supports within a culture of achievement. Our campuses also serve as a training ground for the next generation of teachers and as our locus of cutting-edge work to design new tools and practices that improve teaching and learning.

Our campuses are:

  • The North Kenwood/Oakland Campusfounded in 1998, originally served grades prekindergarten through 8, but with the opening of the Carter G. Woodson Campus in 2008, NKO now serves grades prekindergarten through 5.
  • In 2005, UEI replicated NKO with the opening of the Donoghue Campus, which educates children from prekindergarten through grade 5.
  • The Carter G. Woodson Campus opened in 2008 and is named for one of the University of Chicago’s first African American graduates. Carter G. Woodson serves grades 6 through 8.
    Read about our Middle School Model
  • The Woodlawn Campus, established in 2006, serves grades 6 through 12. UCW provides a strong foundation for college study beginning in 6th grade.

Birth-to-College Superhighway

In 2009, the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI) and the Ounce of Prevention Fund (the Ounce) embarked on an effort to form a partnership whose vision is to ". . . build a model of public education for children and their families that begins at birth and creates success in school, college, and life."

The goal is to collaboratively and continuously align and create instructional practices, and academic and social supports, to demonstrate a new model of public education that seamlessly and successfully prepares children for college, beginning at birth.

As a result of this partnership, the University of Chicago Charter School elementary campuses and The Ounce's Educare program will have curricular alignment and allow for children to apply to both Educare and our University of Chicago Charter School lottery, concurrently.  The hope is to create a smooth transition from early education programs to K-12, while establishing a consistent, aligned birth-to-college education experience.

To learn more about the partnership, please visit the partnership page to read and watch the latest case studies and videos.