Mastery Charter School: What To Know Before Applying in 2023

Mastery Charter School
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Mastery Charter School is a chain of 24 charter schools with more than 14,000 students in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Camden, and Philadelphia. The institution was established in 2001 with the Brook J. Lenfest Campus.

Furthermore, its headquarters is at Mastery Charter Pickett Campus, Germantown, Philadelphia. This network of schools aims to educate students on the personal and academic skills they require to prepare for postsecondary education and achieve their dreams.

Additionally, its small class sizes and personalized learning style help promote an individualized focus on each student’s needs.

Mastery Charter Schools offer various programs in community involvement, leadership, and good behavior aimed at developing each student’s character.

At the same time, their extracurricular activities cover theater, music, and sports programs. They also support families through parent engagement programs, health clinics, and counseling services.

Moving forward, this article will explain everything you should know about Mastery Charter Schools before applying. So, if you intend to enroll your ward in this institution, read further!

Background Information

In 2001, this network of schools was established as High Tech High. And they started with one hundred 9th-grade students. Then in 2002, it was renamed from High Tech High to Mastery Charter Schools and relocated from Old City to the new Lenfest Campus. 

After the renovation of the Lenfest Campus and seeing how successful it is, the School District of Philadelphia invited Mastery to turn around Thomas Middle School in 2005. In the same year, the institution graduated its first set of students (79 Lenfest students).

Moving forward, Mastery was picked to turn around Shoemaker Middle School in 2006, which happens to be one of Philadelphia’s most violent middle schools. Again, Mastery was selected to turn around one of the schools with low performance in the city—Pickett Middle School. 

In 2010, it launched The School District of Philadelphia Renaissance Schools Initiative. Additionally, parent committees picked Mastery Charter Schools to turn around three underperforming elementary schools—Smedley, Mann, and Harrity. 

In the same year, Mastery Charter Schools, Thomas Campus graduated its first set of 90 students. And in the 2010/2011 academic year, Mastery served 4,000 students throughout Philadelphia. 

Mastery was selected in 2011 to manage two Renaissance Schools—Simon Gratz High School and Clymer Elementary. Also, Hardy Williams Academy joined the Mastery Charter Schools network. Moving forward in the same year, Shoemaker had its first set of graduating students (80 students).

Grover Cleveland Elementary School joined Mastery’s network as its 6th Renaissance School in 2012. Then Mastery established Hardy Williams High School. Further, in the same year, the Pickett Campus of Mastery Charter Schools had its first set of graduating students (73 students).

History of Mastery Charter School

In 2013, Mastery started at Thomas Elementary School and turns around Francis D. Pastorius Elementary School. In addition, it started the Mastery Charter Prep in Simon Gratz High School where it served 7th and 8th grade students. 

Mastery Schools of Camden was founded in 2014 with two institutions in Camden, New Jersey: North Camden Elementary and Cramer Hill Elementary. Mastery was picked to run another Renaissance School in 2015: Frederick Douglass Elementary School. Again, it was selected to turn around three struggling Camden City District Schools—East Camden Middle School, Molina Elementary, and McGraw Elementary.

In 2016, Mastery was picked to manage John Wister Elementary School, its 8th Renaissance School. Further, Mastery Schools of Camden began Mastery Charter High School of Camden, serving 9th-grade students.

Now, Cramer Hill Elementary and North Camden Elementary merged and relocated to a new state-of-the-art building serving K-8 grades. Then, Mastery Charter High School of Camden included 10th grade.

In 2018, Mastery Prep Elementary Charter School starts as a K-2 school with over 200 students. Then Mastery Charter High School of Camden added 11th grade and began in a new building. And it became the first high school in North Camden. 

Meanwhile, Francis D. Pastorius Elementary was renamed Pastorius-Richardson Elementary on 30th October 2018. This was in honor of Representative David P. Richardson, Jr. In 2019, Mastery Prep Elementary added 3rd grade. And Mastery Charter High School of Camden had its first class of graduating students.

Mastery adopted Pursue Equity as one of its Values in 2020. Furthermore, Mastery Schools provided COVID-safe individualized learning by launching weekly COVID-19 testing.

It also invested in ventilation upgrades to enhance air circulation and quality. Another intriguing thing about this institution is that it provides full access to technology, home internet access, and laptops to each student to support their learning. 

Finally, in 2020, Mastery Prep included 4th grade. 

The year 2021 began with an additional 5th grade to Mastery Prep Elementary. Mastery further launched a gun violence protection program called Rebound. 

Check Out: Friendship Public Charter School: What To Know Before Applying In 2023

Grades And Programs Offered 

Mastery offers grades K-12. Its academic program aims to provide students with engaging and rigorous learning in a happy and fun environment. The school achieves this through an introspective use of data, continuous student support, and relationship-driven classroom culture.

Furthermore, Mastery Schools invest hugely in their teachers, making it the foundation of their model. In addition to having instructional areas in K-2ELA (English Language Arts), MathScience, and Social studies, Mastery Schools offers the following specialized services and programs:

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.

  • Low incidence programming
  • Emotional support
  • Individualized education plans
  • 504 accommodations & supports
  • English Language Learner (ELL)
  • Social work services
  • Academic interventions

See Also: Astec Charter School: What to Know Before Applying in 2023

Unique Features of Mastery Charter School 

Mastery Schools is known for the following values:

Student Achievement

This is the institution’s paramount value and the reason it exists. Hence, every staff member is responsible for the student’s success.

Pursue Equity

It detests inequities and racism that limit its students’ choices and embraces a culture that encourages all families, students, and staff to be seen and valued.


Mastery Schools serve their students and families first.

The High Road

They are just, they do what is right and treat everyone respectfully.

Joy and Humor

Their caring and positive culture supports staff and student success. Thus, they love fun and love to laugh.


They embrace reality, communicate respectfully and truthfully, and are accountable to each other.


Everyone is welcome to speak to anyone. So, they are transparent and open.

Continuous improvement

They continuously seek new ways to improve. Again, they have a culture of constantly setting goals, taking action, analyzing and measuring.

One Team

Mastery Schools embrace oneness. Disagreements are bound to happen but they support each other regardless.

Read Also: Waterset Charter School | What You Should Know Before Applying In 2023

Admission Process at Mastery Charter School

Admission into Mastery Charter Schools is based on a first-come, first-served and is restricted to students residing within the institution’s attendance/catchment zone. Additionally, they give preference to students whose siblings are presently attending the same school they’re applying to.

Eligibility Requirements, Application Process, and Deadline For Mastery Charter School, Philadelphia

Whether you want to enroll in high school or elementary, there are four ways to apply to Mastery Charter School, Philadelphia. However, students must attain 5 years old on or before September 1st before they can begin Kindergarten.

  1. Online Application
  • You will be required to fill out an online application. Visit this website for further information about Apply Philly Charter.
  • Also, you will require an email address for the online application. But if you don’t have one, visit one of the Mastery Schools to apply in person.

2. Over the phone

  • Contact the Apply Philly Charter helpline at 1 (800) 891-3999 to apply over the phone.

3. Reach out to the school

  • Call or text the Mastery Welcome Team at 267-854-0330. They’re usually available from 9 am-3 pm (Monday-Friday). If you need to call after work hours, drop a message and a team member will return your call within 48 hours.

4. In-person

  • Visit any of the school’s campuses in person to apply at their enrollment kiosks.

Note the following dates and deadlines:

  • 23/09/2022 | Application starts for the 2023-2024 school year.
  • 23/01/2023 | Deadline for a lottery application. Applications submitted after this date will be added to the waitlist (this applies to lottery schools).
  • 08/02/2023 | Lottery will be held. 
  • 10/02/2023 | If you apply by the deadline of 23rd January, 2023 you will see the results by 10th February, 2023. Moreover, families will be informed of lottery results by phone, email, and letter home.
  • 24/02/2023 | This is the PA common acceptance date.

Read this article: Taft High School: What to Know Before Applying in 2023

Eligibility Requirements, Application Process, and Deadline For Mastery Charter School, Camden

Whether you’re applying to elementary or high school, there are four ways to go about this in Mastery Charter School. Meanwhile, your ward must be 5 years of age by 1st October to be eligible.

  1. Online 
  • You will be required to fill out an online application on an external website called One Camden.

2. Over the phone

  • Call or text the One Camden hotline from Monday – Friday (9 am-3 pm) to apply.
  • Hotline Phone: 856-536-3999
  • Hotline Text: 844-322-3256

3. Contact the school

  • Call or text the Mastery Welcome Team at 609-315-7663. They’re often available from 9 am-3 pm (Monday-Friday). If you want to call after office hours, drop a message and a team member will return your call within 48 hours.

4. In-person

  • Visit any Mastery campus to apply in person with their enrollment kiosk.

Note the following dates and deadlines:

  • Tuesday, December 6 | Application commences
  • Friday, March 10 | Main Round Deadline
  • Week of April 3 | Main Round Results released
  • Friday, May 12 | Deadline to Register at Schools

Check Out: Bromley East Charter School Before Applying in 2023

Curriculum And Instruction

Mastery’s primary Core-aligned curriculum combines sturdy teacher support and instructional techniques to enable every teacher to deliver rigorous and engaging instruction. Meanwhile, here are some things you should know about the institution’s curriculum and instruction: 

  • Their instruction is active and student-centered.
  • Analysis and standard unpacking to build a deep understanding of better ways to support students to meet high expectations.
  • Rigorous curriculum that aligns with grade-level standards.
  • Intellectual preparation to comprehend the content and be proactive in planning to meet each student’s needs.

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About STEM Education at Mastery Charter School

STEM represents Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This program equips students with various skills ranging from how to develop websites, to how to build robots and much more. Further, the STEM education at Mastery Charter prepares them to compete and thrive in the real world by educating them on the following:

  • Independent thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Team building and collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • Research

Meanwhile, Mastery High School of Camden has three STEM labs and the benefits of having STEM honors include the following:

  • Gain college credit
  • Visit STEM job sites such as labs and hospitals
  • Network with STEM professionals
  • Attend a summer program for free

Extracurricular Activities

Yes, school should be academically rigorous but it will be boring without some fun activities. And that’s why Mastery Schools have extracurricular activities to spice things up! They also have athletics and clubs. See some of them below:

  • Baseball
  • Boys and Girls Basketball
  • Co-ed Cheerleading/Spirit
  • Co-ed Cross Country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Co-ed Indoor Track
  • Boys and Girls Lacrosse
  • Boys Soccer
  • Softball
  • Co-ed Track & Field
  • Boys and Girls Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Mastery Charter Schools have an endless list of extracurricular activities, clubs, and athletics. You can check out the rest on their website.

Read this article: Neuse Charter School: What to know before Applying in 2023

Student Life

Check out these facts about student life at Mastery Charter School:

  • Over 20 sports are available including:

Girls: soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, bowling, winter track, softball, girls flag football, and track.

Boys: football, soccer, cross country, basketball, bowling, winter track, baseball, boys volleyball.

  • Students have over 20 electives, like film study, journalism, band, poetry, fashion design, creative writing, weight lifting, African American literature, health, marine biology, environmental studies, architectural design, psychology, and yoga.
  • Clubs and activities, such as National Honor Society, theater, student government, art club, Japanese & anime club, drum line, Spanish heritage club, and homework support.
  • Students at Mastery Charter enjoy beautiful, updated facilities, including an $18 million renovation. They also enjoy science labs, a new weight room, and more!

Check Out: Lake Norman Charter School: What to know before Applying in 2023

Student Demographics

Campus Males (%)Females (%)
Mastery Charter School – Mann Elementary School4951
Thomas Campus5248
Mastery Charter High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania5248
Lenfest Campus 53.6146.39
Simon Gratz High School 53.5346.47
Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School 5248
Mann Elementary School Thomas Campus Mastery Charter High School, PhiladelphiaHardy Williams Campus Harrity Campus
African American91.6%34%
Native American0.2%4.2%0%
Pacific islander0.2%0.3%
American Indian/Alaska native0.3%

Note: For Harrity Campus, 97% of students are Native American, Latino, black, or Asian. 

School Culture and Community

Mastery Schools’ culture is made in a way that builds joyful communities in school that support each student’s sense of development of independence & personal responsibility, and sense of belonging.

In addition, Mastery students learn and succeed. And their culture revolves around these:

  • Restorative practices
  • Culturally responsive teaching
  • Intentional school culture model
  • Mindset and social-emotional programming

See Also: Charter Schools VS Public Schools: Differences, Similarities in 2023

Faculty And Staff

The members of staff at Mastery Charter School must meet specific qualifications before they can be employed. This is to ensure that every student at Mastery receives top-notch education. 

So, below are some qualifications and experiences you must meet to qualify as a teacher at Mastery. 

  • State Certification

Every Mastery School teacher must have a certification to teach in the state of Pennsylvania. This is the first criterion you must meet.

  • Bachelor’s degree 

Secondly, you must possess at least a bachelor’s degree. This is a major requirement for all teaching roles at a Mastery Charter School. 

  • Passion for Teaching

All Mastery Schools’ teachers must be passionate about teaching and show commitment to helping students thrive academically and in the real world. 

  • Experience 

Again, the institution would rather employ teachers with experience in teaching, especially those that have worked in underserved and urban areas.

  • Continuous Learning 

Mastery Schools will prefer teachers that are committed to their personal development and actively seek growth in their career alongside other opportunities to grow professionally. 

  • Cultural Competency

Mastery teachers must deeply understand cultural diversity and create a learning environment that is culturally responsive for every student. 

Generally, Mastery Charter School teachers are committed experts dedicated to impacting top-notch education for their students. Additionally, the institution network offers continuous professional development and support to its teachers so that they are acquainted with the proper skills and knowledge required to help students succeed.

Also Read: 21st Century Cyber Charter School: What To Know Before Applying In 2023

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement at Mastery is an important aspect of the school’s educational process. Meanwhile, check out the following importance of parent involvement:

  • Improved Communication 

This is one significant importance of parent involvement in their child’s education. It promotes open communication between parents, their child(ren), the administrator, and teachers. This further helps to discover any challenges and tackle them promptly. 

  • Student Success

Parent involvement also promotes their child’s success in school. Thus, they will thrive better academically. Examples of ways parents can get involved in their child’s academic success include assistance with homework and communication with school teachers to keep track of their child’s academic performance. 

  •  Supporting Teachers

Engaging in your child’s education can provide support for their teachers. This helps you to know the teacher’s aims and goals for your child. And it can guide you while supporting your child at home.

  • Positive School Atmosphere

When parents engage in school activities and events, it encourages community work/building and fosters a positive school atmosphere. As a result, students’ motivation and engagement can improve. 

Mastery charter school offers different ways for parents to be engaged in school activities. These include attending parent engagement programs, volunteering at school events or in the classroom, and attending parent-teacher conferences. 

Also, the institution provides support and resources to keep parents involved and informed in their child’s educational process. Moreover, when parents work together with teachers, they can assist in ensuring that each child gets the resources and support they require to succeed. 

Opportunities For Parent Involvement

Mastery Schools understand the importance of parents’ engagement in their child’s education. Thus, they offer various opportunities for parental involvement. Below are some opportunities for parents’ involvement at Mastery Charter School:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences

The institution often holds parent-teacher conferences. This allows parents to meet their child(ren)’s teachers, discuss their progress, and ask any questions they may have concerning their child’s academic performance. 

  • Parent Engagement Programs 

Mastery Schools provide various parent engagement programs which allow parents to discover more about their child’s education. An example is workshops on topics ranging from math, literacy, and college readiness. 

  • Volunteer Opportunities 

Volunteer opportunities in another way Mastery Charter Schools get parents involved in the school activities. Further, volunteer opportunities are open in the classroom or at school events. This could be helping with school assemblies, fundraisers, or chaperoning field trips. 

  • Home-School Communication

Since Mastery Schools understand the importance of continuous communication between parents and teachers, they provide several channels for communication. Examples include parent-teacher messaging platforms, newsletters, and constant updates on their child’s progress. 

  • Parent Advisory Councils

The school has parent advisory councils at each school/campus. These advisory councils provide a forum for parents to discuss their concerns, needs, suggestions, and ideas with the school administrators. 

In summary, Mastery Charter School recognizes and encourages parent engagement. They also provide several opportunities for parents to be engaged in their child’s education. Therefore, as parents, working together with your child’s teachers can help students to get the support and resources they need. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the founder of Mastery Charter School?

Scott Gordon is the founder of Mastery Charter Schools. He was the Lenfest Campus’ first principal in 2001 and later switched to the CEO position when Mastery expanded to many campuses.

How many Mastery Charter Schools are in Philadelphia?

There are 24 Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia. Visit Mastery’s website to learn more about these 24 schools. 

How much do Mastery Charter School teachers get paid in Philadelphia?

According to, the average yearly pay for a Mastery Charter Teacher in Philadelphia is approximately $63,247. And this is 36% higher than the national average.

How much is Charter Schools’ tuition?

There are no tuition fees for Charter Schools. They are publicly funded schools. Charter school leaders take greater accountability.

Who is the CEO of Tacony Academy Charter School?

Sterling Garris is the Principal and CEO of Tacony Academy Charter School.

Bottom Line

Mastery Charter School is a chain of public Charter schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is known for offering top-quality education to students in underserved communities.

Furthermore, they use an individualized learning approach and emphasis on character development. They aim to prepare students for career and college success. 

Again, the institution hires only highly experienced and qualified teachers that are passionate about impacting knowledge into students and dedicated to each child’s success. Mastery also recognizes and encourages parent engagement.

Hence, they have several opportunities for parents to engage in their children’s educational process. Mastery Schools have attained success in enhancing the academic prowess of students in underserved communities.

They have received many awards and accolades for their hard work, character development, individualized learning, and community involvement. And graduates of this institution are ready for college and career success in the real world. 

Whether it’s elementary or high school, Mastery Charter models top-notch education and is an ideal place for your children to be if you reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 



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