About Us

Who We Are

Noble is a nonprofit organization that runs 17 charter public high schools and one middle school in the city of Chicago. Founded as Noble Street Charter School in 1999, we now serve over 12,000 students, and they come from every neighborhood in the city. Every year, 99% of our seniors are accepted into college before they graduate high school. Our schools are free and open-enrollment – any student who completes 8th grade and lives in Chicago may attend.

Our Mission

Noble is a catalyst for educational equity in Chicago that empowers students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives.

Our History

  • In 1999 two Chicago Public School teachers opened Noble Street Charter School in cooperation with the Northwestern University Settlement Association.
  • Noble’s first class graduates in 2003. More than 85% of graduates pursued postsecondary education.
  • In 2005, Noble began its expansion to serve more students. Noble’s first two expansion campuses, Rauner College Prep and Pritzker College Prep open their doors to serve additional students in 2006.
  • Noble’s first class of graduates begins earning college degrees in 2007. Golder College Prep and Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy open in August of 2007.
  • In 2008, Noble opens its sixth and seventh campuses, UIC College Prep and Gary Comer College Prep.
  • Three Noble campuses are the highest performing open enrollment high schools in Chicago, based on 2009 ACT scores; Noble campuses rank first through third. Noble’s Muchin College Prep and Chicago Bulls College Prep campuses open.
  • In 2010, Johnson College Prep, Noble’s tenth campus, opens in the Englewood community. Noble receives a $10.6 million Charter School Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • In August of 2011, Noble opens our first middle school at the site of Gary Comer College Prep in the Grand Crossing community. Gary Comer Middle School welcomed its first class of seventy 6th graders and plans to serve 180 students in grades 6-8 when at full capacity.
  • For the third year in a row, in 2011 all Noble campuses taking the ACT rank among the top ten highest performing open enrollment schools in Chicago.
  • Noble began its next phase of expansion in August 2012 by opening two new campuses. DRW College Prep serves Chicago’s West side in Homan Square and Hansberry College Prep is educating students on the far South side.
I work extremely hard to succeed at Noble, and not a day goes by that I am ungrateful for my education. Without Noble I have no idea where I would be. I am thankful for the opportunities that I know many children around the world do not have. Education should be valued, not taken for granted.

Noble Graduate, Class of 2014

  • In 2013, Noble ventures farther south opening Baker College Prep in the South Chicago community and Butler College Prep serving the Pullman neighborhood.
  • Also in 2013 Brenda Cora, a member of Noble’s first ever graduating class, makes history by taking leadership of Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy as Noble’s first alumni principal.
  • 2014 saw the opening of Noble’s two newest campuses – ITW David Speer Academy and The Noble Academy. Speer Academy is Noble’s first STEM campus and extends a Noble education to the families of Chicago’s northwest side. The Noble Academy is a is a collaboration between Noble and Phillips Exeter Academy and brings small group, student-centered Harkness® instruction to Chicago.
  • In 2015, Noble opened Mansueto High School at 47th and Richmond, the first Noble school on the southwest side of Chicago and the first Noble campus with a designated, regulation soccer field.
  • Noble wins the 2015 Broad Prize for top Public Charter School Network in the nation!
  • In 2017, over 2,000 seniors graduate from Noble, bringing the total number of Noble alumni to over 10,000
  • The Noble class of 2019 earned over 14,000 college acceptances from 194 colleges and more than $491 million in scholarship award offers.

Our Approach

Noble was founded on many of the same entrepreneurial principles that have built successful businesses—strong leadership, meaningful use of data, and a high degree of accountability. With longer class periods, a longer school day, and a longer school year, Noble provides students with substantially more instructional time than the traditional Chicago public high school. This extra time, combined with a disciplined, consistent school culture, high expectations, and a team of dedicated teachers, results in dramatically improved academic performance.
[Noble] has an exceptional track record of helping low income and minority students attain significantly higher achievement and graduation rates. Further replication will benefit additional students and strengthen the Chicago Public Schools system.
US Department of Education

It starts with culture.

Because success is the only option for our students, we operate on culture of high expectations – for academics, for behavior, and for our students’ futures. We know that college is crucial for future success, so everything we do is to prepare our students for that next step. Academic rigor is the norm and discipline and accountability are a part of daily life for students. We believe that by ‘sweating the small stuff’ and pushing our students to reach their full potential, we are building the skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed to be successful in college and in life.

Great Adults = Great Outcomes.

We know the biggest predictor of our students’ academic success is the quality of the adults in the building. That’s why we work tirelessly to recruit, hire, and support the best educators in the country. And we know they work tirelessly to ensure that every student has the resources they need to be successful. We give our teachers the freedom to innovate in the classroom, access to transparent data so they can analyze their performance, and we compensate our teachers and school leaders for results. This is why our schools rank as the top performing high schools in Chicago on ACT scores and academic gains.

Data-Driven Improvement.

If we care about it, we need to be able to measure it. From community service hours, attendance, and behavior to academic growth, number of college applications submitted, and amount of scholarships awarded, data drives everything we do and it’s crucial to our continuous improvement. Noble has created a sophisticated dashboard of information that updates every four hours so we can track students’ progress and identify any red flags, in real time.

We are college bound.

Noble’s College Program exposes our students to higher education options and guides them through the collegiate application process. Through college trips, college fairs, summer college immersion programs and a required year-long College Writing course, Noble demystifies the college experience and shapes students’ beliefs and confidence about higher education.

Our commitment to students’ success extends through college. Alumni Coordinators at each campus provide academic and financial aid advising and workshops, mentoring, networking and counseling for alumni as they adjust to college life.