Mission & HistoryOur Mission
Our mission is to prepare each student for college.
In the fall of 1997, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government graduates, Brett Peiser and Susan Fortin, met former State Senator and now U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch. Together, they imagined a safe, academically rigorous public school that would offer children from every Boston neighborhood the opportunity to receive an education that would prepare them for college.
They embarked upon a rigorous selection process that began with the submission of a proposal to the Massachusetts Department of Education outlining their ideas for a school including curriculum, operations, governance, and accountability. In February 1998, a charter was granted and the process of building a school began: in only six weeks the founders recruited 240 applicants for the initial 120 open spots and hired a staff of nine founding teachers. Four months after receiving the charter, Boston Collegiate Charter School (originally founded as South Boston Harbor Academy) opened for its first summer session.
BCCS has grown from 120 students in grades 5, 6, and 7 to nearly 700 students in grades 5 through 12. The school has been recognized as a leading middle and high school in Massachusetts and around the country with 100% of its graduating seniors being accepted into college. Further, BCCS maintains a waiting list of over 3,000 students. In June 2013 the Board of Education unanimously awarded BCCS a fourth five-year charter through June 2018.
History of Public Charter Schools in Massachusetts
Charter schools were introduced in Massachusetts via the 1993 Education Reform Act passed by the Legislature. Charter schools are independently managed public schools that operate under a five-year charter granted by the Massachusetts Board of Education. Parents, teachers, non-profit organizations, or community leaders, among others may start charter schools. Charter schools have the freedom to organize around a core mission, curriculum, theme, or teaching method, and are allowed to control their own budgets and hire (and fire) teachers and staff. In return for this freedom, a charter school must demonstrate strong academic results and organizational viability or the charter will be revoked. Parents choose to send their children to charter schools; students are selected by random public lottery if, as in most cases, demand exceeds the number of seats available. Charter schools are public schools embodying freedom, choice, and accountability.
There are currently over 29,000 students in Massachusetts charter schools with over 45,000 students on waiting lists.
For more information on charter schools in Massachusetts, visit www.masscharterschools.org.