The mission of Boston Collegiate Charter School is simple yet ambitious: to prepare each student for college. We offer an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum for students in grades five through twelve. 100% of our graduates have been accepted to college; the majority of them will be the first in their families to complete a college degree.
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 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. In June 2013 the Board of Education unanimously awarded BCCS a fourth five-year charter through June 2018.
For more information on charter schools in Massachusetts, please visit www.masscharterschools.org.
We take our mission very seriously and intend on doing all that we can to best prepare our students for college. The graphic below illustrates our commitment to our mission, and to our students.
Our Annual Report, as submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on August 1, 2017, can be found here.
Just as the students of BCCS are held to high standards of professionalism, so too are the BCCS staff. Below are the core values that BCCS staff are held to operating by, which undergird our culture and how we approach our students.
- Passionate Commitment to Our Mission
- We hold high expectations for each and every student who walks through the doors of BCCS; we believe that every single child is capable of succeeding in college and that it is our job to open the doors for them.
- We approach our work with passion and joy because we love our students and what we do.
- We embrace innovation and new solutions, knowing that BCCS has a great legacy, but that we can only live up to what our students deserve in a changing world if we have the courage to problem-solve and innovate.
- A Culture of Deeply Knowing
- We know that each student and staff member is more than just a single story. We embrace diversity and different learning styles and commit to knowing our students, our staff, and our families fully.
- We ask questions and listen so that we can really understand others’ perspectives. When opportunities arise to deepen our or our students’ understanding of others, we take them.
- Team Ownership, Personal Responsibility
- When something goes wrong, we look inside ourselves and our own work first, taking personal responsibility for resolving the problem.
- We operate with a collaborative spirit, and we offer support freely to our teammates.
- We are completely committed to doing whatever it takes to get through challenges.
- Authentic Communication
- We strive to be open, honest, direct, and courageous in all of our communications with team members, staff, students, and families.
- We assume the best intentions of others, and if we find ourselves questioning another person’s actions or intentions, we seek clarification directly.
- We value diverse perspectives, striving to inform our work with new ideas and views where we can.
- Reflective Practice
- We operate with humility, self-awareness, and a critical eye, knowing that there is always more that we can do to be excellent.
- We hold ourselves to a high bar for integrity in all of the decisions that we make that affect our school.
- Deliberate Urgency
- The success of BCCS lies in sustaining excellence over time. We have learned that this work requires balance. Therefore, we strive to be urgent but deliberate.
BCCS has become a leader and source of support to other schools in the state, throughout the region, across the nation, and even around the world. One of the key objectives highlighted in our 2007, 2010, and 2015 strategic plans is the goal of sharing our work with others. Charter schools were originally created to serve as labs of innovation, developing best practices and then sharing them widely to improve the work of all schools. Focusing on collaboration allows us to fulfill our charge as a charter school, and it feels to us like the right thing to do and the approach that is most consistent with who we are as a school. We also believe that it is how we can have the most significant impact, allowing our influence on student achievement to extend far beyond the walls of our school.