The mission of Boston Collegiate Charter School is simple yet ambitious: 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 fifth through seventh grade to 700 students in fifth through twelfth grade. 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 December 2017, the Board of Education unanimously awarded BCCS its fifth five-year charter through June 2023.
For more information on charter schools in Massachusetts, please visit www.masscharterschools.org.
The mission of BCCS is to prepare each student for college. To be the best school we can be in pursuit of this mission, we hold ourselves to these core values:
- We think with confidence across different fields of thought.
- We solve novel challenges and take on real problems.
- We challenge each other out of our deep regard for one another.
- We strive for excellence.
- We listen deeply and take the time to know each other.
- We celebrate diversity and work to ensure that our community belongs to each of us.
- We take pride in and ownership over our community and how it is experienced by each of us.
- We willingly confront bias in ourselves and in others.
- We strive for an equitable community, knowing that we don’t all start from the same place.
- We learn, teach, and work with joy whenever possible.
- We are curious and we encourage curiosity in others.
- We work hard and bring our full effort to bear on our work and the changes we want to see in our community and in the world.
- We own our mistakes and use them as opportunities to learn.
- We are accountable for our actions and we hold others accountable.
- We enthusiastically help those around us and willingly accept help ourselves.
- We reflect in order to learn and grow.
- We demonstrate good judgment.
- We view ourselves as agents of change and step up to make the world better.
- We communicate with honesty, authenticity, warmth, and kindness.
- We tell the truth and we strive to make truth-telling safe for others.
- We express gratitude for the work of others.
BCCS’s three-year strategic plan spanning FY21 through FY23 is rooted in three commitments: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Deeper Learning; and Comprehensive Student Development. Review our vision for the future here.
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.