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Community Charter School of Cambridge

Spring 2013 Newsletter

Ms. Haines a Semifinalist Senior Named CCSC’s for Mass. Teacher of the Year

Heather Haines with students CCSC science teacher and department chair Heather Haines has been selected as one of 11 semifinalists in the 2014 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Program. Each year hundreds of public school teachers from across the Commonwealth are nominated, and all go through a rigorous application, recommendation, and interview process, leading up to the final selection in early May. The winner will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year Program, and acts as an ambassador for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education during the 201314 school year. Ms. Haines and the other semifinalists will be recognized on June 13 at the annual Teacher of the Year award ceremony held at the State House in Boston.

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4th Posse Scholar Janika Beatty ’13 of Malden was named a 2013 Posse Scholar, and will attend Hamilton College on a full-tuition, four-year scholarship in the fall. Janika, who came to CCSC in the 9th grade, is the fourth CCSC senior to be awarded a Posse Scholarship since the school’s first graduating class in 2009. Prior Posse Scholars are Rachel Jean-Louis ’09 (Denison University), Farhan Altaf ’11 (Bucknell University), and Kidus Moges ’11 (Bucknell University).

Janika Beatty and her sister at a Posse Foundation event for new Scholars.

Founded in 1989, the Posse Foundation awards merit scholarships to high school seniors across the nation who demonstrate exceptional academic and leadership potential.

Alumni Share Tips on College Success CCSC students hear early and often from adults (teachers, advisors, the college counselor, and their families) about the importance of college, and what it takes to get there. In January they got to hear from some of their older peers about what it’s like to be in college, and what it takes to succeed. During a morning-long panel discussion held at the Microsoft NERD Center, nine CCSC alumni fielded students’ questions, from finding the right college match and navigating the financial aid process, to choosing a major, adjusting to being away from home, and studying abroad. Alumni panelists (Back L-R): Eunice Bernard (College of the Holy Cross ’15); Jolivirginie Ripert (Fairfield University ’14); Courtney Johnson (Cornell University ’13); Sarah Merisier (College of the Holy Cross ’16); Brunet Saintil (Wheaton College ’16); Chance Flaherty (Wentworth Institute of Technology ’16); Nephthalie Bernard (Wheaton College ’14) (Front L-R): Sarah Hamadi (Westfield State University ’14); Daniel Howell (UMass-Lowell ’16)

245 Bent Street, Cambridge, MA 02141


Stanford Study Shows Success of Mass. Charters Because Success is a Choice

Board of Trustees Denise Jillson, Chair Robert Wood, Vice Chair Stefanie Dhanda, Treasurer Colm Prendergast, Secretary David Boit H. Theodore Cohen Veronica Godoy-Carter Orin Gutlerner James P. Kelley Gwendolyne Thorne Caleb Hurst-Hiller, Ex Officio Paula Evans, Ex Officio


New research by education experts at Stanford University’s CREDO group showed that across the Commonwealth, and especially in urban areas like Boston, charter school students are consistently and significantly exceeding their district peers in annual learning growth. Released at the end of February, the multi-year study found that the typical student in a Boston charter school gains more learning in a year than his or her district school peer, amounting to more than twelve months of additional learning per year in reading and thirteen months greater progress per year in math. One of the report’s co-authors, Edward Cremeta, noted, “The average growth rate of Boston charter students in math and reading is the largest CREDO has seen in any city or state thus far.” The results could help win support for the proposed legislation to eliminate the cap on charter schools and charter school spending in Boston and 29 low-performing districts across the state. The study’s findings mirror the impressive growth achieved by students at CCSC. In 2012, for example, CCSC students led the state in their average learning achievement growth from 8th to 10th grade in both math and ELA. In fact, CCSC was the only public school in the state (charter or district) to earn a growth rate of over 80% in both subjects.

Caleb Hurst-Hiller, Head of School Chris Cook, Upper School Principal Becki Norris, Lower School Principal Vanessa Barrios, Director of Guidance and Counseling Danielle Makarious, Director of Special Programs Becky Wilusz, Dean of Curriculum and Program

Senior Internships in Full Swing Meet Our New Alumni The Senior Internship Program is the capstone of the CCSC experience, providing each graduating class with the opportunity Coordinator to explore career interests and to apply their skills in a professional

Apply to CCSC

We are grateful to the following organizations for sponsoring CCSC interns and providing professional mentors this spring:

For the past two years, we have opened at capacity, with all 360 seats filled and long waiting lists. We are now accepting lottery applications for new students entering grades 7, 8 and 9 in 2013-14. Next fall we will begin accepting lottery applications for the 6th grade class we are adding in 2014-15.

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setting. Since the end of January members of the Class of 2013 have spent every Thursday working at their internships.

Akamai (Hugh Merisier) American Red Cross (Julie Liang, Robyn Bryan) Boston University, Science Club for Girls (Netaya Strothers) Breakthrough Cambridge (Dayane Pierre) Cambridge Athletic Club (Hykeem Terrell) Cambridge Housing Authority, Work Force (Nina Cherlius) Cambridge Innovation Center (Chardé Hunt-Jeanty) Central Square Business Association (Sarata Kaba, Tenzing Migjur) Cambridge Police Department (Khorally Pierre) East End House (Tamarah Berleus, Devyn Bryan) Fletcher-Maynard Academy (Tameisha Muir, Hertelle Sabin) Google (Sylvia Sanchez, Woesel Dhongsar) Harvard Square Business Association (Sabine Adrasse) Hattie B. Cooper Community Center (Myah Wilson, Marquisha Moore) LDA Architecture and Interiors (Shadia Ahmed) Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (Jessica Romero) Mattapan Community Health Center (Amari Flaherty) Men’s Health League/Cambridge Public Health Dept. (Khaalid Parham) Mass. General Hospital (Janika Beatty) MIT, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (Elizabeth Puerta Romero) Museum of Science (Vivianne Nufio) Northeastern University, Dept. of Biology, Godoy Lab (Abigail Teixeira) Possible Project (Alia Sandiford) Prospect Hill Academy (Jessica Martin, Rousecarlie Minoche) U.S. Department of Transportation, Volpe Center (Joshua Michel)

Join us on Wednesday, May 22, 5-7pm Seniors will share and reflect on their internship projects and experiences. All friends of the CCSC community are welcome to attend this year’s Senior Internship Program exhibition.

Tarshe Derival joined the CCSC staff in January as alumni coordinator. Ms. Derival has been reaching out to alumni to offer support and encouragement and to hear how our graduates are navigating the transition to college. Knowing how alumni are doing in college helps us plan program improvements to ensure that our students are well prepared to succeed at the next level. Ms. Derival is getting to know this year’s senior class by teaching the college transition seminar this spring. Fluent in Haitian Creole, Ms. Derival attended North Cambridge Catholic High School and earned her BA from UMass Boston and her master’s in counseling from Lesley University. CCSC Alumni: Ms. Derival would love to meet and hear from you! Please make sure she has your most current email address and phone number. You can contact her at or 617-354-0047 ext. 605.

Students of the Semester

Exemplars of our four core values—commitment, courage, scholarship, and community—these six students each earned a Rise Award, created last year by the family of former student Amanda Edmund in her memory. Congratulations!

Key Dates May 22

Senior Internship Program Exhibition

June 16


June 19-21 Roundtable presentations by all students in grades 7-11 June 21

Last day of school

July 1-26 Summer Academy for incoming students

Students of the Semester (L-R): Chardé Hunt-Jeanty ’13, Tahawney Terrell ’14, Peg Nonez ’15, Jose Robles Brito ’16, Ranjan Regmi ’17, Maya Reynoso Williams ’18.

We invite the community to attend and review Roundtables and Senior Internship Program exhibitions. Times and details will be posted on the CCSC web calendar.

Activity Abounds After School

The CCSC campus is hopping after classes end, as extracurricular options continue to expand each year. This winter, in addition to sports (boys and girls basketball), many students were involved in one of more of the following after-school programs: Code Ed (computer programming), Open Stories (creative writing), ACE Mentor Program (architecture, construction & engineering), FIRST Robotics, Constitution in Class, chorus, mock trial, and ArtLab. Many students choose to stay late and do homework in our After School Learning Center (open 4 days a week until 4:45), where they can get help from teachers and learning specialists. We also offer CCSC@ Night (quiet study with tutoring and dinner provided) twice a week from 5-7 PM.

Strong Demand for Seats in 2013-14

The girls’ basketball team made the playoffs. Khorally Pierre (#12) and Sylvia Sanchez (#21) were named to the league’s 1st and 2nd team all stars, respectively.

The success of our students and positive word of mouth from families are producing strong demand for seats next year, and we expect to be fully enrolled again in 2013-14. Lottery applications have been pouring in since Thanksgiving, and we have over 250 students on our waiting list. We held our first registration and orientation event for new families in early March, and their excitement was palpable. The state recently approved our request to require Summer Academy attendance, formally extending the school year to 200 days for all new students. As announced in our last newsletter, the state also approved our request to add a 6th grade in 2014-15.

College Acceptances Rolling In

The mock trial team awaits their competition outside the courthouse.

As of early April, most seniors have been accepted to college and have a choice of schools to attend. Among their acceptances: Boston College, Denison University, Wheaton College, UMass-Amherst, and Smith College. We are keeping a running list of schools on the CCSC Facebook page (look in the “Notes” section). 3

CCSC Celebrates Black History Month The entire CCSC community gathered in MIT’s Walker Auditorium to celebrate Black History Month on February 16. Guest speaker Kellie Carter Jackson, a teaching fellow in Harvard’s African American Studies Department, challenged students to think beyond the big names in black history, and several students spoke about what race and equality mean to them. The chorus and a cappella groups performed, and seniors in the Studio Art course shared their tribute paintings depicting Civil Rights milestones and leaders.

Guest speaker Kellie Carter Jackson of Harvard University

Teachers Erin Morin and Katie Rieser rehearse with program M.C. Shadia Ahmed.

9th graders Anastazia Carre, Xiomara Kieser and Shahera Zallum

Support CCSC

Tribute artwork by Chardé Hunt-Jeanty 617-354-0047


Donations to Options for Cambridge Students, Inc., our 501(c) (3), are helping CCSC close the achievement gap each and every school day, and during the summer with our required Summer Academy for all new students. Gifts make possible new courses like AP Chemistry and new activities like girls’ soccer, along with improvements to our classroom facilities, technology and materials. All gifts are tax deductible.

245 Bent Street, Cambridge, MA 02141


CCSC Newsletter Spring 2013  

A newsletter for families, faculty, friends, and supporters of Community Charter School of Cambridge (MA).

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