News & Updates

One of the ways Community Charter School of Cambridge helps students achieve success in high school and gain admission to some of the area’s top colleges and universities can be traced to the investment CCSC makes in its new teachers.

Each fall, every new classroom teacher is matched with mentor teachers, experienced educators who coach, guide, and support first and second-year teachers. The Teacher Mentor Program is a very important part of the school’s commitment to student and staff success, says Becky Wilusz, dean of curriculum and program at CCSC.

“Teaching is such a complex job - and the support and guidance from experienced educators enables teachers who are new to the profession, or to a specific school community, to learn more quickly and thus be as effective as possible at their very important job,” she says.      

CAMBRIDGE _ For the second consecutive year, Community Charter School of Cambridge has opened “at capacity”, meaning there is a student occupying every available seat in the small Kendall Square area public charter school.

“To be at capacity is a double-edged sword for us,” said Caleb Hurst-Hiller, CCSC’s Head of School. “On the one hand, we are pleased to be an ‘in demand’ or ‘oversubscribed’ school. On the other hand, it never feels good to turn away students.”

The school’s wait-list for seventh, eighth, and ninth grade seats has 472 names on it. Under its state-approved charter, CCSC can admit a maximum of 360 students. Once those seats are filled, the school creates a waiting list.  “We’ve had a waiting list for years, and last year’s wasn’t short ” Mr. Hurst-Hiller said. “But this year, that list is much, much longer.”

To better meet demand, the school expanded this summer into vacant space in an adjacent building, adding more classrooms, work space, and conference space for staff and students.  The boom in enrollment didn’t impact the vibe of students or teachers on the first day.

While Community Charter School of Cambridge’s reputation grows, so too does its student population.

So when space became available the building directly adjacent to the school, CCSC administration, backed by the Board of Trustees, jumped at the opportunity to expand.

“This really was the perfect opportunity for us, at the right time, as we want to provide our students and our faculty with the best possible space in which to learn and teach,” said Caleb Hurst-Hiller, CCSC’s Head of School.

In 5,500 square feet of space on the third floor of 255 Bent Street, CCSC is adding four new classrooms, including one for biology and engineering. Also included are a few small work spaces in which teachers can work one-on-one with students or meet with colleagues to discuss and share teaching strategies.

As the new Upper School principal of CCSC, Chris Cook has a pretty good idea of what he’s getting himself into and he loves it.

Reared in a family of teachers - his grandmother, mother, and two aunts are all professional educators -

Mr. Cook has wanted to be a principal since he was 13. “I know how influential a figure the school principal can be,” he says. “I want to truly impact kids’ lives. The passion I have for education derives largely from the content of the interactions my family had in regards to education, and my family’s belief in the transformative power of education.”

This is his first year as principal of CCSC’s Upper School. He replaces Caleb Hurst-Hiller, who has been promoted to Head of School.

The Long Island, NY native graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Sociology and later earned his master’s degree in School Leadership at Harvard University. 

The founder and head of school of one of the most successful public charter schools in Massachusetts has announced her retirement. 

Paula Evans will retire June 30th as Head of School at Community Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC), the school she founded in 2005. CCSC was named an EPIC winner this year, chosen as one of 14 charter schools nationally, for remarkable student academic growth. The school tied for first place in the state in 2011 in 10th grade MCAS mathematics scores, with all students receiving proficient or advanced standing. And 100% of the students in each of CCSC’s graduating classes have been admitted to college, this year more than  90% to a four-year college or university. 

“The school is in a very strong place,” said Ms. Evans. “I think changing leadership provides an opportunity for maintaining the strengths and moving in new directions.  And it's time for me to change my focus as well.”

Caleb Hurst-Hiller will succeed Ms. Evans as Head of School on July 1.

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