On Thursday, June 16, 2011, Phoenix Charter Academy (PCA) celebrated its fourth graduation ceremony. Twenty-one scholars from Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, Revere, and Everett will receive their high school diplomas during the ceremony.
Unique amongst charter schools, Phoenix Charter Academy, a public charter school in Chelsea, Massachusetts, was charged to become a “model for alternative education” by former Department of Education Commissioner David Driscoll upon the inception of its charter in February, 2006. Guided by its founding mission to serve overage, under-credited students through a combination of high academic expectations and relentless emotional support, PCA is well on its way to fulfilling this charge.
True to the mission of PCA, the members of the graduating class of 2011 have overcome numerous challenges in their path to graduation: 43% are former high school dropouts, 81% will be 19 or older at the time of graduation, 29% are pregnant or parenting, and 38% will be the first in their family to graduate from high school.
100% of the members of the class of 2010 have received college acceptance letters, and 4 of the 21 graduates are planning to enroll in four year colleges. 2011 graduates have received college acceptance letters from Drew University, Fairfield University, Salem State University, the University of Massachusetts – Boston, the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Regis College, Bunker Hill Community College, and North Shore Community College.
The school’s success lies in the achievements of all of the students: in 2010, 69% of students scored advanced or proficient on the English language arts MCAS exam, a 19% jump over 2009 scores, and 61% scored advanced or proficient on the math exam, a 22% increase from 2009.
The graduation was held at Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown campus, on Thursday, June 16th at 1 PM. Graduates include students like Edgar Santos, a newcomer from El Salvador who plans to study business at Bunker Hill Community College, Sal Golisano, out of school before becoming an honor student at PCA, and Claudia Correia, a young mother who will be attending Salem State University in the fall.