Residents from Marblehead founded the Marblehead Community Charter Public School (MCCPS) in 1995. As part of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993, MCCPS became the first charter school to open its doors the summer of 1995. The school’s mission is to foster, “a community that empowers children to become capable, self-determining, fully engaged individuals who are critical and creative thinkers committed to achieving their highest intellectual, artistic, social, emotional, and physical potential. We are dedicated to involving, learning from, participating in, and serving our school community and the community at large.” MCCPS serves 230 students from communities north of Boston including Marblehead, Salem, Lynn, and Swampscott.
Our school was build around a standards-driven, integrated, project-based curriculum, which culminates in three public exhibitions of student work each year. These exhibitions are opportunities for students to present projects to the community at large. At MCCPS, we believe that students learn best when they are able to apply their knowledge using projects that span several disciplines and subjects. To complete the project, students were asked to use their writing and speaking skills to defend the design of their car during our public exhibition.
Community is an important characteristic to our school as well. We foster internal community by frequently asking students to collaborate with each other. Students’ exhibition projects often require significant teamwork in order to complete the project successfully. Group members assign themselves roles and support each other in order to accomplish the task. Each student had a meaningful task and could support each other in helping to get the task done. External community support is important too. We rely on parents, businesses, and organizations to help strengthen our relationships beyond the walls of the school.