New charter school in JP is first in Mass. to focus on students from non-English speaking families

Date Published: 
September 10, 2011
Author: 
Matt Rocheleau
News Type: 

A new charter public school has opened its doors in Boston with a unique focus - immigrant families. MATCH Community Day Charter Public School recently welcomed 100 pre-K and 2nd grade students from across the city - 80% of whom come from families whose native language is not English.

The Governor and the Mayor have challenged charters to attract and retain more English Language Learners. This school was established specifically to do that and it represents a unique collaboration between two highly successful charters - MATCH in Boston and Community Day in Lawrence. Both of these schools have consistently ranked among the highest academic performers in the state since they open 15 years ago. They are now coming together to focus their efforts on kids who come from the most challenging population in the city. MATCH Community Day is one of the first charters in the country to specifically focus their efforts on English Language Learners. In addition to a longer school day and year, students will have their own personal tutor two hours a day. The school's mission is to ensure that they excel in reading and writing in English so they can have the foundation necessary to achieve academically.

School leaders focused their recruitment efforts in city neighborhoods with large populations of recent immigrants, printed materials in multiple languages, and networked through community groups and social service groups to reach families who might otherwise not be aware of their educational choices. Although charter enrollment is determined by random lottery, the recruitment effort led to lottery participation by a high percentage of families whose native language is not English.

 

Once the school is fully enrolled, it will serve 700 children in Grades K1-12.