Why I Love My Charter School

Three families make their case, arguing that the city's charter schools emphasize open communication and a sense of personal responsibility.

boston families charter schools

Photographs by Kelsey Cronin

From left:

Renee Hibbard
TJ, 13, attends Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston

“At Excel, it’s all about responsibility and dealing with your own actions. And that’s what I want. I want my kid to be able to take responsibility for his actions. TJ has emotional needs. And when your kid has emotional issues like that, you want to make sure that whatever you do, it’s going to work for them. I went in and talked to the dean at Excel, and the dean assured me, ‘Renee, we get a lot of kids that have special needs, and as long as you work with us, we’ll work with you.’ I have to say, they’ve more than kept their word.”

Gayl Crump Swaby
CJ, 12, attends John Glenn Middle School in Bedford through the METCO program; Kaelyn, 9, attends Bridge Boston Charter School in Dorchester

“CJ and Kaelyn are both in schools that fit their needs because of who they are. Since Kaelyn has been at Bridge Boston, she’s really been challenged. The principal is a mover and a shaker. And I say that because I’ve gone to other schools where you walk in and you really don’t know who the principal is unless you ask. This principal is involved. It seems like every time I’m there, she knows every student’s name. I just like the whole atmosphere—the family atmosphere. Parents are welcomed voices within the school. Bridge Boston has helped Kaelyn in terms of becoming this really creative writer and this really creative thinker.”

Latasha and Thaddieus Sarpy
Liam, 8, attends Brooke Charter School in Mattapan

Thaddieus: “My experience so far has been awesome. It’s not only a good education, it’s on par with—if not better than—a school you’d pay for. I love the communication. You’ll get calls about how well your child did at school, so that if ever they did call with some bad news, you’re a little more willing to accept it. Also, I’ve never seen this before, but for the lower grades, they have Morning Motivation. It gives them a place to act silly and move around, and then it’s time for academics. It makes Liam say, ‘I have to get to school on time because I want to participate.’ He wants to go to school.”


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