Excel Academy Charter Schools-a network of tuition free, public middle schools serving East Boston, Chelsea, and the surrounding communities-was conceived to address the severe academic underperformance and low college matriculation rates of the student populations in these neighborhoods. We envisioned a free, public school alternative where all students would be held to the highest academic and behavioral expectations and college would become a realistic goal. The network's first school opened in fall 2003 and now serves 224 young scholars, grades 5 through 8. Excel Academy-Chelsea, the 2nd school in the network, opened in August 2011. Our third school, Excel Academy - Orient Heights opened in August of 2012. Each school will serve 224 students in grades 5-8 when fully enrolled. Excel plans to open a high school in Fall 2015.
The network's mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems, and engage productively in their communities.
Our students, the majority of whom are children of first generation immigrants, are among the most underserved learners in the city of Boston. Traditionally, these students score significantly below the state average on annual math and English MCAS examinations. One of the fundamental reasons Excel was created was to address this achievement gap.
Excel's student population consists of the following demographics:
- Approximately 75% Latino & low-income
- Roughly 55% of students report speaking a language other than English at home
- Approximately 23% receive Special Education services
- Only 16% of children report having parents who have pursued education beyond a high school degree
- On average, over two-thirds of our fifth graders arrive at Excel reading three or more grade levels below the educational standard for their age-level, and with computation skills that test at two or more grade levels below standard.