Excel Academy’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.
Excel Academy was founded in Massachusetts in 2003 with the mission to provide a high-quality education to students in East Boston and Chelsea, communities that are predominantly low-income and Latinx and historically have faced significant social and educational barriers. Our success in Massachusetts is proof that the opportunity gap can be closed.
Founded in 2003, we have grown from one middle school to a network of four schools with 1,400 students and 240 staff members serving grades 5 to 12. We pride ourselves on serving a diverse community in which 86% of our students identify as Latino or African American and 68% are designated as high needs by the state.
We present our students with educational experiences that allow them to grow and discover their best selves so that when they leave our halls, they can successfully navigate all of the post-secondary options available to them. Our theory of change has remained consistent: when a student has the support and tools to pursue a productive post-secondary pathway aligned with personal identity and values, it can fundamentally change their life trajectory. To do so, we have an extended school day and school year. You can read more about the impact of the Excel Academy model here.
Excel Academy’s students have achieved remarkable success at the middle and high school levels. Excel Academy students have consistently been ranked as top performers among peer schools in the state based on the percentage of our students who are Meeting or Exceeding Expectations on state exams. Excel Academy prioritizes an approach that is both rigorous and inclusive. Nearly eighty percent of our students come from low-income families. Twenty-percent of our student population qualifies for special education services, and the percentage of our students with disabilities who meet or exceed expectations on state assessments is double the state’s average. 60% of our students’ first language is non-English and 10% more of our students who are English language learners meet or exceed expectations on state exams in the 8th grade in comparison to our sending districts.
At Excel Academy, we learn from our students, families, and staff and make improvements as needed. Over time, we have increasingly adapted to provide a holistic education that fosters identity development, equity for diverse learners, and social-emotional support. Our team of passionate, intelligent, driven, and loving staff are at the core of the work we do.
Excel Academy provides an unparalleled post-secondary success support program through our College Access and Post-Secondary Success (CAPS) team. Nationally, only 8% of children from low-income families go on to earn a college degree. Our sending districts have college graduation rates hovering around 12%. 74% of Excel’s 2020 graduates were accepted to four-year colleges. Excel graduates have been accepted into Brown, Harvard College, Yale University, Boston College, Boston University, Holy Cross, Mt. Holyoke, Providence College, Johnson & Wales, and many more. Excel also supports graduates who pursue other post-secondary pathways, including vocational and apprenticeship programs. The CAPS team ensures that Excel Academy graduates will continue to have the support, guidance, and expertise necessary to not only continue matriculating into post-secondary programs but also graduate from them.
*Click here to review the 2019 Annual Report as submitted to and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).