Community Day Charter Public School

15 Jun, 2014


Community Day is a mission-driven charter school that has successfully narrowed the achievement gap for students who are Latino, low-income, and English Language Learners by holding all students to high expectations and providing them with the personalized instruction and supports they need to be successful. At Community Day, dynamic and dedicated instructional leaders recruit and develop effective educators in an open, transparent, and collaborative environment that is focused intently on teaching and learning in a language-rich environment. Curriculum, instruction, and assessment are tightly aligned and coordinated across the grade levels. Within a culture of continuous improvement, educators work collaboratively to develop personalized plans for students, analyze data on a regular basis to identify gaps in student learning, and then differentiate instruction or provide supports to help students meet their learning goals.  In addition, parents and community members partner with educators to nurture the development of students’ language and literacy in ways that leverage students’ native language and culture.

Awards and Recognition

  • Received the New Leaders for New Schools silver-gain Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The EPIC initiative identified and rewarded charter schools that made significant academic achievement gains with high-need populations.
  • Recognized as a Title I Distinguished School by the Title I Distinguished School National Recognition Program for demonstrated student achievement.
  • Featured in Harvard University publication, Inside Urban Charter Schools: Promising Practices and Strategies in Five High-Performing Schools (Harvard Education Press, 2009).
  • Selected for participation in Keeping the Promise, an initiative of the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association to identify and disseminate the best practices of public charter schools.

Achievement Data

Over the past three years, Community Day has significantly outperformed the traditional public school district (Lawrence) and the state in terms of both the overall performance of all students at the school and performance of the ELL and former ELL subgroup in English language arts and mathematics. In fact, in 2012 the percentage of ELLs and former ELLs at Community Day scoring at advanced and proficient levels in English language arts was nearly three times the percentage of their peers in the traditional public school district and nearly twice the statewide average for the subgroup. Perhaps even more importantly, while the performance of ELLs and former ELLs has remained flat in both the state and the district, the achievement gap for this subgroup has narrowed significantly at Community Day.

Sources: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,, Community Day Charter Public School,

Focus Area I: Family and Community Engagement

Focus Area II: Educator Capacity

Focus Area III: Language Rich Environment

Tools and Resources

Data Analysis Project
View the description of the data analysis project that the students presented in the video.

BBC Kindergarten Lesson Plan
View the lesson plan (blackboard configuration) that the CDCPS teacher developed for the literacy lesson that was highlighted in the video.

CDCPS Lottery Information
These multilingual flyers were used as part of a larger outreach effort to recruit ELLs from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Sample First Grade Balanced Literacy Schedule
This sample schedule depicts how CDCPS educators balance a variety of instructional activities during their literacy blocks. The document describes the strategies that might be taught within each instructional activity, the resources that might support classroom instruction, and the general flow of the lesson from explicit instruction and modeling to independent practice of the skill.

Instructional Action Plan Template
Teachers at CDCPS use this action plan template to identify gaps in student learning, through their analysis of student data, and then develop individualized action plans that will drive instruction for the next cycle. Instructional leaders also refer to these action plans when they strategically assign staff to classrooms in order to align existing resources with the identified student needs.

CDCPS Instructional Action Plan Artifact
View this sample of a completed action plan template. (should be grouped in some way with the template described above)

Sample Student Report Card
This sample report card demonstrates how CDCPS educators link the student's personal educational goals to a narrative evaluation of their progress and recommendations for action plan steps.

1st Grade Literacy Curriculum Map
This sample scope and sequence template outlines the skills and standards that will be covered in the literacy curriculum during the first 6 weeks of the school year.

Grade 5 Common Core Standards
View how CDCPS teachers aligned the Common Core with the previous state standards, the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, developed substandards for each Common Core standard, and associated test questions from previous state assessments with each substandard. Note: Each Common Core standard is a separate tab on the spreadsheet.