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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Charter School?
Charter Schools are public schools; they are open to residents, free of charge, just like any other public school. The Charter School concept arose out of the Education Reform Act of 1993. There was a strong push at that time to improve public education, and in that climate Charter Schools were born. Education reformers reasoned that public funds could be utilized to open smaller public schools where innovative ideas for educating children could be tried and developed.

In Massachusetts, Charter Schools have been started by innovative educators and community members seeking to broaden the options for public education. Each Charter School has a unique mission, approved by the Department of Education and the State Board of Education. There are two types of Charter Schools: Horace Mann and Commonwealth. Horace Mann Charter Schools operate under the supervision of the district school board; Commonwealth Public Charter Schools operate independently from local districts under the supervision of a Board of Trustees and report directly to the state. Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School is a Commonwealth Charter School.


What is the history of the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School?
Our charter was approved the first year that charter schools began in Massachusetts, and we've began educating students in September of 1995. See more about our origins.


Are CCLCS teachers certified?
Teachers in Commonwealth Charter Schools must meet all of the state requirements except that of licensure. Therefore they must possess at least a Bachelor's degree and demonstrate subject matter competence (passed the subject area MTEL), making them Highly Qualified to teach. All of our full time teachers meet those requirements.


How do I find/contact CCLCS?
195 Route 137

East Harwich, MA 02645

phone: 774-408-7994

fax: 774-237-9041

Paul Niles, Executive Director

Catherine O'Leary, Associate Director


How many students attend CCLCS?
243, with 81 in each grade. Average class size is 20.


Is there a qualifying admissions test?
No. Entry is based solely on a lottery. See the admissions page for more information.


What classes do students take?
All students take Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. Every grade has Rec, Health and Art once a week. All students can take Seminars. Seventh and eighth graders take either French or Spanish. Sixth graders take Reading and Exploration. You may find the Curriculum Overview and Information Sheets helpful.


What sorts of extra-curricular opportunities are there at CCLCS?
7th and 8th graders can join sports teams (girls' and boys' soccer and field hockey in the fall, boys' and girls' basketball in the winter and baseball and softball in the spring). After school activities (for all grades) differ from year to year and from term to term depending on adult availability and grant money. Parents play a key role in whether after school clubs will be offered.

Currently there is Bird and Nature Club, Roots and Shoots, Girls Club, Art Spark Club (arts enrichment), and Different Together, as well as (by audition) Jazz Band and Select Chorus. Mt. Bike Club will resume after daylight savings.

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