The Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS) Honors First Graduating Class; Students Attending Most Competitive NJ and NYC High Schools

Wednesday, June 14, 2017- Jersey City, New Jersey – The Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS) is proud to announce the graduating class of 2017.  Twenty-two students out of the forty graduates started with the school eight years ago in 1st grade.  Graduates were admitted to over 20 competitive schools in New Jersey and New York, including McNair Academic High School, Saint Peter’s Prep, High Tech High School, County Prep High School, Grace Church School and Xavier High School.  93% of the graduating class will be attending one of their top two high school choices.

Carlos Lejnieks, Chair Emeritus of the NJ Charter Schools Association & President & CEO at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties will give a keynote address at the ceremony. Carlos has been a champion of TECCS since the beginning and was the guest speaker at the TECCS opening year celebration in April 2010.  Over three hundred people are expected to attend the ceremony by invitation only.

TECCS, recently named a Changemaker School by Ashoka Foundation, is distinguished by ethics education, student-centered project-based learning, interdisciplinary work, integration of the arts, service learning, and families as partners. The school opened its doors in September 2009 with 120 students in Kindergarten and 1st grade. With families representing Jersey City’s many ethnicities and languages, it is among the most diverse schools in the state of New Jersey and the U.S.

TECCS is the only Jersey City school dedicated to ethics education, with an ethics teacher and regular ethics classes, where students lead through questioning and teachers guide learning through hands-on, interactive activities. Students grow up questioning and talking about ethical decisions, as well as reflecting, through writing and discussion, on how their actions impact others.

“Our 8th graders strike me as simultaneously a tight community and a collection of strong, focused individuals,” said Founder and Board Chair, Ann Wallace. “That’s a rare combination. Kind and conscientious – again and again, that’s what we hear about TECCS students, whether they are on field trips, in class, or visiting high schools. They are by no means perfect, but I have been moved to witness how they have transformed ethics from a noble goal into a mindset they can carry with them every day.”

TECCS is also one of the most underfunded charter schools in the state of New Jersey, educating students on less than $10,000 per child. The school relies heavily on monetary donations and fundraisers, including the annual TECCS Gala and Read Write & Run 5k + 10K races in Liberty State Park. “TECCS is a true community of students, families, and staff,” says Principal Marta Bergamini, who has been the school’s leader since day one. “Building this school, year by year, has been more challenging than we ever imagined. For every challenge, though, there have been many moments of celebration and joy when we’ve been so proud of our students.  It has been in those moments over these last eight years that we’ve noticed that we have created someplace special and important.”

The Ethical Community Charter School (Changemaker School by Ashoka Foundation, UNESCO school, UN designation) is a safe and caring community where ethics, service, and social justice are the principles that inform every aspect of school life; where teachers lead and collaborate with students in a culture of rigorous academics and mutual respect; where analytical thinking and creativity are prized over rote learning; where children become individuals of integrity, insight, autonomy and socially productive citizens, workers, leaders.

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Media contact:
Roseangela Mendoza, email: 201-984-4151

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