CCSC Alumni Share Tips on College Success

CCSC Alumni Panelists
CCSC Alumni Panelists

When we describe CCSC as a “college preparatory” school, we are not only referring to the rigorous instruction students receive in the classroom, but to the school’s overarching expectation that every student will go on to earn a post-secondary degree. We begin talking about college – what it takes to get in and what it takes to graduate – from the moment students enroll through senior year, and beyond. Reinforcing the message they hear over and over from teachers and advisors, students also get tips from recent CCSC graduates at special events like the annual Alumni Panel, held this year on January 3rd at the Microsoft NERD Center. All students in grades 9 through 12 attended. Continue reading “CCSC Alumni Share Tips on College Success”

Tips on Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Nurse Pamela Bajada has posted flu tips all around campus.
Nurse Pamela Bajada has posted flu tips all around campus.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has declared a public health emergency in response to the unusual virulence of this winter’s flu epidemic. With midterm exams coming up week after next, the recent spike in flu cases couldn’t come at a worse time, as stress is known to weaken the immune system and being absent this month means missing valuable review time in class – but coming to school sick puts everyone else at risk, so please stay home if you have a fever or other flu symptoms: Continue reading “Tips on Staying Healthy During Flu Season”

If CCSC’s Walls Could Talk…

Head of School Caleb Hurst-Hiller exhorts students to prepare well for midterms.
Head of School Caleb Hurst-Hiller exhorts students to prepare well for midterms.

If CCSC’s walls could talk, they’d have a great vocabulary!

Reading is the best way to build vocabulary, which is one reason the CCSC schedule includes a period called Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) four mornings a week when everyone—students and faculty—picks up a book or magazine and spends a serene* 30 minutes reading for pleasure.

Another way we help students hone their vocabularies is through the Word of the Week posters on the walls. Humanities teacher Katie Rieser selects the words from an SAT practice list and crafts humorous sentences using them for the posters, which have proliferated on campus this fall. Continue reading “If CCSC’s Walls Could Talk…”

9th Grade Visits MFA and Northeastern University

Students reflect on Kara Walker's "The Rich Soil Down There"
Students reflect on Kara Walker’s “The Rich Soil Down There” in the MFA’s contemporary art gallery.

The 9th grade class enjoyed a class outing on January 8. The field trip, organized by humanities teachers Katie Rieser and Heidi Thayer, included visits to the Museum of Fine Arts and Northeastern University.

At the MFA, students split into nine small groups, each led by a faculty chaperone, and fanned out across the museum’s sprawling galleries to track down a specific work of art that would serve as the basis of a challenging critical-thinking exercise. Once the group located their assigned painting or sculpture, they looked, discussed, and analyzed it in the context of the three essential questions that shape their study of humanities:

1. How does location affect who I am?
2. Who thrives in times of chaos?
3. What motivates us to reach our destinies? Continue reading “9th Grade Visits MFA and Northeastern University”

All-School Food Drive!

ManyHelpingHandsOur National Honor Society members spearhead many community-minded initiatives at CCSC, the latest being a food drive in association with the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Cambridge Day of Service. CCSC donations of non-perishable food will benefit local families and senior citizens in need. Advisory groups are competing to see which one can collect the most donations by Friday, January 18, with prizes promised to the top three groups.

If you are interested in joining the CCSC group attending the MLK Cambridge Day of Service in Central Square on Monday, January 21 (2-5 PM), please email Aleida Sanabria (NHS faculty advisor). The annual event brings together volunteers of all ages to work together on arts and crafts projects to benefit Cambridge residents in need. NHS students made artwork for some of the posters that will be used to publicize the event. The image here is by Gaurav Chatterjee ’14.

The Weekly Shout Out Tradition

commitment & scholarhsip bannersWith just 360 students in grades 7-12, CCSC is a small school where every individual is well known in the community. One of the ways we support and appreciate each other is through the tradition of Thursday Shout Outs, or “Thank You Thursday.”

Each week, Lower School Principal Becki Norris solicits shout outs from faculty, staff and students who wish to recognize and thank each other for acts that exemplify CCSC’s core values of Courage, Commitment, Scholarship, and Citizenship. Continue reading “The Weekly Shout Out Tradition”

The Morning Handshake


Caleb Hurst-Hiller greets a student.
Caleb Hurst-Hiller greets a student.

Welcome to the new CCSC blog! What better way to begin than with a post on the CCSC tradition of the Morning Handshake?

As a relatively young school (this is our eighth year in operation), we haven’t had long to burnish school traditions, but the Morning Handshake, a ritual that began on Day One, is already deeply rooted in CCSC culture. Each morning, every student shakes hands and exchanges a greeting with an administrator upon crossing the threshold. (For those of you who enjoy crunching numbers, that’s about 1,800 handshakes a week, or 64,000 handshakes a school year, not counting the Summer Academy, which is when new CCSC students first encounter the Morning Handshake routine.)

Continue reading “The Morning Handshake”