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Codman Academy Charter Public School Partnership

Founded in 2001, Codman Academy Charter Public School was the first charter school to serve the Codman Square/Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester.

Codman Academy’s rigorous academic program includes a school week that runs from 9:00am - 4pm Monday through Thursday and 9am - noon on Friday and Saturday. An EL School, Codman students all participate in required off-campus fieldwork where students engage in meaningful learning experiences while learning first hand about the city of Boston. Before Codman Academy opened, the Huntington’s Education Department was asked to be one of the school’s founding partners and to help develop Codman’s humanities curriculum by incorporating the study of theatre and poetry. Today, theatre education is the core humanities fieldwork for 9th and 10th grade. The partnership has also expanded and evolved over the last two decades, and has been an instrumental component to the academic success and personal growth of Codman’s students.

In 2009, Codman Academy received the Commonwealth Award, Massachusetts’ highest award in arts and culture from the Mass Cultural Council for this partnership. Codman Academy is the first public school to receive this award.

The partnership feathers four key access points:

  1. 9th and 10th Grade Humanities Fieldwork - through theatre education classes every-other-Friday, as well as two required performances each year; students develop their literacy, public speaking, and collaboration skills through the study of performance, dramatic literature, and poetry. This program is required for all students, and Friday lesson plans are fully integrated into the full Humanities for each grade. Codman students participate in Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts and the Boston Regional August Wilson Monologue Competition as part of their Huntington fieldwork.

  2. Theatre Enrichment Electives - Codman offers a variety of enrichment courses as electives, and the Huntington’s Education Department offers one theatre elective each semester. In the Fall, students can choose to take a course focused on Shakespeare which includes a monologue performance at the end of the semester. In the Spring, students can choose to take a Scene Study course that centers plays from playwrights of color.

  3. Codman Summer Theatre Institute - CSTI is a five-week summer program for Codman students interested in furthering their exploration of the full theatrical process by rehearsing and performing a 90-minute play, usually by William Shakespeare. Engaging in a process that closely mirrors that of professional theatre productions, daily rehearsals include warm-ups, acting games and exercise, blocking, stage combat, and text analysis work.  Technical rehearsals culminate in two public performances on stage at one of the Huntington Theatre Company’s performance venues. This program is for self-selecting students who seek opportunities to further develop their performance skills learned during the school year.

4. School Community Engagement Opportunities - all upper school students attend at least one student matinee performance each season, receive free tickets to attend other performances, and engage with Huntington Education Staff in a variety of other ways including rehearsing for their required Senior Talks. All Seniors graduate on stage at one of the Huntington Theatre Company’s performance venues. 

 


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