Letter to Families - February 2, 2024

Dear City on a Hill Families,


We are reaching out with heavy hearts to share a significant announcement concerning the future of our school. Following thorough consideration and discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the City on a Hill Board of Trustees has made the challenging decision not to pursue the renewal of our charter, opting instead to voluntarily bring the chapter of our school to a close at the end of the next school year, school year 2024-2025, on June 30, 2025. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact it will have on our close-knit community. We genuinely appreciate the dedication and resilience of each of you, and we are here to support you through this difficult time.

To be clear, this change will NOT impact your student this year. All of the programming and student supports for the current school year will be the same. All of the information below is about the next school year and beyond. We also plan to meet with students to discuss this with them and have a meeting for families next week. We will subsequently schedule individual meetings with each student to help them through this transition.

School Year 2024-2025:

Next school year (2024-2025), we will transition to an Upper School Model, focusing solely on providing the best possible experience for the Classes of 2025 and 2026. As outlined below, we have developed a comprehensive plan to support our students and families that allows our upper school students to continue to pursue their diplomas and seek college and career opportunities with the academic and social-emotional support and guidance from City on a Hill staff. This plan calls for:

  • Current 12th Graders (Class of 2024): There will be no effect on this year’s 12th grade class, the class of 2024. Their post-secondary transition will be the same, and they will graduate as planned in June 2024.

  • Current 11th Graders (Class of 2025) and 10th (Class of 2026): For the 2024-2025 school year, we will transition to an Upper School Model. This means that if your child is a current 10th or 11th grader, they will have the option to remain at CoaH for the 2024-2025 school year. Students will receive the full academic and program opportunities they expect, including:
    • Dual enrollment at Roxbury Community College
    • Continued full access to our College & Career Counseling staff 
    • Every student in both of these classes will also receive a scholarship for their post-secondary placements, whether a 2-year college, 4-year college, or trade program.

  • Current 9th Graders (Class of 2027): City on a Hill will not offer a 10th grade option next year. We are actively working to ensure a smooth transition for the Class of 2027 into another high-quality learning environment. This means that if your child is a current 9th grader, we will provide personalized support and assistance throughout the placement process by our Enrollment Coordinator will provide personalized support and assistance throughout the placement process, whether your child will be entering a Boston Charter Lottery or enrolling in a Boston Public School.

Current school administration, including Ms. Pratt, Ms. Edouard and Ms. Breen, have all signed on to lead through this transition and the School’s closure in June 2025. We strongly believe that, along with the dedicated teachers of City on a Hill, we will be able to provide an excellent year for the students who remain for school year 2024-2025.

We are committed to ensuring a smooth and thoughtful transition for our students, families, teachers, and staff. We have worked closely as a community over the past 30 years to provide high-quality academic and support services to the thousands of children who have come through our doors. Enrollment trends, which are affecting schools across the city and state, along with the City on a Hill’s charter probationary status and leadership turnover, have led the Board to evaluate the School’s ability to provide a strong program for students past June 2025. We will work to ensure that our community comes together to provide a supportive experience for our students, and to work with each individual family to support their child’s transition to a high-quality school in the community.

We understand this news may raise questions and concerns, and we are committed to providing you with information. We will be hosting meetings on Thursday, February 8 at 5:30-6:30 for current 10th and 11th grade families and 6:30-7:30 for current 9th grade families at our school (58 Circuit Street, Roxbury, MA 02119). We encourage all families to attend.

We are proud of the legacy of City on a Hill and the positive impact we have made over nearly 30 years. We are confident that we will navigate this difficult transition together, and we are committed to supporting our students, families, and staff in any way we can. Thank you for your continued support and understanding. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming community meeting.



Melisa Lemire Sonya Pratt

Board Chair Executive Director

City on a Hill Board of Trustees City on a Hill Charter Public School