Marlborough school offers strong academic approach
By Nancy Brumback, Contributing Writer
Name: Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Address: 201 Forest St., Marlborough
Executive Director: Dr. Joseph McCleary
What is the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School?
“The Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School was founded in 2005 by a group of local citizens, parents, and professionals who saw the need for greater parent choice and increased academic rigor in the public education of the community’s children,” said Dr. Joseph McCleary, the school’s executive director.
“After receiving full state approval, the school opened in 2005 to serve grades 6-12 with a rigorous curriculum of math, science and the humanities. The school is comprised of middle and high school levels.”
What geographic area do you serve?
“The school now serves approximately 970 students from the communities of Marlborough, Clinton, Maynard, Hudson and other towns.”
What is your curriculum like?
“Our curriculum includes advanced classes in mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry and physics as well as rigorous courses in English and world literature, American and world history, languages (Latin, Spanish, French), and art,” he said.
“The curriculum is structured to encourage contextual understanding and a firm grasp of academic content knowledge. So, for example, students studying Homer’s Odyssey will also study ancient Greek statuary in art class and ancient Greek history in their history classes. This approach provides a deeper and broader appreciation for the natural connections between various subjects.”
Do you offer any extracurricular activities?
“There are a variety of clubs tied to the academic mission, including math clubs, Quiz Bowl, computer clubs, robotics, chorus and others. The school also offers team sports such as soccer, baseball, lacrosse, golf, basketball, track and field, and cross country.”
How are students selected? Who can apply?
“Like any public school, AMSA accepts all who apply. The state currently imposes limits on charter public school enrollment, therefore, we may only admit students up to the state-imposed cap and then we place any additional applying students on a waitlist. Since demand for our school currently far exceeds the state-allowed enrollment, the school maintains a substantial waitlist. Admission from this waitlist is determined by an annual lottery to ensure a completely impartial process.
“Much like traditional district public schools, AMSA focuses first on students from its core area of Marlborough, Clinton, Hudson and Maynard.”
Why should parents consider AMSA for their child?
“Like all charter public schools, AMSA works to provide an education that will align with its founding mission. The essence of AMSA’s mission is to provide its students with vibrant opportunities for growth in academic excellence and good character. To achieve this end, the charter school promotes enthusiastic teachers with deep academic content knowledge, requires a school-wide student uniform, provides opportunities for extra-curricular clubs tied to the academic mission, and encourages participation in community service and athletic opportunities.
“Additionally, we provide special education and ELL services for all eligible students. The school strives to assist parents in their role as the primary educators of their children as it remains faithful to its mission and charter.”
Anything else you would like people to know?
“AMSA is a young school currently in its 12th year. Despite the school’s relative youth, it has been recognized nationally by U.S. News and World Report and ranked as one of the best schools in Massachusetts. In September 2016, Boston Magazine ranked AMSA as the number one charter public school in the state.”