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The City on a Hill Foundation, Inc.

 31 Heath Street
 Boston, MA 02130
[P] (617) 533-9470
[F] --
[email protected]
Kristie Loftus
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3217458

LAST UPDATED: 12/22/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

City on a Hill Charter Public Schools graduates responsible, resourceful, and respectful democratic citizens prepared to advance community, culture, and commerce, and to compete in the 21st century.  We do so by emphasizing academic achievement, citizenship, teacher leadership, and public accountability.

Mission Statement

City on a Hill Charter Public Schools graduates responsible, resourceful, and respectful democratic citizens prepared to advance community, culture, and commerce, and to compete in the 21st century.  We do so by emphasizing academic achievement, citizenship, teacher leadership, and public accountability.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2011 to June 30, 2012
Projected Income $4,709,117.00
Projected Expense $4,659,109.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • CoaHCORPS Tutorial Program
  • Teacher Certification Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

City on a Hill Charter Public Schools graduates responsible, resourceful, and respectful democratic citizens prepared to advance community, culture, and commerce, and to compete in the 21st century.  We do so by emphasizing academic achievement, citizenship, teacher leadership, and public accountability.

Background Statement

City on a Hill was founded as the 1st charter public high school to open in Massachusetts in 1995.  Founded on the belief that all students can achieve, CoaH founders sought to create a successful urban high school in Boston, where students take on a rigorous academic curriculum paired with supportive programs designed to provide them with the skills they need to be successful at CoaH and beyond.  City on a Hill opened its second high school in Boston, City on a Hill Dudley Square, in August 2013.  The third high school in the network, City on a Hill New Bedford, opened in August 2014.

City on a Hill, like all charter public schools, operates as a public district independent of the city and reports directly to the state Department of Education.  Every 5 years, CoaH must renew its charter with the state, undergoing a rigorous application and inspection process. Committed to providing low-income and disadvantaged students with a high quality education, CoaH is tuition-free and open to all students in Boston and New Bedford. CoaH schools are college-prep schools, not an exam-schools. Students are admitted through a random lottery with new students admitted in the 9thgrade only.

CoaH’s philosophy for academic success centers on the idea of “Rigor with Support”. The school runs an extended school day, week, and year, allowing all students to participate in effective programs such as AP courses, daily silent reading, weekly Town Meeting debates, and individualized skills-based tutorial.  CoaH does not sort students into ability-leveled classes or segregate Special Education students into separate classes. Students are also expected and required to be active citizens. Boston serves as an extension of the classroom. Students take part in the best that it has to offer and give back to the city through school-wide service days and the 100 hours of internship they complete as part of their City Project course, a seminar-style class on public policy.

CoaH also places an emphasis on teacher leadership.  Teachers at CoaH drive decision-making and are reflective practitioners and managers contributing to urban public school reform. CoaH teachers push students outside of their comfort zones and support them in their efforts to exceed even their own expectations.  Not only are CoaH teachers accountable to students, but they are also accountable to their colleagues. Teachers assess each other through peer evaluations and assess the work of each other’s students. 

City on a Hill holds itself publicly accountable and expects to show the taxpayers and the community results to ensure that we are delivering on our promise to educate our students.

Impact Statement

Key Successes

As a result of its carefully planned and executed programs, City on a Hill has been succeeding at all levels.  On the organizational level, CoaH was named by Governor Patrick as a “Commendation School” for its progress in raising student achievement and demonstrating a consistent narrowing of achievement gaps among students. Additionally, CoaH has been reaccredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is the only accredited charter high school in Boston. CoaH was also 1 of only 18 charter schools in the nation selected by the Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) as an award-winning school for driving dramatic student achievement gains.

The success of a school can only be measured by the success of its students. Since the 1st graduating class of 1998, 100% of CoaH graduates have been accepted to college.  Most recently 1 member of the Class of 2011 became the first CoaH graduate to gain acceptance to an Ivy League school. 4 other members were selected as POSSE Scholars; and two 2011 graduates were chosen for the selective Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship.  Moreover, 22 members of the class of 2011 were awarded the Adams Scholarship on the basis of their excellent MCAS scores.

Organizational Goals

The ultimate measure of school performance is student performance:

·     By June 2014, 100% of students will demonstrate proficiency on MCAS in English and math (Advanced or Proficient). By 2015, 80% percent of students will earn a proficient score or above on the biology MCAS.Each year, scaled 10thgrade MCAS scores in English, math, and science will increase 10% over middle school MCAS scores.

·     Each year, 100% City on a Hill’s graduates will be admitted to college,80% or more of CoaH’s graduates will be admitted to competitive 4 year colleges, as defined by US News and World Report, and of the CoaH graduates tracked by the National Clearinghouse Database, 60% of all graduates will be enrolled in or have completed college.


Needs Statement


Outstanding secondary education is in high demand. In 2011, CoaH had 850 applicants for fewer than 100 seats. CoaH is ready and plans to replicate in order to meet this demand. We do not ignore the crisis in public education and have a proven model that works. 100% of CoaH graduates have been admitted to college since 1998, and 75% of our graduates have completed or are still enrolled in college. Replication is a top priority and has a fundraising goal of $1.2 million. However, CoaH would not be successful without its unique programs like CoaHCORPS. It increases literacy and numeracy skills levels and the higher order thinking needed to access college level material. Funding this program requires $633,729.

CoaH is only as strong as its leaders. CoaH teachers drive decision-making and are reflective practitioners and managers contributing to urban public school reform. CoaH is seeking a robust network of Boston’s best professional development programs for CoaH staff. CoaH is also looking to improve their technology infrastructure by providing updated tools such as computers, ipads, and a new server to further improve its efficiency and diversify its resources. Lastly, due to the always-changing economic climate, CoaH needs a wide range of funding to mediate the public funding gap.


CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods

City on a Hill Charter Public Schools is open to all students across the cities of Boston and New Bedford.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Charter Schools
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Under Development


CoaHCORPS Tutorial Program

CoaHCORPS is City on a Hill Charter Public School’s fully integrated skills-based tutorial program. CORPS members are college graduates dedicating a year of service to urban education. They work with students 5 to 6 days per week for 1 hour each day on a curriculum designed to fit each student’s individual needs. As part of each student’s daily academic schedule, tutorial helps students build the literacy and numeracy skills they need to prepare for college. CoaHCORPS supplements and enhances CoaH’s college-prep curriculum by working on a case-by-case basis with students that they most need to improve. Students are placed into groups of 2 or 3, according to their skill level, as indicated by internal assessments. Additionally, students receive MCAS and SAT prep as well as academic support. Finally, the tutorial program continues through the summer as students in summer school work 1 or 2 on 1 with tutors to focus their studies as they prepare to retake their final proficiency exams.

Budget  $633,729.00
Category  Education, General/Other Tutorial Programs
Population Served At-Risk Populations Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 

CoaHCORPS’ primary goal is to accelerate students’ acquisition of essential skills. For students who are below grade level in literacy, 80% of students in each CoaH cohort will advance one grade level, and in numeracy, 80% of students for each cohort will increase their test scores by 20%. Furthermore, CoaHCORPS will prepare students for the MCAS. By June 2014, 100% of students will demonstrate proficiency on MCAS in English and Math. By 2015, 80% of CoaH students will earn a proficient or above on the Biology MCAS. Also, each year scaled MCAS scores in ELA, Math, and Science will increase 10% over middle school MCAS scores. Lastly, the tutorial program will support students in achieving the high standards set for all students. Since tutors continue to work during summer school, 80% of students completing a summer tutorial will pass the final proficiency in August with a 70% or higher score.


Program Long-Term Success  Today the education gap is a pressing issue throughout the nation. A recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that children who live in poverty and read below grade level by 3rdgrade are 3 times as likely not to graduate from high school as students who have never been poor (Hernandez, 2011).Since the school’s founding, City on a Hill has enrolled 9thgraders who are both low-income and far below grade level, and for the past 14 years, 100% of CoaH graduates have been accepted to college.It is because of programs like CoaHCORPS that we are closing the education gap and will continue to do so. CoaHCORPS is measured in its success in narrowing the achievement gap: 100% of students admitted into college and 100% proficient and advanced scores on the MCAS.  To quote Executive Director, Erica Brown, “Nothing else matters – the presses must stop – if students aren’t learning.”
Program Success Monitored By 

In order to assure the continued success of CoahCORPS, the Program Director and Principal meet weekly to discuss tutorial and, while taking into account suggestions from current CORPS members, make changes as needed. The Program Director also meets with the tutors weekly and conducts an end of the year survey, giving the members an opportunity to share their concerns and perspectives on the program’s effectiveness and efficiency. Lastly, two curriculum coordinators continuously revise and coordinate the literacy and numeracy curricula.  These experienced members of the English and Math departments oversee the curriculum’s implementation, visit tutorial sessions throughout the week, and observe tutors.  They meet weekly with tutors to give feedback, guide lesson planning, and offer strategies to keep students engaged. Furthermore, our results are data-driven, and we are consistently evaluating our program based on the results from the MCAS test and internal assessments.

Examples of Program Success 

CoaH is working to meet its goal of a score increase of 20% on average for each CoaH cohort. Based on an essential skills test given to each student at the beginning and end of the school year, students have shown improvement in their literacy and numeracy skills. In numeracy, 39% of students tested out of their grade level. Of those that did not, scores improved by an average of 64%.  Literacy tests showed similar gains. In total, 34% of CoaH students improved their reading level by at least 1 full grade, and 8.6% of students made improvements of 3 full grade levels or more. CoaHCOPRS has also shown success in preparing students for the MCAS exams. Scores from the MCAS test in Spring of 2011 are some of the highest to date: 94%, 97%, and 74% of our students scored proficient or advanced on the ELA, Math, and Science sections, respectively. CoaH students outscored the state average for these tests. In 2011, 84%, 77%, and 67% scored proficient or higher on the 3 test sections statewide.

Teacher Certification Program

City on a Hill seeks to close the achievement gap by providing low-income and minority students with a key resource that they are currently lacking:  high quality, experienced teachers.  Through its Teacher Certification Program, CoaH effectively trains, mentors, and educates both current and aspiring teachers, giving them the tools they need to have an impact in urban public schools. This program provides teaching fellows with knowledge, guidance and experience in the classroom along with hosting fellows and teachers from other area charter schools as they partake in rigorous coursework through our partner, Simmons College. The program certifies inexperienced teachers who are currently in the field conveniently and affordably as part of Simmons College’s MAT program and gives both aspiring and current teachers an added edge to bring into their classroom and positively affect student achievement.
Budget  $92,760.00
Category  Education, General/Other Teacher & Faculty
Population Served At-Risk Populations Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short term, students gain teachers with experience and preparation the minute they step into the classroom, allowing them to have a greater immediate impact.  Additionally, students achieve at higher levels, enabling them to make strides in their education beyond high school.  Not only do teachers and students make gains from the Urban Teaching Fellows Program, but the schools in which the fellows teach benefit from having experienced and well-trained teachers who are ready to commit to the school for the long haul.  

Program Long-Term Success 

The benefits of the Teacher Certification Program reach far beyond the walls of City on a Hill. Fellows gain knowledge and classroom experience while being mentored by seasoned teachers through the critical first year of teaching.  CoaH Fellows along with teachers from other charter schools in the area take courses at City on a Hill as part of the Simmons MAT program, furthering their knowledge and understanding that they can then bring into their classrooms.  The approach of this CoaH program ensures that fellows are well equipped to enter the urban classroom as first year teachers with the tools that will enable them to have an impact on their students.  As school faculty becomes rich with qualified, experienced, and dedicated teachers, school-wide student achievement will rise and, over time, the achievement gap will close.

Program Success Monitored By  Program success can be seen through the fellows’ fulfillment of their commitment to serving in urban public schools; many even make careers of it, staying on as teachers at CoaH, in other Boston Public Schools, and in other urban districts across the country.  Teacher retention in disadvantaged districts will be an indicator of the program’s success, as will rising student achievement as time goes on and fellows gain more experience as seasoned classroom teachers.  Over time, as program participants (fellows and charter school teachers alike) gain more teaching experience, student achievement should also rise. 
Examples of Program Success  The certification program at City on a Hill makes sure its teacher participants leave the program better equipped to handle the unique demands of teaching at an urban school, in turn, keeping them there longer.  The need for this type of program can be illustrated with teacher licensure data comparing the statewide certification percentage vs. that in individual charter schools:  Statewide, 95.8% of teachers are certified in their teaching assignment.  Percentages at numerous charter schools fall far short of this state number.  For example, three of the area charter schools that send teachers to CoaH’s Teacher Certification Program – Academy of the Pacific Rim, Smith Leadership Academy, and Prospect Hill Academy – have certification levels of 31.4%, 45.1%, and 59.3%, respectively. Through the Teacher Certification Program, these percentages will increase, gradually rising closer to state levels.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Erica Brown
CEO Term Start Sept 1998
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience A Massachusetts native, Ms. Brown received a B.A. in British and American Literature from Harvard College in 1995 and a M.Ed. from Tufts University in 1997. She joined City on a Hill in 1998 to teach 10th grade English, and quickly took on additional leadership responsibilities to include Lead Teacher, Director of Technology, and Dean of Curriculum. She became Principal of the school in 2003. In late November 2007, City on a Hill's Board of Trustees voted to combine the school's Executive Director and Principal functions into a single head of school leadership model, and Ms. Brown became the school's first Executive Director/Principal. Despite her increased responsibilities over the years, Ms. Brown has always continued to teach.  
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 70
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 76
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 7
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 5
Caucasian: 83
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 3
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 74
Male: 26
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Robert Mazzarella
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fidelity Investments
Board Chair Term Apr 2006 - May 2012
Board Co-Chair Mr. Michael Grossman
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation MFS Investment Management
Board Co-Chair Term Sept 2005 - Oct 2014

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Joe Cali Grand Circle Travel --
Mr. Lee Delaney Bain & Company --
Ms. Michelle Dipp M.D., Ph.D. Longwood Founders Fund --
Mr. Ben Lummis Massachusetts 2020 --
Ms. Aretha Miller The Venn Group, Inc. --
Mr. Kevin Mohan Summit Partners --
Ms. Ginger Parker PricewaterhouseCoopers --
Mr. Michael Rosen Foley Hoag LLP --
Ms. Lori Stevens Citizen Schools --
Ms. Cara Stillings Candal Ed.D Center for Better Schools/National Academy for Advanced Teacher Education --
Mr. Ryan Thornton Nomura Securities Int'l, Inc. --
Ms. Kimberly A. Wechtenhiser Schoolworks --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 92
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 43
Male: 57
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $1,777,198 $2,421,856 $1,951,356
Total Expenses $1,908,629 $1,345,907 $866,787

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $831,315 $1,461,823 $1,064,792
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $634,763 $634,763 $634,763
Investment Income, Net of Losses $125,528 $125,641 $103,954
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $185,592 $199,629 $147,847
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $1,531,767 $1,160,573 $662,435
Administration Expense $199,537 $47,010 $17,584
Fundraising Expense $177,325 $138,324 $186,768
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.93 1.80 2.25
Program Expense/Total Expenses 80% 86% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 17% 8% 15%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $15,173,233 $15,470,847 $14,853,995
Current Assets $5,540,438 $5,567,677 $1,950,932
Long-Term Liabilities $9,267,513 $9,440,481 $9,709,254
Current Liabilities $21,314 $14,529 $24,456
Total Net Assets $5,884,406 $6,015,837 $5,120,285

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 259.94 383.21 79.77

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 61% 61% 65%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s, which reflect the City on a Hill Foundation only. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals as the breakout was not available. The combined audited financial documents, posted above, reflect both the City on a Hill Foundation and the City on a Hill Charter Schools.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?