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The City on a Hill Foundation, Inc.

 15 Allerton Street, Suite 1
 Roxbury, MA 02119
[P] (617) 533-9471
[F] --
Sam Larkan
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3217458

LAST UPDATED: 11/20/2017
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, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $1,293,043.00
Projected Expense $1,263,231.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • CoaHCORPS Tutorial Program
  • Urban Teaching Fellowship Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

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, 90% of CoaH graduates have been accepted to college.  Most recently, we graduated our first class from our second school, CoaH Dudley Square. 100% of the class of 2017 from both CoaH Dudley Square and CoaH Circuit Street were accepted to college. 12 graduates received competitive scholarships from universities - 7 of which were full tuition.  

Organizational Goals

The ultimate measure of school performance is student performance:

·     By June 2020, 100% of students will demonstrate proficiency on MCAS in English and math (Advanced or Proficient).  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 2017, CoaH had 1,629 applicants for fewer than 300 seats. We do not ignore the crisis in public education and have a proven model that works. 90% of CoaH graduates have been admitted to college since 1998, and 68% of our graduates in the past 10 years have completed or are still enrolled in college. 

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.

Urban Teaching Fellowship Program

In 1998, City on a Hill, a public charter high school in Boston, Massachusetts, created an in-house teacher preparation program meant to serve as a pipeline for its faculty: The Urban Teaching Fellowship. An on-site initial licensure program, The Fellowship’s mission is to prepare qualified, resourceful, skilled teachers committed to improving and advancing urban public high schools. City on a Hill believes new teachers learn best through full immersion in highly functioning schools with strong, collegial culture and maximum support. Fellows are paired with veteran mentor teachers, whom they closely observe for the first month of school. They then slowly ramp up—from teaching small sections of class in October, teaching full class periods in November, then teaching several days in a row in December—to full responsibility of two classes January through June.

After an extremely thorough hiring process, Fellows start the program in August, two weeks before students arrive, and end the licensure portion of the program the next August, after teaching summer school for their department. This means Fellows spend more than 1,600 hours in schools—far more than the state’s minimum requirement of 300 hours. This additional practice helps Fellows enter their first year of teaching fully prepared for its demands. Some alternative programs meet the same number of hours by having candidates enter directly into full-time teaching (usually after a summer of coursework). City on a Hill believes the Fellowship’s supportive ramp up to a half-load (two classes) is key. This allows Fellows to perform frequent observations of their mentor and others; regularly meet with their mentor, the Director, and their department; work on graduate school coursework; and take over classes only after a safe incline of increasingly longer blocks of instruction, several observations by the Director and the mentor, and two formal three-way meetings on their progress. This half-load design also allows Fellows to contribute to the school community in ways full-time teachers cannot, such as helping with meal duties, leading various clubs and extracurricular activities, and subbing for teachers who are out.

The Fellows’ six-month practicum, wherein they assume full responsibility of two classes, is overseen by the Director and the mentor teacher, who each perform formal observations at least once a month. These twelve observations far exceed the state’s mandated minimum of four, giving the Fellows increased support during the practicum and maximum transparency on their progress throughout the licensure process. During their practicum, Fellows are considered the teacher of record for their two sections, meaning they participate in all IEP, RTI, grade-level, and planning meetings for their two classes, and they serve as the first point of contact for all parent/guardian, principal, and advisor concerns.

Throughout most of their Fellowship year (August to May), the Fellows attend a weekly, 8-credit course taught by the Director called the Urban Teaching Seminar, which covers classroom management, promoting equity, delivering effective instruction, planning curriculum, and meeting professional responsibilities. In this yearlong course, Fellows reflect on their progress and struggles and discuss pedagogical readings with the Director, who knows them and their teaching well. In feedback surveys, Fellows consistently credit the Seminar course for having given them useful teaching strategies and a strong sense of community within the cohort.

Budget  300,000
Category  Education, General/Other Teacher & Faculty
Population Served At-Risk Populations Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities
Program Short-Term Success 

 Quite possibly the greatest benefit of the partnership is the spirit of continuous improvement both organizations foster in each other. Fellows bring fresh content knowledge they learn at Boston University back to their schools, challenging teachers and administrators who may be removed from research. They also bring fresh urban field experiences back to Boston University, challenging professors who may be removed from the classroom and/or classmates placed in very different schools.

In their end-of-year surveys, 100% of the 2016-2017 Urban Teaching Fellows agreed or strongly agreed that the sequence of the Fellowship supported increased depth of skills and knowledge acquired and applied over time, and 100% of them agreed or strongly agreed that there were clear connections between the different courses in the program. More important, 100% of them agreed or strongly agreed that they would recommend the program to others because their experience had prepared them to be effective educators.


Program Long-Term Success 

93% of the graduates from the last ten years are still teaching and/or administrating in schools—with nearly half still working at City on a Hill. Fellows have gone on to be department heads, mentor teachers, curriculum coordinators, vice principals, principals, and Deputy Chief Academic Officers—truly embodying the Teacher Leadership pillar of City on a Hill’s mission. 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 

In June, the Fellows are evaluated not only on the state’s required assessment tool (the Candidate Assessment of Performance) but also the school’s rubric for full-time teachers, giving them an accurate idea of their preparedness for their first year of teaching. The Fellows’ final evaluative hurdle is a portfolio defense, wherein they present and defend a collection of artifacts representing all they have learned during their Fellowship year to a jury consisting of the Director, their mentor, their principal, the Chief Academic Officer, and any partner organization representatives who can attend. The defense acts as a symbolic capstone for the Fellowship and helps City on a Hill uphold the Public Accountability pillar of its mission.

Examples of Program Success 

In their completed surveys, Post-Fellows (the 2015-2016 cohort, finishing their Master’s degrees in their first year of teaching) wrote statements such as, “I felt incredibly prepared to plan and run my own year of academic content. While entering a new topic area was a challenge, the skills I learned [in the Fellowship] supported this transition” and “The Fellowship prepared me with extensive practice in lesson planning and assessment creation. I was able to implement creative, student-centered lessons and formative and summative assessments.” Another wrote, “I learned so much from the Fellowship program and felt fully prepared going into this year. I have heard your first year of teaching is the hardest, but honestly the Fellowship was harder, which is huge! It is clear that because the Fellowship was so challenging, I went into this year feeling confident and fully equipped to teach.”

These statements seem to confirm long-term data showing that Fellowship completers stay in teaching. 93% of the graduates from the last ten years are still teaching and/or administrating in schools—with nearly half still working at City on a Hill. Fellows have gone on to be department heads, mentor teachers, curriculum coordinators, vice principals, principals, and Deputy Chief Academic Officers—truly embodying the Teacher Leadership pillar of City on a Hill’s mission.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sally Bachofer
CEO Term Start July 2017
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Sally has spent her career working to support pathways for student, family, school and system success. She joins us from her most recent position at City Year, Inc., where she served as their Senior Advisor, providing strategic counsel on City Year’s partnerships with schools and system leaders, K-12 education policy and internal network systems and operations management.

Previous to that role, Sally worked in New York State where, in 2010, the State Board of Regents appointed her as Assistant Commissioner of Education. In that role, she was responsible for setting the Department’s new schools policy environment, leading school turnaround and re-design efforts, and oversight of the State’s over 250 public charter schools. In addition, she oversaw all school health and safety efforts for the 4,800 public school buildings in the State, and served as the Governor’s appointee to multiple statewide public safety and health task forces.

Sally has a deep connection to Boston and the larger charter school community, having lived and worked here for 12 years. She spent time at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education leading school improvement and school choice efforts, and was a member of the national staff at Expeditionary Learning Schools. Sally started her career in public education with the San Diego Unified School District over 20 years ago.

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 154
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 144
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 34
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 6
Caucasian: 110
Hispanic/Latino: 7
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 3
Other (if specified): Two or more races
Gender Female: 111
Male: 49
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 Ms. Ginger Parker
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired
Board Chair Term May 2017 - May 2020
Board Co-Chair Mr. Jeff Jablow
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation City Year
Board Co-Chair Term May 2017 - May 2020

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Jeff Jablow City Year, Inc. --
Mr Jeff Jacobs Telsey Advisory Group --
Ms. Ginger Parker PricewaterhouseCoopers --
Mr. Michael Rosen Foley Hoag LLP --
Matthew Shaw Community Volunteer --
Ms. Lori Stevens Citizen Schools --
Ms. Cara Stillings Candal Ed.D Center for Better Schools/National Academy for Advanced Teacher Education --
Alexandra Valdez Community Volunteer --
Mr. Greg Vasey Hyde Park Ventures, LLC --
Ms. Karin Wall Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center --
Ms. Joanna Ward Baupost Group --
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: 83
Hispanic/Latino: 8
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 58
Male: 42
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
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 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,280,701 $1,777,198 $2,421,856
Total Expenses $1,657,012 $1,908,629 $1,345,907

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $454,285 $831,315 $1,461,823
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $514,896 $634,763 $634,763
Investment Income, Net of Losses $127,127 $125,528 $125,641
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $184,393 $185,592 $199,629
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,532,935 $1,531,767 $1,160,573
Administration Expense $16,097 $199,537 $47,010
Fundraising Expense $107,980 $177,325 $138,324
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.77 0.93 1.80
Program Expense/Total Expenses 93% 80% 86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 17% 17% 8%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $14,693,424 $15,173,233 $15,470,847
Current Assets $5,331,002 $5,540,438 $5,567,677
Long-Term Liabilities $9,172,487 $9,267,513 $9,440,481
Current Liabilities $12,842 $21,314 $14,529
Total Net Assets $5,508,095 $5,884,406 $6,015,837

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
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 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 415.12 259.94 383.21

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 62% 61% 61%

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?