Pioneer Charter School of Science was recognized with a $10,000 award for its work in providing quality educational opportunities to students from the Boston Foundation. PCSS was as a finalist for the Pozen Prize for Charter Schools, finishing in the top three best charter schools in Greater Boston. The prize was created by Boston Foundation donors Robert and Elizabeth Pozen. Robert is a former top executive at Fidelity Investments and MFS Investment Management and now serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School and he is a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Intuition. Elizabeth is a retired psychotherapist who is now focusing on her career as a figurative artist.
Three finalists were selected on the basis of a quantitative analysis of their academic excellence as determined by their proficiency and growth scores on the MCAS, as well as comparison of the demographic makeup of each school’s student body relative to the overall district in which the school was located. The selection started with the review of data for 56 charter schools. From the pool of 56 schools, eight were invited to apply for the prize. Out of the eight selected three made to the final round. The three finalists each hosted a visit from members of the Pozen Prize Selection Committee. Match Charter Public High School and Boston Preparatory Public Charter School were also finalists for the award. Boston Preparatory Charter Public School was selected as the winner. Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation said, “All three of the charter high schools chosen as finalists rank highly in academic achievement.”
Due to the close nature of the competition, the committee decided to award the runners-up with a $10,000 grant. Sanela Jonuz, the Executive Director at PCSS, stated, “We are extremely proud of this accomplishment. This is another testament to the quality of our program.” Barish Icin, the Chief Executive Officer, added, “The committee was surprised to see everything that PCSS has achieved in such a short period of time. They were really impressed by the school culture that they observed.” Pioneer Charter School of Science opened its doors in 2007, it was the youngest of the finalists.