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OCS Graduates Class of 2016

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, parents, family members, friends, and staff gathered at MIST, located at 46 West 116th street, to witness the OCS class of 2016 graduation ceremony. Forty-four (44) seniors walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas and bid farewell to OCS staff that many referred to as “family.” The event featured several moving speeches from High School Principal Cedric Hall, Salutatorian Tryphena Quaicoe, and Valedictorian Laura Terri. Dr. Michael Carrera, founder of the Children’s Aid Society Carerra Program, served as the keynote speaker.

Students Laura Terri, Tryphena Quaicoe, Christian Medina, Iolanie De los Santos, Sindra DeJesus, and Tidiane Bakayoko were all Honor Roll award recipients for achieving grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. Students Tristian Tucker, Demonie Drawhorn, Aaron Bly, and Niree Garcia-Sims were this year’s Office of the Attorney General's Triple "C" Award recipients. The award recognizes the courage, character and commitment of the state's most outstanding students. Students Laura Terri and Aboubakary Diaby received the State Comptroller's Student Achievement Award which recognizes students who have shown academic excellence and the potential for leadership through public service.  

Michael Clements, the director of the Children’s Aid Society Carerra Program, announced that $40,000 in scholarship money, provided by the Children’s Aid Society, was awarded to several OCS graduates.

Eighth Grade Moving Up Ceremony

On Monday, June 27, OCS held its annual “Eighth Grade Moving Up” graduation ceremony. The event celebrates the hard work and dedication of the 8th grade class before they move on to high school. The ceremony featured heartwarming speeches from staff and teachers, and included a performance from the Middle School Band. The graduating class was read a quote by novelist and poet C.S. Lewis, as a final sendoff: "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

From OCS Graduates to Microsoft Specialists

This year OCS implemented a new program at the OCS College and Career Institute (CCI) for students to receive a Microsoft Specialist certification. In addition to being trained to become fluent in Microsoft Office products, students have the opportunity to gain a higher starting salary and to put the certification towards college credits. In its first year, OCS had a 100% passing rate for the certification exam.  We are proud of the growth and commitment our students have shown throughout the year. This is an incredible accomplishment for each student who participated.

Summer Institute

OCS is excited to announce the launch of the Summer Institute. We are partnering with the Summer Youth Employment Program to provide a group of OCS high school students with a unique summer job. Their job is to become healthier and more resilient in mind, body, and spirit, as well as to document their journeys on social media to inspire others to do the same. Through a series of new and challenging activities, the Summer Institute will draw these young leaders out of their comfort zones and into the sunlight of their own greatness. Summer Institute participants will try yoga and Taekwondo, sample foods from around the world, learn the science of their teenage brains, give back to their community, and more. Follow their journey on Instagram at ocsny_summerinstitute and join us in creating a happier, healthier summer!

Annual CAS Pathway to College Scholarship Award

Five OCS students were awarded over $40,000 in scholarships from the Children's Aid Society.  They attended the Annual Children's Aid Society Pathway to College Scholarship Award Ceremony on Friday, June 17, 2016 at Hunter College School Social of Work. These students were selected from among 100 applicants within the Children's Aid Society. 

Tackling Teen Pregnancy

On June 23, the Children’s Aid Society’s Carrera Program was featured on The Opinion Pages of the New York Times. To help create the story, Ms. Holt's health class was observed as students debated different ways to tackle teen pregnancy. Thanks to Dr. Michael Carerra and Mr. Clements for inviting the reporter to OCS and making this happen. To read the full article click here

Coming Soon to Youtube

In June, production began for a soon-to-be released short film that will tell the personal stories of triumph shared by several OCS students. The project is led by Pamela French, an award-winning director who has produced a wide variety of music videos and compelling documentaries.

The film’s release date will be posted on our website. Stay tuned.

Father's Day Celebration

On June 15, OCS hosted a “Father’s Day Fun Day” in the school yard to recognize and honor the fathers and caregivers of the OCS community. The event was a success with more than 40 people in attendance. Attendees competed again each other for prizes in a 3-legged race, wheelbarrow race and basketball tournament. Winners received tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure, Hurricane Harbor, and gifts cards. 

OCS Student Inspires Camille to Donate a Piano

Jowen Playing at Hamilton Senior Center

On June 23, Frank and Camille Pianos from Huntington Long Island donated and delivered an upright piano to OCS. This project was inspired by Jowen Campbell who played a few hours of music at Hamilton Senior Center on Valentine's Day.

His performance was filled with a harmonious mix of classical, modern and funky sounds that spilled into the hallways and pulled senior citizens out of their rooms to gather around the piano. It created a moving sight where emotions filled up the space and revived eyes and faces. There was sheer joy, admiration and gratitude, all laced with tears. The day culminated in an exchange of hugs and smiles that followed Jowen out into the street.

With the help of Mr. Hollander, the music teacher, we were able to secure the piano.  Jowen also received an engraved plate with his name on it that will be placed on the piano as a reminder for Jowen to let his music rule the world.

Spring Arts Show!
On Friday June 10, OCS celebrated the Spring Arts Show. Ms. Choi started it off with a collection of stop-motion shorts (view above) created by her high school art classes. Musical performances went next with Mr. Hollander's high school music classes performing an energizing medley of tunes including J. Cole's Crooked Smile, Drake's One Dance, Gorillaz' Feel Good and Jeremih's OUI. This was then followed by a spirited staff band performance of Santana's Maria Maria and Prince's Purple Rain. Our middle school dancers finished of the show with fresh choreography led by Ms. Berkowitz.

OCS BandSeed Performance at The Shrine

On June 11, the OCS middle school and high school after-school bands, led by music director Mr. Hollander, participated in the BandSeed music showcase at The Shrine in Harlem. Students had a blast and tore the house down.  We thank Breaking Glass (MS: Shantae Brown, Erasmy Arenas-Ramirez, Darius Evans, Adrianna Murray, Yunior Rufino Santos) and Fallen Stars (HS: Jonathan Steele, Jowen Campbell) for their performances.

Student of the Month Winners


We would like to highlight and congratulate last month's Student of the Month winners. These students had perfect attendance, no behavior referrals, and an 85+ average in their classes.

Congratulations to:
9th - Persis Quaicoe
10th- Donnalee Washington
11th- Francesca Gelin
12th- Laura Terri
Copyright © 2016 Opportunity Charter School, All rights reserved.

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