New Charter School Hires First Principal

Connect Community Charter School announced its selection over the weekend.

Connect Community Charter School (CCCS), which will open its doors in the Redwood City School District this coming fall for the start of the 2013-14 school year, has its first full staff member.

The fledgling school's founders announced Friday afternoon that they have hired the school's first principal, Mary Katayama.

"We are thrilled to be able to introduce the founding principal of Connect!" CCCS representatives said in a statement.

Katayama reportedly taught public elementary school for 14 years before becoming an adjunct professor for the College of Education at San Jose State University. She also worked for a few years as both a workshop presenter for the California Reading and Literature Project, and as a curriculum specialist at Mulberry Elementary.

"Mary impressed us with her deep commitment to the philosophy of Connect. We know that as our founding principal she will put her considerable experience and expertise into building a nurturing, positive community for children and their families," the CCCS founders said in their statement. "She’ll support our teachers as they engage our children in hands-on learning and help them take control of their futures."

School representatives said, Katayama is now jumping head-on into the task of hiring teachers.

Though the plan is Connect will eventually serve kindergarten up through the eighth grade, the school is starting small in its first year and only offering classes for kindergarten, first, second and sixth grades, for a total of 140 students.

The school recently held a lottery to fill the first 140 spots, with about 100 children left to the wait list. School representatives said the first 140 students are about 60 percent Latino, 30 percent Caucasian and 10 percent of mixed or other ethnicities. They said every neighborhood school in the Redwood City School District is represented, and that all live within the district's boundaries.

CCCS has not yet officially announced where the school will be located for its first few years. Though they hope, eventually, the school will get its own campus, the founders say they will be borrowing classrooms within existing schools to start with.

Though they have not made any definitive announcements, several founders toured both Taft and Fair Oaks elementary schools in late 2012, and said they thought the campuses fit well with their needs, as well as their goal to be located in the eastern part of Redwood City.

What do you think of the progress CCCS has made thus far? Tell us in the comments below.

Also on RedwoodCity-Woodside Patch:

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