HCCS-PS Recognized as National Blue Ribbon School

The National Herald

Left to right: Hellenic Classical Charter School Principal Natasha Caban-Vargas, Superintendent Christina Tettonis, and Chief of Operations Joy Petrakos. Photo: Courtesy of Hellenic Classical Charter School)

BROOKLYN, NY – Hellenic Classical Charter School-Park Slope (HCCS-PS) was recognized as National Blue Ribbon School, according to a news release from the school on September 26.

The full text follows:

We are pleased to share that today the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that The Hellenic Classical Charter School is being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. We are one of 19 schools from New York State to be recognized and one of the 362 schools nationwide. The recognition is based on our school's overall academic performance.

"I'm pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School," said U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos in a video message to the honorees. "We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students' accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs."

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition to high performing schools. On November 14-15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate our achievement at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC.

We are receiving this award as an Exemplary High Performing School. HCCS is among New York State’s highest performing schools.

“This is truly an honor to have our school selected among the best in the nation. This National Blue Ribbon designation acknowledges the hard work and team effort being performed at HCCS-PS by our faculty, staff, students and families” said Board Chair Charles Capetanakis, Esq.

Superintendent Christina Tettonis said, "We are thrilled to receive this incredible recognition from The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Our goal is to build upon this success and continue preparing all of our students to succeed at the best high schools in New York City and contribute to the global community as responsible citizens. Our children, families, and faculty are amazing - we applaud them for their hard work, team spirit, and dedication. Congratulations to our entire HCCS family.”

"We are extremely elated, humbled and honored to be a National Blue Ribbon School! We will continue to fulfill our promise to provide a rigorous learning curriculum in a safe and creative environment for all children,” said HCCS Chief of Operations Joy Petrakos.

“It is truly an honor to receive this nationwide recognition validating the teamwork and tireless efforts of our faculty, students and families. Everyone at HCCS is beyond excited" said HCCS-PS Principal Natasha Caban.

The Hellenic Classical Charter School Park Slope opened its doors on September 6, 2005 and celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

HCCS provides students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth with a rigorous, classical education, rich in challenging content. Our education model uses a standards-based curriculum, coaching, and intensive academic support to promote intellectual curiosity and independent learning. Supported by an exemplary teaching staff, students are prepared to succeed at the best high schools in New York City upon graduation.

The culture of our school and philosophy of student learning ensures high-level critical thinking and communication skills. Students in all grades regularly participate in Paideia (Socratic) seminars in which they have conversations developed by open-ended questioning, respecting their peers’ thinking, building on others' ideas, listening closely, and responding to viewpoints other than their own.

Students study the language, history, art, and other cultural aspects of Greece. Middle School students receive Latin language instruction as part of their classical education. We have initiated an Ancient Greek Theatre Program in which students study Ancient Greek literature and perform Ancient Greek plays. Other enrichment programs include a history fair program where students travel to Greece to research topics connected to the history of Greece and annually compete on city, state and national levels.

Our work celebrates a classroom that is diverse and representative of the district. The families of our students are a strong part of our fabric and are highly involved in school events.

HCCS has been designated by New York State Education Department as a high-performing, recognition, reward school and has been granted an approval to replicate in Staten Island.