About Us

Community Charter Elevating Futures, One Scholar at a Time

Located in Paterson, NJ, our K-8 charter school is led by a dedicated 7-member Board of Trustees, including active parent representatives. At our institution, we prioritize academic excellence and community engagement, fostering a supportive environment for students’ growth and success.

Our Mission

In partnership with families and communities, we exist to advance racial equity through an excellent education. We purposefully cultivate positive and academically excellent schools that prepare students with social and academic skills to pursue a choice-filled life and make meaningful contributions in Paterson, NJ, and the world.

Our Vision

We establish strong learning environments that center community and allow every student to develop the knowledge, habits, and character necessary to pursue and lead a choice-filled life.

By The Numbers

Our School
Years of impact
qualify for free or reduced-price lunch
0 %
identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
0 %
have identified special needs
0 %
identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
0 %
has worked at CCSP for five years or more
0 %

Mr. Robert Guarasci, Lead Founder

More than 15 years ago, New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) convened a small group of Paterson families and community stakeholders to introduce an idea – the creation of a new charter school located in Paterson’s Great Falls Historic District. NJCDC had long enjoyed a very positive relationship with the Paterson school district, yet we wanted to provide families with a choice of public schools. Thus was born the Community Charter School of Paterson (CCSP), which opened in 2008 as a K-3 school serving 400 students, and which has expanded to now serve 900 students in grades K-8.

As CEO of NJCDC, I had and continue to have the distinct honor of serving as Lead Founder of CCSP. I wanted to blend core elements of NJCDC’s work into the school, including a belief that schools should serve as centers of the community, that they should integrate and draw upon as many community resources as possible, and that student achievement is closely linked with engaging and strengthening families. I felt it would be important to operate CCSP as a Community School, so that we would offer services before school, after school, on evenings, weekends, and during the summer.

I remember that day more than 15 ago when the doors to CCSP opened. It was a wonderful September morning in 2008, and the keywords that morning were hope and possibility. Fifteen years later, I can tell you that the sense of hope and possibility are as real as ever. And I can tell you that my enthusiasm stems from having a great school leader in Ira Griffith, a committed faculty fully engaged in our students’ success, a talented team of administrators and support staff, involved and caring families, and a Board of Trustees that governs the school with great care and pride. Moreover, our host of community partners continues to grow, and these relationships—from city government to community groups to service providers—honor our and sustain our belief in school/community collaboration.

It’s also noteworthy that CCSP has two great buildings, an elementary campus at 75 Spruce Street, and our middle school campus just around the corner at 8 Morris Street (with its standalone gymnasium). Both buildings have been designed to help our students succeed, and they provide a wonderful home for our students, staff, and families.

I am very proud that these last fifteen years have enabled all of the school’s stakeholders to create a community institution that has become an indispensable part of the local educational landscape. As Lead Founder, I reiterate my gratitude to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey. Today, my hopes and aspirations for the Community Charter School of Paterson have never been higher.

Mr. Ira Griffith

Welcome to Community Charter School of Paterson!

As you navigate our website, I hope you learn more about the qualities that make our school special and a meaningful community to join.

We uplift.
We support when and where we can and we always spread good news about the positive impact and improvements that we are making in each other’s lives and in our communities.

We believe in nonstop Improvement.
We always pursue opportunities that will help us grow and be better versions of ourselves. We are wholeheartedly honest with ourselves about what’s working and what’s not, and we constantly strive to do better.

We seek impact. 
We value growth and achievement and the quality of relationships and results. We set meaningful goals and actively work towards and achieve them.

We value teamwork.
We know that there is no “I” in team and that if we want to go far, we must go together. We know that together, everyone achieves more.

We believe in excellence.
We know that achieving excellence is a challenging journey, and even on our toughest day, we act with a yes, we can spirit and we always maintain high standards and endeavor towards excellence each day.

I hope this provides you with a few reasons to get to know the Community Charter School of Paterson better. Whether you are a caregiver, educational partner or looking for a new professional home, we look forward to finding out more about you.


Ira Griffith
Chief Executive Officer

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