Multicultural Day at CCMS

CCMS hosted its annual Multicultural Day this year on Friday, May 10th. The event celebrates the many cultures represented in the student body, staff, and surrounding community. Countries such as Ghana, Costa Rica, South Africa, Jamaica, Egypt, Nigeria, Aruba, Guyana and the U.S. island of Puerto Rico were represented.

The scholars worked on the project leading up to the event and used art, research, writing, technology and presentation skills to teach each other about what they learned. On the day of the event, scholars were issued passports to “travel” and experience music, taste food, learn history, see currency, and touch artifacts unique to each country.

CCMS is proud to represent the diversity across the school and to teach scholars the value of cultural differences and that people from all nations have importance in our shared global history.

Challenge Charter Receives Renewal and Expansion

After a lengthy review and application process, Challenge Charter has been granted a 5-year Renewal and Expansion from the NY Department of Education. The expansion will include the addition of a Kindergarten class and approval to open a High School.

Founder and CEO, Rev. Dr. Les Mullings was happy to hear the news, and staff followed suit with their positive responses and affirmations of the school’s efforts over the 9 years since opening in 2010.

The application process involved the support of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Leadership Team, K-5 Principal Griffin and 6-8 Principal Gordon and staff throughout the K-8 school. While renewal was anticipated, the expansion is a great vote of confidence for Challenge Prep as very few new schools and expansions are being approved by the DOE due in part to the NYC Charter School cap.

Dr. Mullings has led the school through renewal applications across the school’s history. Senior Advisor, Dr. Estep followed the process closely assisting staff and administration through each step. The DOE Renewal Team visited the school for key meetings with the Board, Leadership Team, Principals and Staff, as well as classroom observations, curriculum reviews, and test and scholar data analysis.

The Kindergarten seats will be filled from the waiting list from the 2019-20 Applications and Lottery that took place in April. Plans for the High School will be ongoing as logistics such as building and staff needs are discussed.

Read the official Press Release on the Renewal and Expansion.

Staff Appreciation Feature: Nadine Lecoin

It’s Staff Appreciation Week at CCMS! Our Parent Association has planned a number of events to express gratitude to our Teachers and Staff. As a special feature this week, we are celebrating Operations employee, Ms. Nadine Lecoin, who works with dedication and a willingness to serve wherever needed.

How long have you been working at Challenge and what are your current responsibilities?

Lecoin: I've been working at Challenge Charter School for four years now. I serve middle school within the Operations department. My expertise is school start-up that consists of all furniture, curriculum, signage ordering, janitorial supplies, etc. The Operations department has multiple functions that I oversee such as assigning Metrocards and busing for the scholars. My operational highlight is during peak open enrollment when I enroll all new scholars to the middle school. I also supervise the New York City food service program that provides breakfast, lunch, and snack to our middle school scholars. Of course, my duties aren't limited to what I listed above because I always fill in whenever assistance is needed. 

I believe that the highest human act is to inspire, and if I am able to have a breakthrough with my support, then I’ve done wonders.
Ms. Nadine Lecoin, Operations Assistant

Ms. Nadine Lecoin, Operations Assistant

What is the best part of your work day?

Lecoin: The best part of my day is seeing the scholars smile. Some scholars come to me daily for their regular peps talks to help them stay focused. I believe that the highest human act is to inspire, and if I am able to have a breakthrough with my support, then I've done wonders. 

What led to you want to work in an educational setting?

Lecoin: Since the age of five, I've always loved school. I looked at school as a fun place to be. School was a place that I could feel safe, learn new things, and I was able to develop lifetime friendships. I'm still really good friends with all of my classmates from elementary and middle school. I was extremely fortunate to have great teachers and great classmates who've made a great impact on my educational path. I couldn't see myself doing anything else. I truly do love what I do. 

What is a hobby or something you like to do outside of work and why?

Lecoin: I love to travel because each trip is a new adventure, a new story, a new memory. I love to learn about different cultures, eating new food, and meeting new people. 

2019 Lottery Recap

With only a few weeks left of school this year, we looked forward to our 2019-20 Academic Year with our annual Lottery Night on Thursday, April 11th. Led by our Director of Enrollment and Recruitment, Mrs. Tameeka Richards, and her capable team, the event was held at at our K-5 site at 710 Hartman Lane. For the first time in our school’s history, all applicants were assigned numbers electronically. The Challenge Prep Lottery is a random drawing for those wanting available seats for the upcoming school year, and on the 11th seats for around 96 openings in Kindergarten were filled. All remaining names were placed on the waiting list.

Entertainment was provided by Champ the Cheetah, our official school mascot. Puppeteer for Champ, Steve Pennington, also develops the curriculum for Project Character—a monthly word-based curriculum that teaches scholars about the importance of good character.

Our Founder and CEO, Dr. Les Mullings commented on the event saying, "We celebrated another annual Lottery and welcomed new scholars and their families to our school. This year's electronic Lottery was a great success, and I thank Mrs. Richards and her team for all their hard work. We hope to see our school grow even more with our proposed additional kindergarten class for 2019-20."

A separate Lottery was held for the few available 1st through 8th grade seats on Wednesday, April 10th. In the coming weeks, families will have to officially accept their seats and register their children for the upcoming year or forfeit their spot to other waiting families. Over 1200 families applied this season, proving the need for quality education choices for families and the continued community support for Challenge Charter School.

We need YOU! It's Parent Survey Time.

It's that time of the year again: SURVEY TIME! Our Family Engagement Coordinators, Mrs. Wiggins (K-5) and Mrs. Vaughn (6-8) have been working hard to get the word out about this annual and important time of year. New to the survey or wonder why we need every family to participate?

“Every year families take the NYC School Survey to share feedback about our school. Survey feedback can help improve your scholar’s learning,” explained Mrs. Vaughn.

Last year we had over 60% of families respond, but it simply isn’t enough for Challenge Charter. This year, Mrs. Wiggins and Mrs. Vaughn would love to see our K-8 parents achieve 100% participation.

As Mrs. Wiggins expressed, “Feedback is great for Challenge Prep Charter School, as it helps us improve our programs. I encourage each family to complete theirs today.”

Families can complete the survey in person at our school sites (710 Hartman and 1279 Redfern) or online by visiting We are hoping to reach 100% by the end of Parent Teacher Conferences on March 19 and 20, but the last day to complete the NYC School Survey is Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

Perhaps the best part is that scholars will be rewarded when his or her family participates. Middle School scholars will receive an Ice Cream Party on Wednesday, March 27th if they have a completed survey by Parent Teacher Conferences. K-5 scholars will receive $10 Cheetah Bucks for every survey completed.

Progress Reports are being shared every week on our Facebook page. As of March 8th, we had 13% of surveys completed. We hope you will take a few moments to fill out your survey today.

Mrs. Vaughn Survey Flyer

Mrs. Vaughn Survey Flyer