About

Mission, Values & Priorities

Everything we do is driven by our Mission.

The CCA Mission

Cape Cod Academy fosters a life-long drive to learn and grow and make a difference in the world.

Cape Cod Academy teaches students habits of heart and mind that prepare them to be successful in college, healthy in life, and contributors to society - both locally and globally.

Our Core Values

As a school and a
community, Cape Cod Academy is given purpose and clarity by daily reference to our guiding core values:
  • Scholarship
  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Respect

Cape Cod Academy places a premium on:
  • positive and mutually responsible relationships among students and their faculty
  • high standards and ambitions - for academics & relationships
  • field-based exploration of the way the world works
  • customized independent learning initiatives
  • easy access to a breadth of opportunities for intellectual, ethical, social, artistic, and physical growth
  • service, advocacy, and tackling complex problems
  • courage, curiosity, communication, and consideration of others

List of 4 items.

  • Honor Code

    We are a community shaped by expectations more so than by rules. All of the school's expectations derive from the five core values of scholarship, honesty, compassion, respect, and responsibility.
    Scholarship: Respect for knowledge and for the people, books, and institutions that teach it. Scholarship is the pursuit of understanding for its own sake, believing that it is always better to know than not to know.
     
    Honesty: The courage to speak the truth, to represent things as they really are, and not to claim the words and property of others as our own.
     
    Compassion: Valuing the experience and happiness of others as we do our own. In its highest form, compassion helps us see the struggles of others and spurs us to help with humility and respect.
     
    Respect: Treating other people, their possessions, and institutions as being not only important to us but firstly having integrity of their own. It includes the idea of seeing people as having their own purpose distinct from our wants and needs.

    MS & US Students: During the first month of school each Advisor Group will discuss the Honor Code. Each student decides to sign the Honor Code pledge:
     
    “As a student of Cape Cod Academy, I understand the values of the school community as explained above. By enrolling at the school, I agree to abide by these values in principle and by particulars as described in the Handbook for Parents & Students, which I have read and understand.”
     
  • CCA versus Traditional School

    Not all schools are alike. The ways faculty teach, the priorities for student growth and the attitudes that are fostered can be radically different.

    CCA offers a different approach to teaching, a different set of expectations for learners, a different ambition for what students will be able to do with their learning--at the end of their classes and as they go out into the world.

    Like hundreds of other modern independent day schools across the country, our approach is progressive and inquiry-based. We believe students learn more and aspire to do more with their learning and skills when they are encouraged to ask questions, shape their own projects, and actively construct knowledge rather than just passively receive content and reproduce it on tests.
     
  • Portrait of a CCA Graduate

    Cape Cod Academy develops students’ agency, their ownership of how they can learn and what they can do, how they can be effective, who they will become, and what they will do in life and for the world.  We foster habits that compel our students to apply themselves and their skills—not just pass the TEST and get into college. CCA students want to tackle problems; they want to make a difference and succeed.

     
    LOWER SCHOOL: Becoming agents of your own learning, discovery
    ●      Developing Literacies (foundational knowledge that students can manipulate and transfer)
    ●      Self as agent of your own learning
    ●      Empowering the natural discovery & inquiry mindset
    ●      Learning social, behavioral and ethical habits
     
    MIDDLE SCHOOL: Experimenting & testing—who am I, how do I succeed, what can I contribute?
    ●      Self-aware
    ●      Responsibility for yourself and your ventures
    ●      Identity (vis-à-vis: relationships, world ambitions)
    ●      Confidence through experience, experimenting
    ●      Skills of relating and working with others
    ●      Understanding of self as potential leader, contributor, and advocate
     
    UPPER SCHOOL: Applying skills and acting on a sense of self & purpose
    ●      Putting it all together—applying and manipulating their knowledge and skills
    ●      Self-direction, making choices and choosing priorities
    ●      Testing one’s skills and interests
    ●      Responding to failure and change
    ●      Self-designed projects
     
    By graduation, each young adult at Cape Cod Academy will be “Ready to Launch” and be…
    • Skilled & Competent
    • Discerning
      • of problems
      • of connections & gaps
    • Confident & Experienced
    • Responsible
      • to himself or herself
      • to the world and others
  • Try Something New

    “My son never would have tried out for even the MS or JV team at his old school. At CCA, he was encouraged to try something new and wasn’t afraid that he didn’t belong out there. Now he’s contributing to the team and the school and improving into a player who can compete with the kids at his old school.”
    new Upper School parent

    On the first day of school each year, I asked students of all ages to accept one primary assignment this year: Try something new.

    CCA is engineered for growth, and growth depends on stretching. The culture of CCA makes it safe for students to take risks, to try something new, and to admit they aren’t good at X or Y yet but they want to see what they can learn and eventually master.

    Complementing all this is an ethos among kids here that is sorely lacking at other schools: It’s cool to participate. It’s cool to ask questions. It’s normal to work hard. It’s cool to get passionate about something. It’s normal to have big ambitions.

    Something we call “Positive Peer Pressure” at CCA means that your child can get swept up in the positive currents around him or her and that peers will cheer him or her along. This is something quite the opposite of what parents fear in other settings: that their child will not try something or stretch himself for fear of being teased or that their child will be dragged down by a negative peer pressure.

    What comes of all this? Participation, real contributions, and growing competence and confidence! When students get enough of this practice of trying new things in this safe environment it builds muscle memory and habits that they take with them throughout life.

    CCA provides students all sort of opportunities not found elsewhere. But sometimes the CCA difference is not what we offer but how we encourage kids to avail themselves of those opportunities. Students take advantage of opportunities here and feel confident and empowered because they see that they are contributing--to a team, to the range of clubs, to the conversation. Eventually this leads to CCA students extending and shaping new opportunities, both for themselves and for their peers... including that new kid who wasn’t sure he would ever have tried out for the team at his old school.