Nicotra Early College Charter Officially Opens for Summer Classes 

And they’re off 


This July, the inaugural class of Nicotra Early College Charter School rejoiced as the school opened for its immersive summer session. Principal Zaza and the teaching staff of Nicotra Early College Charter School welcomed the new class to the school with a rousing promise of success and enrichment. 

Nicotra Early College Charter School, known as “Nicotra” for shortis the third expansion school of the Integration Charter Schools network, and has now commenced its mission to promote an accelerated pathway to higher education with great dedication and enthusiasm.  

 Students of Nicotra Early College Charter School will be able to not only graduate with a Regents Diploma but also with as many as 60 college credits from St. John’s University. 

 Due to its rigor and demand, NECCS offers summer intensive courses and opportunities for students to meet the accelerated demands of college readiness. The courses are designed to help students develop their writing skills as well as their test-taking skills and studying skills. Students taking part in the first summer intensive courses have already begun showing their colors as skilled, intelligent young men and women of NECCS.  

 “[The classes] are more interactive,” says eighth-grade student Vanessa Allen. “We feel really lucky to be here and learn new things with new friends.” 

 While the gravity of beginning a new school has yet to be expressed by the students, most are more than willing to recognize the stark differences in their experiences so far at NECCS with schools they have been in the past. 

 Students in Theresa Peterford’s summer writing intensive course all stated that they enjoyed being part of small classes because it’s easier to concentrate and study. Elise Crossen and Olivia Cipoletti, NECCS eight graders stated that they were shocked by the level of kindness and patience from the teaching staff of NECCS. 

 The students and the teachers alike have high expectations of the school and of themselves. Theresa Peterford, the Special Education Coordinator of Integration Charter school says, “I expect that as the school grows, i[will] become a model school for other schools both within Staten Island and beyond. We expect our students to meet and exceed our expectations. And, we expect our teachers to grow into leadership positions in Nicotra Early College Charter School.  

 Despite its demanding workload, Nicotra Early College Charter School is prepared to support the needs of every student. As Mrs. Peterford exclaims, 

“Nicotra Early College Charter School is unlike any other charter school on the island. Our kids are not tested. We believe through student interventions and by providing assistance, all of our students are given the opportunity to graduate with 60 college credits. We believe in giving everyone a chance.”

Nicotra Early College Charter school has approximately 85 students currently enrolled in their 8th and 9th-grade classes. 

Students and families interested in enrollment can contact Susan Varvara at or at 347-855-2238 ext.355.