Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Actions Regarding Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School and Collegiate Charter School of Lowell

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
September 16, 2016

line

At its meeting in February 2013, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) voted to authorize the Commissioner to act on its behalf in "(a) granting charter renewals that do not involve probation; (b) approving charter amendments that do not involve changes in grade span, maximum enrollment, or districts served; and (c) removing or continuing conditions imposed on charters of charter schools; provided that the Commissioner shall report to the Board on all charter renewals, charter amendments, and conditions that have been so approved; and provided further, that the Commissioner shall notify the Board in advance of all such intended actions, and a Board member may request that the Commissioner place the charter matter(s) on the agenda of the Board for discussion and action."

On June 15, 2016, I notified the Board that I intended to extend the conditions imposed upon the charter of Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA). Additionally, I notified the Board that I intended to remove the conditions imposed upon the charter of Collegiate Charter School of Lowell (CCSL), formerly Lowell Collegiate Charter School, because the school met the conditions imposed. Because no Board member requested that these matters be brought to the full Board for review, I am now notifying the Board that I took these actions.

Summary information regarding these two schools is provided in this memorandum. Each charter school will be operated in accordance with the provisions of G.L. c. 71, § 89; 603 CMR 1.00; all other applicable state and federal laws and regulations; and such additional conditions as the Commissioner or the Board may establish, all of which shall be deemed conditions of the charter.

Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School

Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School
Type of Charter
(Commonwealth or Horace Mann)
CommonwealthLocationMarlborough, MA
Regional or Non-RegionalRegionalDistricts in Region
(if applicable)
Marlborough, Clinton, Hudson, Maynard
Year Opened2005Year(s) Renewed
(if applicable)
2010, 2015
Maximum Enrollment9662015-2016 Enrollment989 1
Grade Span in Charter6-12Current Grade Span6-12
Students on Waitlist456Current Age of School12 Years
Mission Statement
The Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School will create an atmosphere of celebration of knowledge where children of all backgrounds and abilities excel in all subjects, especially in math, science and technology, empowering them to succeed in the workplace of our modern high-tech world.

In February 2015, I notified the Board that I had renewed the charter of Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) with conditions. While the school met the renewal conditions, the Department gathered evidence indicating that AMSA has not yet fully met the Charter School Performance Criteria in the areas of school leadership and governance. In light of the evidence, I modified and extended the conditions imposed upon AMSA's charter.

Condition 1: Until further notice, AMSA must submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department), at charterschools@doe.mass.edu or 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA, 02148, board meeting agendas, materials, and minutes prior to each board meeting at the same time that these items are sent to the school's board members. Additionally, if board materials do not already include this information, the school must also submit monthly financial statements.

Condition 2: By September 30, 2016, AMSA's board of trustees will create or select an evaluation system for the executive director to ensure regular, systematic, measureable, and transparent evaluation that aligns with best practices and provides the school leader with robust supervision and evaluation.

Condition 3: By September 30, 2016, to ensure regular, systematic, measureable, and transparent evaluation that aligns with best practices and provides school leadership with robust supervision and evaluation, AMSA will create or select an evaluation system for school leadership including, but not limited to, the principal and vice principal positions.

The Department will also be monitoring AMSA's efforts around recruitment, to address the fact that based on 2015-2016 enrollment data, AMSA's enrollment has not reflected comparative rates of enrollment for English language learners (ELLs), students with disabilities, or economically disadvantaged students in similar schools in AMSA's sending districts. The Department will work with the school and then closely monitor the degree to which AMSA improves its efforts to recruit and retain a demographically comparable population to its sending district.

Collegiate Charter School of Lowell

Collegiate Charter School of Lowell
Type of Charter
(Commonwealth or Horace Mann)
Commonwealth LocationLowell, MA
Regional or Non-RegionalNon-RegionalDistricts in Region
(if applicable)
N/A
Year Opened2013Year(s) Renewed
(if applicable)
N/A
Maximum Enrollment1,2002015-2016 Enrollment 499
Grade Span in CharterK-12Current Grade SpanK-6
Students on Waitlist 17Current Age of School4 Years
Mission Statement
The mission of the Lowell Collegiate Charter School is to provide an academically rigorous and successful world-class college preparatory public educational program that enables all students, regardless of their background, to achieve their full potential, to be prepared for success in college, equipped with the ability and desire for lifelong learning, and to have developed strong civic, ethical, and moral values in a safe, caring, and rigorous environment built on a school ethos that emphasizes high behavioral and academic expectations.

In June 2015, I imposed conditions related to governance and enrollment on the charter of the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell (CCSL). Based on evidence gathered by the Department, the Department determined that the school met the conditions and the school's board of trustees had improved its governance practices. The Department will continue to monitor governance practices, and enrollment as well as demographic comparability including the school's efforts to recruit and retain a demographically comparable population to its sending district.

While the school has met the conditions and shown improvement, the Department will be monitoring CCSL efforts around recruitment, to address the fact that CCSL's population has not reflected comparative rates of enrollment for English language learners (ELLs), students with disabilities, or economically disadvantaged students in similar schools in the city of Lowell. The Department will work with the school and closely monitor the degree to which CCSL improves its efforts to recruit and retain a demographically comparable population to its sending district. Further, the Department will monitor the extent to which CCSL is enrolling students consistent with its growth plan to ensure financial viability of the school.

**************

If you have any questions regarding these matters or require additional information, please contact Alison Bagg, Director of Charter School and School Redesign (781-338-3218); Cliff Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner for Educational Options (781-338-3222); or me.

line



Last Updated: September 23, 2016
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE