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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Approval of Charter Amendment for Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:February 12, 2010

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Pursuant to the Charter School Regulations, 603 CMR 1.11(1), the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) must approve major changes in the material terms of a school's charter. Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) requests an amendment to increase its maximum enrollment and grades served. This type of charter amendment must be approved by the Board; it is not covered by the authority delegated to me at the Board's September 2009 meeting. This amendment request meets the criteria defined in the regulations and was submitted in a timely manner for action with renewal. Through an oversight, we did not bring the amendment to the Board at the January meeting in the context of renewal of the school's charter.

As required by 603 CMR 1.11(5), for requests that seek an increase in maximum enrollment and grades served, comment was solicited from the superintendents in the school districts served by the charter school. Superintendent comment will be provided to you prior to the February meeting.

Amendment Request

The board of trustees of AMSA requests approval for a charter amendment to increase the school's maximum enrollment from 828 to 966 students, an increase of 138 students. AMSA also requests approval to change the school's grade span from 6-11 to 6-12. The school opened in 2005 and the charter was renewed in January 2010. AMSA is chartered to serve students from Clinton, Hudson, Marlborough, and Maynard, and in addition to those districts, pre-enrollment data indicated enrollment from 57 additional districts and a waiting list of 87 students.

The changes requested by AMSA were first proposed in the school's original charter application. When the charter was granted in 2005, the proposed growth plan for the five-year term of the charter showed the school reaching its current maximum enrollment and grade 11. Now the school has been in operation for five years, the charter has been renewed, and 11th graders at the school are ready to move up to grade 12. Consequently, the board of trustees requests the addition of grade 12 as originally proposed, as well as the additional 138 students, completing the full enrollment plan as originally proposed.

AMSA has a demonstrated track record of academic performance, has no accountability status in either English language arts (ELA) or mathematics, and has made Adequate Yearly Progress in the aggregate and for subgroups in both ELA and mathematics in all years. In 2009, the school's composite performance index (CPI) in English language arts (ELA) was 98.1 and in mathematics it was 93. The school's performance rating is Very High in both ELA and mathematics, and it has reached the NCLB goal for proficiency in ELA.

Commissioner's Recommendation

The Department has reviewed this request and it appears reasonable and consistent with the charter school statute and regulations. I recommend that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approve an enrollment increase of 138 students and a change in grade span from 6-11 to 6-12 for Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School.

If you have questions regarding this amendment request or require additional information, please contact Jeff Wulfson, Associate Commissioner, at 781 338-6500; Mary Street, Director of Charter Schools, at 781 338-3200; or me.

Enclosures:

Correspondence from Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School



Last Updated: February 19, 2010
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