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Salem Academy Charter Public School - Report on Condition

To:Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:December 4, 2009


The charter of Salem Academy Charter Public School (SACPS) was renewed with one condition regarding education of English language learners in February 2009. The school has met the condition imposed.

Salem Academy Charter Public School

SACPS, a Commonwealth charter school, opened in 2004. SACPS is chartered to serve grades six through twelve with a maximum enrollment of 308. In 2008-09, SACPS serves 291 students in grades six through twelve. The school opened with grades six and seven and expanded its grade levels each year; 2008-09 is the first year it has operated with its full six through twelve grade span.

The school's mission is "to educate the diverse student population of Salem and the surrounding communities. Through a unique integration of college preparatory classes with service to the community, the school will graduate informed, articulate, and proactive individuals of strong character."

Condition Regarding English Language Learners

The following condition was imposed at renewal in February 2009:

By September 15, 2009 the school will establish and operate a program of English language learner education in a manner consistent with the requirements of General Laws Chapter 71A. The school will demonstrate meeting this condition by fully implementing all elements of the Corrective Action Plan as approved by the Department on October 10, 2008.

This condition has been met. On October 16, 2009, a federal programs specialist from the Charter School Office conducted an onsite visit to observe the school's English language learner (ELL) program. The visit included an interview with the head of school and ELL coordinator; classroom observations of one English language development class and four sheltered English immersion (SEI) classes; a five member teacher focus group; review of ten ELL student records; verification that the ELL development teacher is licensed; review of the school's ELL Procedures for Educating English Language Learners; review of the school's 2009-10 school year ELL professional development schedule; and an exit meeting with the executive director, head of school and ELL coordinator.

The school's ELL procedures manual includes a description of how the school identifies and assesses potential English language learners, and a description of the school's ELL program. The school developed an ELL Student Record Review Checklist to verify that ELL student records are complete. Classroom observations verified that SEI instruction, including both English language development and sheltered content instruction, are provided to eligible English language learners. The school has contracted with an ELL consultant to provide one to two follow-up workshops during the winter of 2010, in conjunction with the ELL coordinator, to support teachers in implementing SEI in their classrooms. SACPS has a qualified MELA-O trainer (QMT) - Category III training, to train additional faculty during the 2009-2010 school year. SACPS professional development includes a plan to send members of the English language arts team to Category IV training during the 2001-2010 school year. The ELL student records contained the required elements.

All elements of the school's corrective action plan, documented through additional progress reports submitted to the DESE in February 2009, were fully approved by the Department's Program Quality Assurance unit on July 21, 2009.

Last Updated: December 8, 2009
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