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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Approval of Charter Amendment for KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School

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

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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. KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School (KIPP) requests an amendment to increase its maximum enrollment and grades served. The authority to approve this amendment request was not delegated to me at the Board's September 2009 meeting. This amendment request meets the criteria defined in the regulations.

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 superintendent in the school district served by the charter school. The Department did not receive comment from the Superintendent of Lynn Public School District.

Amendment Request

The board of trustees of KIPP requests approval for a charter amendment to increase the school's maximum enrollment from 320 to 850 students, an increase of 530 students. KIPP also requests approval to change the school's grade span from 5-8 to 5-12. The school opened in 2004 and was renewed in 2009. KIPP serves students from Lynn and is fully enrolled with more than 320 students. Pre-enrollment data indicates a waiting list of 172 students.

The Department conducted an analysis of seats remaining in Lynn under the 9% net school spending cap which shows approximately 933 available seats. The Department reserves approximately 25% of available seats to allow for fluctuations in net school spending, leaving 700 available seats. KIPP has indicated that approving an enrollment increase of 430 students would allow the school to expand to a high school and still increase students served per grade. In turn, this would allow room for the possibility of an additional charter school to serve Lynn students. In the 2009-2010 application cycle for new charter schools, two applicant groups who propose to serve Lynn have been invited to submit final applications.

The proposed plan for an increase in maximum enrollment will take effect in fall 2010. In fall 2011, high school expansion will begin with 9th grade and the school will add an additional fifth-grade class. Expansion will take place over multiple years until full capacity and grade span is reached.

KIPP has a demonstrated track record of academic achievement and has a strong demand for seats. The school proposes that expanding the school's grade span would allow a continuation of successful support for students through high school.

The school currently 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, with the exception of last year in mathematics in the special education subgroup. The school's performance rating is high in both ELA and mathematics.

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 430 students and a change in grade span from 5-8 to 5-12 for KIPP Academy Lynn 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 KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School



Last Updated: December 8, 2009
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