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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Meeting: October 1, 2010

Agenda Item: Gloucester Community Arts Charter School

MOVED: that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, in accordance with General Laws chapter 71, section 89, and 603 CMR 1.13(4), hereby place the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School (GCACS) on probation until December 21, 2010, and direct GCACS to meet the following terms of probation, as recommended by the Commissioner:

  1. By November 24, 2010, GCACS must obtain approval by the Attorney General's Office (AGO) of a compliance plan addressing the school's violations of G.L. c. 149, §§ 44A-44M; G.L. c. 7, § 38A½-38O; and G.L. c. 149, § 44(E)(4), as described in the AGO's letters of September 15, 2010 and September 22, 2010. As indicated by the AGO in its letter dated September 22, 2010, such plan must address at a minimum bids on remaining construction work, a promise of and actual compliance with the public construction bidding and prevailing wage laws, a commitment to file frequent reports with the AGO regarding such compliance, a training plan for the school's administrators and board of trustees regarding public construction bidding laws and procurement of goods and services, an amendment to the school's current lease to ensure that the school's landlords are bound by the school's obligations under its compliance plan, and any other remedial measures as required by the AGO.

  2. On or before October 15, 2010, GCACS must address directly with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) the procurement of a contract with FHO Partners LLC and the procurement of a lease with Cape Ann Medical Office Building, LLC. These issues were raised by the OIG in a September 17, 2010 letter to the Commissioner. GCACS must provide to the Charter School Office a copy of all such communications to and from the OIG within a reasonable period of time, and no later than 48 hours after such communications are sent or received.

  3. GCACS must register for and participate in the Charter School Procurement program offered by the Office of the Inspector General in November 2010.

  4. GCACS must register for and participate in the first available program offered by the Office of the Inspector General for the Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official Program, specifically for Public Contracting Overview, Supplies and Services Contracting, and Design and Construction Contracting.

  5. On or before October 15, 2010, GCACS must submit to the Charter School Office an updated budget and cash flow statement for fiscal year 2011, reflecting the number of enrolled students as of October 1, 2010. GCACS must also submit its October 1 SIMS report no later than October 15, 2010. GCACS must submit additional updates as required by the Charter School Office.

  6. On or before October 8, 2010, GCACS must submit to the Charter School Office an updated school leadership plan, identifying how the duties previously assigned to the "director of education," its head of school, will be managed during the current year.

  7. On or before October 8, 2010, GCACS must submit a revised school calendar and a transportation plan to the Charter School Office for approval, such calendar and transportation plan having been adopted by the school's board of trustees. Such school calendar must include no less than 185 school days, allowing five days for possible closing due to snow days or other exigencies, and GCACS must provide at least 180 school days for its students.

  8. GCACS must establish and provide to the Charter School Office a schedule through at least December 2010 of regular meetings of its board of trustees to occur no less frequently than every other week. GCACS must provide the Charter School Office with notice, including an agenda, of all meetings of its board of trustees at the same time it gives such notice pursuant to the open meeting law. GCACS must provide minutes of all such meetings to the Charter School Office within a reasonable period of time and in any event no later than 48 hours after such minutes are prepared. In providing such minutes, GCACS should note whether the board of trustees has approved the minutes and, if not, should provide an approved copy within a reasonable period of time and in any event no later than 48 hours after such minutes are approved.

  9. By November 24, 2010, to strengthen its membership, the board of trustees of GCACS must recruit and submit to the Charter School Office for approval new members with expertise in public administration, finance, real estate, and law. GCACS must notify the Charter School Office within a reasonable period of time but in any event no later than 48 hours after a member of the board of trustees resigns or otherwise leaves the school's board of trustees.

  10. The board of trustees and school leadership of GCACS must participate in trainings regarding the state ethics law, the public records law, and the open meeting law. By November 24, 2010, GCACS must provide to the Charter School Office an outline of that training, the identity and expertise of the trainers, and the records of attendance.

  11. GCACS promptly and effectively must communicate with the Charter School Office regarding any and all significant matters within a reasonable period of time but in any event no later than 48 hours after the occurrence. GCACS must report to the Charter School Office any and all communications made or received by or on behalf of the school with any government audit, investigative, or law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time of that communication but in any event no later than 48 hours after the communication. GCACS must copy the Charter School Office on such written communications sent by or on behalf of the school and send a copy of all such written communications received by or on behalf of the school within a reasonable period of time but in any event no later than 48 hours after the communication. GCACS must provide a report and copies to the Charter School Office of all such communications that occurred prior to its probation no later than October 8, 2010.

  12. GCACS must report all changes in staff to the Charter School Office within a reasonable period of time of knowledge of the change but in any event no later than 48 hours after knowledge of the change.

  13. In addition to meeting the terms of probation, GCACS, like all charter schools, must also comply with the terms of its charter. The Commissioner shall review and report to the Board on GCACS's success or lack of success in meeting the terms of probation and its charter and, based on his review, shall recommend such further action as he deems appropriate.



    Last Updated: September 30, 2010
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