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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Approval of Charter Amendments for Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School and Foxborough Regional Charter School

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
November 5, 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. Each of the following two schools has requested an amendment to change the districts specified in its region or the location of school facilities. These are amendment request decisions that were not delegated to me at the Board's September 2009 meeting. These two amendment requests meet the criteria defined in the regulations and I recommend them for your approval.

We received a total of seven amendment requests from schools to increase maximum enrollment and/or grades served. We are still in the process of reviewing a number of these requests. A few of these requests are connected to proposed new schools and networks or are relevant to our ongoing discussion about proven provider status. Therefore, I am postponing those recommendations until a later Board meeting.

As required by 603 CMR 1.11(5) for amendment requests that seek to change the municipality of a charter school's location and/or the districts specified in its region, comment was solicited from the superintendents of affected districts. No comments were received regarding either request.

Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School - Location of Facilities

The board of trustees of the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School (CCLH) requests approval for a relocation from Orleans to a new facility in East Harwich, an adjacent municipality. CCLH opened in 1995 and was renewed in 2000, 2005, and 2010. The school serves students from Barnstable, Bourne, Chatham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Dennis-Yarmouth, and Nauset. The school currently has 228 students in grades 6-8.

The school requests this amendment to allow the relocation of facilities to another municipality. The school already serves Harwich as part of the region specified in the school's charter. The school has leased space in a "strip mall" in Orleans for the past 16 years. The new facility is located on Route 137 in East Harwich. The facility offers an additional 5,000 square feet of space, with ample room for expansion. Situated on 9+ acres of flat land, it offers space for the creation of recreational playing fields. The school is uncertain as to the timeline for the renovation of the proposed facility. While the board of trustees is aiming for September 2011, it is more likely that the school would move in January 2012.

The school currently has no accountability status in English language arts (ELA) and has an accountability status in Mathematics of Improvement Year 1. The school has made AYP in the aggregate and in subgroups every year since 2003, except it did not make AYP in the aggregate in Mathematics in 2009 and 2010. The school's performance rating is Very High in ELA and High in Mathematics.

I recommend that the Board approve relocation for Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School, effective when renovation is complete and the school's board has determined the school is ready to move.

Foxborough Regional Charter School - Districts Specified in Region

The board of trustees of the Foxborough Regional Charter School (FRCS) requests approval for a charter amendment to change the school's region to include Easton. FRCS opened in 1998 and was renewed in 2003 and 2008. The region outlined in the charter includes Attleboro, Avon, Brockton, Canton, Foxborough, Mansfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Norton, Norwood, Plainville, Raynham, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, West Bridgewater, and Wrentham. The school currently has 1,200 students in grades K-12.

FRCS has been operating since it opened under the assumption that Easton was included in its original charter. Easton's exclusion was apparently an administrative oversight at the time the charter was first granted in 1998. In a regional charter school, students from the designated sending districts have enrollment preference over other students from around Massachusetts. Regional charter schools also must include in their charter whether or not transportation will be provided to students throughout the region, in order to qualify for reimbursement. Easton is contiguous to the current region and is actually surrounded by seven of the other towns. There is not expected to be any significant impact from correcting this oversight. The school currently enrolls nine students from Easton, with 14 on the waiting list.

The school currently has an accountability status of Improvement Year 1 in English language arts (ELA) and Mathematics. The school has made AYP in the aggregate in ELA each year from 2003 to 2010. It made AYP for subgroups in ELA each year except 2005, 2008, and 2009. The school has made AYP in the aggregate in Mathematics each year except 2008 and 2010. The school made AYP for subgroups in Mathematics in 2004, 2005, and 2007, but not in other years. The school's performance rating is High in ELA and Moderate in Mathematics.

I recommend that the Board approve a change to the Foxborough Regional Charter School charter to include Easton as part of the school's region, effective upon approval by the Board.

If you have any questions regarding these amendments or require additional information, please contact Jeff Wulfson, Associate Commissioner, at 781 338-6500, or me.



Last Updated: November 9, 2010
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