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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Report on Conditions for Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
February 16, 2011

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In January 2010, the Board renewed the charter of Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS) with one condition regarding education of special education students. The school has met the condition imposed.

LMACS is a Commonwealth charter school located in Lowell. The school opened in 1995 and is chartered to serve grades nine through twelve with a maximum enrollment of 150. In 2010-11, LMACS serves 108 students. LMACS exclusively enrolls students ranging in age from 16 to 21 who have left their district high school prior to graduation. LMACS aims to provide a second chance to students who have accumulated very few high school credits, those who face ongoing obstacles to regular school attendance, and those who confront personal challenges.

The school's mission statement is:

"The mission of Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School (LMACS) is to enable its students to achieve academic, social, and career success. This supportive school community identifies, encourages and develops interests and abilities, while acknowledging and respecting each student's personal and cultural identity."

Condition Regarding Academic Performance

The following condition was imposed in January 2010:

By September 1, 2010 the school will establish and operate a special education program in a manner consistent with the requirements of General Laws chapter 71B. The school will demonstrate that it has met this condition through, at a minimum, an inspection visit conducted by the charter school office.

Pursuant to the Board's directive, representatives from the Department's Charter School Office (CSO) visited LMACS on December 7, 2010. LMACS is now operating in a manner consistent with federal and state special education laws and regulations. Below are the findings from the CSO's visit to the school.

  • LMACS increased staffing for the special education program and a resource room placement is available to students as required.
  • The special education program coordinator has additional capacity to perform administrative duties that ensure the timely and accurate execution of required special education documentation and notices.
  • LMACS now contracts with outside experts who are available to provide a full array of individualized assessments for students as needed.
  • The school's special education coordinator attended the Special Education Administrator Summer Institute in 2010.
  • LMACS has added a licensed, well-qualified special education teacher who has experience working with and assessing students that have behavioral challenges. With the addition of this teacher, the school is now able to implement fully Individual Education Plans that call for supported inclusion services in the general education classroom.
  • LMACS has modified common planning time to allow the special education teacher to review lesson plans in advance of instruction for any modifications needed by special education students.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Barry Barnett, Interim Director of Charter Schools; Jeff Wulfson, Associate Commissioner; or me.



Last Updated: February 24, 2011
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