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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Boston Renaissance Charter Public School - Request to Modify Conditions

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
December 9, 2011

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Boston Renaissance Charter Public School

Boston Renaissance Charter Public School (BRCPS) is a Commonwealth charter school. The school opened in 1995. In 2005, the BRCPS charter was renewed with conditions regarding academic achievement and requiring a reduction in grade span from pre-kindergarten through grade twelve to pre-kindergarten through grade six. In February 2007, the school was placed on probation for failing to meet the academic achievement conditions of renewal. The probationary conditions added a requirement for the school to relocate to a facility more conducive to a school program and further reduce enrollment from 1,240 to 880 students by September 2009.

In November 2008, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) granted the school's request to extend the deadline for relocation of the school and reduction of enrollment to September 2011 and extended the school's probationary status until a renewal decision was made during the 2009-10 school year. In August 2009, BRCPS requested a second extension of the timeframe for reducing enrollment to 880 students until September 2012. In December 2009, the Board voted to renew BRCPS, continued the school's probation, and retained the requirement that the school reduce its enrollment. In December 2010, the Board voted to remove BRCPS from probation because the school had demonstrated progress in meeting the probationary conditions, but voted to keep the school on conditions. The Board voted to require BRCPS to continue reducing its enrollment according to the following terms:

Boston Renaissance Charter Public School will reduce its enrollment to 880 students by September 2012, in accordance with enrollment of no more than:

  • 944 students in September 2011 and
  • 880 students in September 2012.

Report on Conditions

BRCPS has made progress in meeting the enrollment condition. During the 2004-05 school year, BRCPS enrolled 1,430 students. According to preliminary October 1, 2011, Student Information Management System (SIMS) data, BRCPS currently enrolls 1,027 students from Boston in kindergarten through grade six. While the 2011 enrollment is 83 students over the 944 limit that the Board set, the school is making progress on meeting this condition.

Request to Modify Conditions

In August 2011, the school's board of trustees submitted a request that the Board modify the requirement for BRCPS to reduce its enrollment to 880, allowing the school to maintain an enrollment of 1,000 students. Because the original condition reduced BRCPS's chartered maximum enrollment, the school's request has the effect of asking for an additional allotment of Boston seats. Under the current net school spending (NSS) cap, however, no Boston seats are presently available. Given the lack of seats, the Department did not accept applications for new Commonwealth charter schools or requests for maximum enrollment increases from existing Commonwealth charter schools in Boston this year.

Recommendation

While there are no seats available this year, annual adjustments in the NSS cap will likely create additional seats for the 2013-14 school year. Accordingly, I am recommending that the Board approve a one-year extension of BRCPS's enrollment condition. This will allow the school to resubmit its request next year and present its reasons for the modification of the condition. Our evaluation of the request at that time will take into account both the school's recent performance trends and the other competing requests for Boston seats.

A motion to extend the deadline for the condition is enclosed.

If you have any questions regarding this amendment please contact Marlon Davis, Director of Charter Schools, Innovation, and Redesign, at 781-338-3222; Jeff Wulfson, Deputy Commissioner, at 781-338-6500; or me.

Enclosures:

Motion
Amendment request letter from BRCPS



Last Updated: December 14, 2011
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