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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Innovation Schools Regulations - Final Amendments to 603 CMR 48.00

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
January 13, 2012

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At the November 29, 2011 meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) voted to solicit public comment on proposed amendments to 603 CMR 48.00. The regulations as amended:

  1. Include a number of new or revised definitions;
  2. Clarify the approval process for innovation schools established by more than one district;
  3. Specify that an Innovation Schools Zone is composed of two or more innovation schools operating within a particular school district in accordance with common instructional themes, areas of focus, or other factors approved by the local school committee;
  4. Address the process for submitting revised innovation school prospectuses;
  5. Clarify that in the case of a conversion of an established program to an innovation academy, the innovation plan must include a description of the teachers to whom the innovation plan will be submitted for approval;
  6. Require sponsoring school districts to notify the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) once an innovation school has been authorized;
  7. Provide a dispute resolution mechanism for operators of authorized innovation schools when sponsoring districts fail to support an innovation plan, including the provision of autonomies and flexibilities specified in the innovation plan; and
  8. Bring the regulatory language regarding virtual innovation schools into alignment with the requirements of federal and state law regarding special education.

The Department received two comments, from the superintendent of Westport and from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, regarding the virtual schools section of the regulations. The written comments are enclosed for your information, along with a table summarizing the comments and the Department's responses. The issues raised in the comments are more appropriately addressed in the pending legislation on virtual schools rather than in these regulations.

I recommend adopting the amendments as presented.

Bridget Rodríguez, Director of Planning and Collaboration at the Executive Office of Education, and Marlon Davis, Director of our Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, will be present at the Board meeting to answer any questions.

Attachments:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Proposed Final Regulations (clean copy)
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Proposed Final Regulations (with changes tracked)
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Summary of Comments from the Public
 
Public Comments Received
 
Motion to Adopt Regulations


Last Updated: January 20, 2012
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