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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Request for Major Amendment

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
Date:
November 16, 2012

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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. Section 1.11 of 603 CMR contains several criteria that the Commissioner and the Board may consider in reaching a determination regarding a school's request to amend its charter. First, "the Commissioner and the Board may consider a charter school's compliance with applicable state, federal, and local law." Second, the Commissioner and the Board may consider the evidence regarding the success of the school's academic program, the viability of the school as an organization, and the faithfulness of the school to the terms of its charter. Third, in some districts a board of trustees must be determined by the Commissioner to qualify as a "proven provider" based on the existing school and meet the performance criteria described in 603 CMR 1.05(2) in order to change the school's maximum enrollment. Fourth, schools applying to amend their maximum enrollment or grades served must address additional criteria as outlined in the technical advisory on amendments.

The board of trustees of the Match Charter Public School (Match), serving grades 6-12 in Boston, requests approval of a charter amendment to add grade 5 to its grade span. We have reviewed this request and it appears reasonable and consistent with the charter school statute and regulations. I am recommending that the Board approve the expansion request from Match at this time. The request is described in detail below, in preparation for a discussion and vote at the Board's November 27, 2012 meeting.

Match Charter Public School

The board of trustees of Match has submitted an expansion request to provide an additional year of preparation for students by serving grades 5-12. The primary reason for the school's request is that they originally designed the 6-12 grade span with a maximum enrollment of 550 students before the backfill requirements were instituted and when the school was experiencing higher attrition in grades 9-12. Now the school backfills vacancies at the middle school grades and has less attrition at the high school. As a result, to reach its 550 maximum enrollment, the school would end up with more students in grades 9-12 than the high school facility can accommodate. By adding grade 5 rather than enrolling more students in grade 6, the school stays within its maximum enrollment, it can accommodate the 550 students across the two facilities, and it has one more year to prepare students for success in high school and beyond.

Match is a Commonwealth charter school chartered in 2000 and renewed without conditions in 2005 and 2010. A selected student demographics overview, MCAS performance summary including the high needs student subgroup, and the school's request are attached.

The superintendent of the Boston Public Schools was invited to submit comment on the school's request. No comments were received.

Given the school's history of solid academic performance and recognition as a qualified proven provider by the Commissioner in 2010 and 2012; the school's accountability status as a Level 1 school with a cumulative Progress and Performance Index (PPI) of 77; and the charter school's compliance with applicable state, federal, and local law, I recommend that the Board approve the addition of grade 5 to the grades served by Match. A motion for approval is attached for your consideration.

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If you have any questions regarding this amendment or require additional information, please contact me; Jeff Wulfson, Deputy Commissioner; or Barry Barnett, Acting Assistant Director of Charter Schools, Innovation, and Redesign.

Attachments:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Match Charter Public School Selected Student Demographics
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Match Charter Public School MCAS Performance Summaries
 
Correspondence from Match Charter Public School
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Request Letter
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Request Information
 
Motion for Board action on Match Charter Public School


Last Updated: November 21, 2012
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