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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Applications for New Charter Schools

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Mitchell D. Chester, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:
January 18, 2013

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By statute, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) votes on the approval on new charter schools at its February meeting. The Department received 22 prospectuses in August 2012 - one for a Horace Mann charter school and 21 for Commonwealth charter schools.

Based upon the review of these prospectuses by the Department's staff and external reviewers, I invited the founding groups for 12 of the applications to submit final applications. One applicant group did not submit a final application and withdrew from the process. Eleven (11) final applications were filed by the November 14, 2012, deadline. Listed below are the 11 proposed schools.

Proposed School
Name
Districts to be ServedOpening YearGrade SpanMax Enrollment
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolFall River20145-12585
Brooke 4 Charter School*Boston2014K-8510
City on a Hill Charter Public School II*Boston20139-12280
City on a Hill Public School New Bedford*New Bedford20149-12280
International Charter School of BrocktonBrockton2014K-121200
Phoenix Charter Academy Springfield* Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee20139-12250
Pioneer Charter School of Science II*Saugus, Peabody, Lynn, Danvers, Salem20137-12360
Pioneer Charter School of Science IV*Woburn, Stoneham, Medford, Melrose, Wakefield, Saugus20147-12360
Springfield Collegiate Charter SchoolSpringfield2014K-8465
YouthBuild Academy Charter SchoolLawrence20139-12173
UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester (Horace Mann III)*Boston2013K1-8750

*Application submitted by an existing charter school board of trustees.

Executive summaries for each of these final applications, as prepared by the applicant groups, are attached for your review.

Attached you also will find a detailed description of the charter school final application review process and criteria. Briefly, the charter school final application review process includes the following components:

  • Public comment. During the current application process, public hearings were held in Brockton, Boston, Fall River, Lawrence, New Bedford, Saugus, Springfield, and Woburn in late November and early December. At least one Board member attended every hearing. Superintendents and school committees in the districts to be served by the proposed schools and all contiguous districts were also invited to submit written comments. Written comments are also accepted from members of the public. Prior to the February meeting, you will receive a compact disk containing recordings of the eight public hearings and copies of all of the written comments.
  • Review panels. Review panels, which include both internal and external reviewers, discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the final applications, and identified areas where clarification from the applicant was needed. This process helped to generate questions for the interview phase.
  • Interviews. During January, the charter school office is conducting a final interview with each applicant group.

I will forward to the Board, prior to the February 26th meeting, my recommendations for the award of new charters. In the meantime, if you have any questions on the pending applications for charter schools or the review process, please contact Jeff Wulfson, Deputy Commissioner, at 781-338-6500; Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner, at 781-338-3222; or me.

Enclosures:

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Executive Summaries of Final Applications
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Description of the Charter Application Review Process and Criteria for Review


Last Updated: January 25, 2013
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