|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, October 16, 2003|
|Contact:||Heidi Perlman, 781-338-3105 or Kim Beck 781-338-3106|
Charters Awarded to Founders of Five New Charter Schools; 11 Others Renewed
Boston - Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey today awarded five new charter schools with their charters that were approved by the Board of Education earlier this year.
“Providing a top-notch education to all children in the Commonwealth is a top priority for the Romney/Healey Administration,” Healey said. “Charter schools provide an excellent education option for students and we are very pleased with the success that they’ve shown.”
Charter schools are public schools that are given the freedom to organize their activities around a core mission, curriculum, or teaching method and set their own budgets and staffs. They were created to increase student achievement, give parents more educational choices, develop best practices and be held accountable for results. A charter school must demonstrate positive results within five years or lose its charter.
Healey said the five new charter schools are:
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter School is a regional school, which will serve several communities including Adams-Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, Mount Greylock, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown. The mission of the school is to integrate the study of arts and technology with core subjects to promote master of academic skills and content. The school will open in 2004 for students in grades 6 through 12.
Boston Preparatory Charter School will serve students from Dorchester and Mattapan in grades 6 through 12. The school’s mission focuses on high academic achievement, personal growth and ethics. The school is scheduled to open in 2004.
Excel Academy Charter School is a regional school, serving students from East Boston and Chelsea in grades 6 through 8. The school will prepare students to be successful in high school and college by providing tutoring and academic enrichment based on students’ individual strengths, needs and interests. The school opened September 2003 in East Boston. Excel Academy Charter School opened in September 2003.
Hill View Montessori Charter School of Haverhill will serve students in grades 1 through 8. Students will be challenged with a curriculum that effectively aligns, merges and consolidates the Montessori curriculum, the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the Hill View Montessori Learning Objectives to ensure that all students meet rigorous academic, personal and social achievement objectives. The school is scheduled to open in 2004.
Salem Academy Charter School will open in 2004 with a class of 88 sixth and seventh grade students and will add a grade every year through grade 12. The school will provide a standards-based, college-preparatory curriculum to ensure that all students perform at or above grade level.
“Charter schools have played a key role in the success of education reform in our state and I am confident that these schools will be no different,” said Education Commissioner David Driscoll. “Charter schools give our parents public school options and generate ideas and innovations that traditional public schools can use to ultimately benefit every student.”
Healey also announced the renewal of charters for 11 existing charter schools. These were approved by the Board of Education during fiscal year 2003.
Abby Kelley Foster Charter School
Boston Evening Academy Charter School
Champion Charter School
Health Careers Academy Charter School
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School
New Leadership Charter School
Rising Tide Charter School
River Valley Charter School
Sabis Foxboro Charter School
South Boston Harbor Academy Charter School
Sturgis Charter School.
The charter school movement in Massachusetts has grown rapidly since the first 15 charters were granted in 1994. Today there are 50 existing schools serving more than 19,000 students, with an additional 13,000 others on waiting lists. Once new charter schools open, Massachusetts will have a total of 55 charter schools.
For more information on charter schools, look online at www.doe.mass.edu.