|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, August 3, 2015|
|Contact:||Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115|
10 Groups Seek to Open New Charter Schools, 19 Schools Apply to Serve More Students
Three more groups say they will submit proposals for schools this fall
MALDEN - The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received proposals last week from groups seeking to open new charter schools as well as requests from existing charter schools to serve more students.
The Department received prospectuses from 10 applicant groups seeking to open and operate new charter schools. In mid-September, ESE will invite the new school applicant groups whose prospectuses show the most promise to submit full applications.
The Department also received three letters of intent from groups planning to apply this fall to add a school to an existing charter school network or to create a network by adding a school. In early September, ESE will notify those three as to whether they are eligible to participate in the one-stage process and submit a final application.
In addition, 19 charter schools applied to expand their enrollment, including eight asking for 100 or more new seats.
"Massachusetts' charter schools are some of the best in the nation and present a promising opportunity to improve the overall quality of public education and the lives of the children who attend," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Increasing access to high-quality education is essential, especially for families in underperforming districts, if we are to ensure that every child, regardless of zip code or income, has the ability to attend a great school and realize their full potential."
"I am pleased to see such a wide range of applications from across the Commonwealth," said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester. "Massachusetts has a rigorous approval process, and my department will review each of these applications carefully before deciding which to advance to the next level."
Final applications will be due Nov. 4, 2015, and ESE staff and external reviewers with expertise in education, finance, the law, and organizational structure will review each final application. Commissioner Chester will then decide which finalists to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Board will vote on the commissioner's recommendations in February 2016.
In school districts performing in the lowest 10 percent statewide and in which the 9 percent net school spending charter cap is or would be exceeded, applications will be considered only from proven providers (a designation that is based on the performance criteria described in 603 CMR 1.04(4)). For applicants who must demonstrate that they qualify as proven providers, an invitation to submit a final application will be contingent on the commissioner's granting of proven provider status.
The prospectuses that were submitted for consideration are:
|Proposals to Start a New Commonwealth Charter School||District or Regions||Proposed Grade Span||Proposed Maximum Enrollment||Opening Year|
|Central Square Public Charter School||Lynn||5-12||640||2017|
|New Bedford Cheironeum, a Commonwealth Charter School||New Bedford||6-12||1,008||2017|
|Massachusetts Biotechnology Charter School||Auburn, Berlin-Boylston, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Northbridge, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Wachusett, West Boylston, Worcester||6-12||936||2016|
|Great River Community Charter School||Medford, Everett, Arlington, Cambridge, Winchester||K-8||436||2017|
|International Academy of Montachusett Charter School||Wachusett Regional, Fitchburg, Leominster, Clinton, North Middlesex Regional||K-12||1,168||2016|
|International Academy of Western Massachusetts Charter School||Chicopee, Springfield||K-12||1,570||2017|
|Libertas Preparatory Charter School||Springfield||6-12||630||2017|
|New Heights Charter School of Brockton||Brockton, Taunton, Randolph||6-12||735||2016|
|Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public School||Brimfield, Brookfield, Dudley-Charlton, Holland, Monson, Sturbridge, Palmer, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield, Tantasqua, Quaboag, Spencer-East Brookfield, Southbridge||K-8||360||2016|
|Weetumuw Wôpanâak Charter School||Barnstable, Bourne, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, Monomoy, Nauset, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro||K-8||265||2016|
|Letter of Intent to Add a Charter School to an Existing Network ||District or Regions||Proposed Grade Span||Proposed Maximum Enrollment||Opening Year|
|Brooke Charter High School||Boston||9-12||601||2016|
|Hampden Charter School of Science - Holyoke||Holyoke, Westfield and Agawam||6-12||560||2016|
|UP Academy Charter School of Boston - 2016||Boston||PreK-5, PreK-8 or 6-8||1000||2016|
Requests to Expand an Existing Charter School by More Than 100 Seats:
|Existing Charter School||Current District or Regions||Current Grade Span||Current Maximum Enrollment||Proposed Amendment to Charter|
|Boston Preparatory Charter Public School||Boston||6-12||400||Increase maximum enrollment by 520 seats; Add grade 5|
|Brooke Charter School Roslindale; Brooke Charter School Mattapan; Brooke Charter School East Boston||Boston, Chelsea||K-8 each||510 each||Increase maximum enrollment by 659 Boston and 52 Chelsea seats; Add grades 9-12; consolidation into one K-12|
|Global Learning Charter Public School||New Bedford||5-12||500||Increase maximum enrollment by 100 seats|
|Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public School||Boston||6-8||216||Increase maximum enrollment by 275; Add grades 5 and 9-12|
|KIPP Academy Boston Public Charter School||Boston||K-8||588||Increase maximum enrollment by 588; Add grades K1 and 9-12|
|Neighborhood House Charter School||Boston||PK-8||400||Increase maximum enrollment by 428 seats; Add grades 9-12|
|Pioneer Charter of Science||Chelsea, Everett, and Revere||7-12||360||Increase maximum enrollment by 420, Add grades K-6|
|South Shore Charter Public School||Abington, Braintree, Brockton, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Quincy, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth, and Whitman||K-12||610||Increase maximum enrollment by 890|
Many existing charter schools applied to add fewer than 100 seats. Those schools are: Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford, Boston Collegiate Charter School, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, Bridge Boston Charter School, City on a Hill Charter Public School Dudley Square in Boston, City on a Hill Charter Public School Circuit Street in Boston, Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Community Charter School of Cambridge, Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley, and Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston.
When deciding whether to allow a school to amend its charter to expand, the commissioner and Board consider 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. If seeking an increase in maximum enrollment, charter schools in some districts must also qualify as proven providers.
The commissioner and Board will also consider comment solicited from the superintendents within each charter schools' proposed district or region. Members of the public may also submit written comments regarding a school's amendment request to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a result of the 2010 Achievement Gap Act, the cap on district net school spending on charter school tuition is rising through incremental steps from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent. The cap lift only applies to districts with academic performance in the lowest 10 percent as measured by MCAS, and applicants under the cap lift must have a proven track record of success in increasing academic attainment and commit to working with a diverse population of students. Since February 2011, the Board has awarded 29 new charters, which at maximum enrollment will enroll over 13,000 students.
For more information on charter schools, visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/.
For a copy of a prospectus or expansion request, please send an email to email@example.com.