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For Immediate Release
Monday, November 9, 2015
Contact:Jacqueline Reis 781-338-3115

Five Public Hearings Scheduled on Five Charter School Final Applications

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that it has scheduled five public hearings in the coming weeks to invite community members to comment on this year's five final applications for new charter schools.

The final applications will undergo a rigorous review process over the next three months, including a review of the written final application by a review team, an interview of the applicant group, public hearings in the areas where schools are proposed to be located and a review of public comments submitted to ESE. Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester will then review all of the materials and make final recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which will consider the recommendations and potentially vote to grant charters in February 2016.

The founders of seven proposed charter schools were invited to submit final applications during the 2015-16 application cycle. The applicants for one of those, the proposed Weetumuw Wôpanâak Charter School, which would have been a Commonwealth charter, decided to not to pursue a charter at this time. Additionally, the board of trustees of Hampden Charter School of Science will pursue their proposed replication of a Commonwealth charter school in a future charter application cycle.

The five proposed charter schools that submitted final applications are:

Proposed Commonwealth Charter SchoolsDistrict or RegionOpening YearGradesProposed Maximum EnrollmentApplication **Budget
Central Square Public Charter School*Lynn20175-12640Download PDF DocumentDownload PDF Document
size: 4.0MB
  Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 2.0MB
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
International Academy of Montachusett Charter SchoolFitchburg, Leominster, Clinton, North Middlesex Regional, Wachusett Regional2016K-121,168Download PDF DocumentDownload PDF Document
size: 21.4MB
  Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 18.6MB
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Libertas Academy Charter School*Springfield20176-12630Download PDF DocumentDownload PDF Document
size: 3.3MB
  Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 2.9MB
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
New Heights Charter School of Brockton*Brockton, Taunton, Randolph20166-12735Download PDF DocumentDownload PDF Document
size: 5.6MB
  Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 13.7MB
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolBrimfield, Brookfield, Dudley-Charlton, Holland, Monson, Sturbridge, Palmer, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield, Tantasqua, Quaboag, Spencer-East Brookfield, Southbridge2016K-8360Download PDF DocumentDownload PDF Document
size: 11.6MB
  Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 15.0MB
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document

*Indicates that this proposed charter school would serve a district or region that, based on current analysis, is among the lowest performing 10 percent in the state.

** Please note, due to the large size of the files, it may take some time to download.

A provision of the 2010 Achievement Gap Act requires that at least two Commonwealth charters be awarded in districts or regions identified as performing in the lowest 10 percent before any additional Commonwealth charters may be awarded. Horace Mann charters, which require the approval of the local school committee, are not constrained by this requirement. Three of the five applicants propose to serve a district or region identified as performing in the lowest 10 percent of districts.

Public hearings will be held from 4-6 p.m. in the following locations:

SpringfieldTuesday, December 1, 2015
Springfield Public Library, Brightwood Branch
359 Plainfield St., Springfield
BrocktonThursday, December 3, 2015
Massasoit Community College, Conference Center
770 Crescent St., Brockton
SturbridgeMonday, December 7, 2015
Tantasqua High School Auditorium
319 Brookfield Road, Fiskdale
LynnTuesday, December 8, 2015
Lynn City Hall, Council Chamber
3 City Hall Square, 4th Floor, Lynn
This hearing date has been rescheduled from 11/23 to 12/8 due to unforeseen circumstances at the Lynn City Hall
FitchburgThursday, December 10, 2015
Fitchburg Public Library, Auditorium
610 Main Street, Fitchburg

The public hearings are an opportunity for interested parties to provide feedback on the applications. At least one member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will attend each hearing and report back to the full Board on the public testimony provided.

Members of the public can also submit written comments about the final applications through January 6, 2016 to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Charter School Office, 75 Pleasant St., Malden MA 02148 or charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

About charter schools: Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Horace Mann charter schools are developed and operated in close cooperation with the host school district and require approval of the local school committee. Charter schools are open to all Massachusetts students, with enrollment preference given to students in the district or region where the school is located. For more information on charter schools, visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/.

About the charter cap: In January 2010, the Achievement Gap Act raised the charter school cap in the lowest performing school districts and made a number of changes to the charter authorizing process. Under that law, the cap on district net school spending is rising in incremental steps from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent. The cap lift only applies to districts where academic performance is in the lowest 10 percent of the state as measured by MCAS. Applicants under the cap lift must have a proven track record of success in increasing academic achievement and must commit to working with a diverse population of students.

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Last Updated: November 9, 2015
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