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Massachusetts Charter Schools

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Contact:Jacqueline Reis 781-338-3115

Founders of 4 Proposed Charter Schools to Submit Full Applications

MALDEN - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today invited the founders of three proposed Commonwealth charter schools to move to the next stage of the 2016-17 charter school application process and submit a full application. In addition, a proposal to create a charter school network by opening another school under an existing board of trustees will move to the final application stage under a one-stage process for eligible, existing charter school boards of trustees.

"I appreciate the hard work each of the applicant groups has done to get to this point," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "I will ensure that the final applications are rigorously reviewed. We will hold public hearings and consider public input before I decide whether to recommend a charter for any of the proposals."

Final applications are due back to ESE by November 1, 2016. Once applications are received, ESE staff and external review panelists with expertise in education, business, law and governance will review and evaluate each of the proposals. In addition, ESE will hold public hearings in the areas where the founding groups propose to open a school. The Department will also conduct a review of any public comment submitted. Commissioner Chester will then review all of the materials and make his recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on awarding new charters. The Board will vote at its February 2017 meeting.

In July, five applicant groups submitted prospectuses in the hopes of opening a new charter school. The Department also received one letter of intent to apply for an additional charter from the board of trustees of the Hampden Charter School of Science, which operates a Commonwealth charter school serving students in grades 6–12 from Chicopee, Ludlow, Springfield and West Springfield. Hampden Charter School of Science would like to open a second Commonwealth charter school that would serve students in grades 6–12 from Agawam, Holyoke and Westfield.

The applicant groups invited to submit full applications are:

Name of Proposed Charter SchoolProposed District or RegionProposed Grade SpanProposed Maximum EnrollmentProposed Opening YearFinal Application
Equity Lab Charter SchoolLynn5–126402017Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 2.0 MB
  Application
Download MS EXCEL Document  Budget
Hampden Charter School of Science IIHolyoke, Westfield, Agawam6–125602017Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 3.6 MB
  Application
Download MS EXCEL Document  Budget
Map Academy Charter SchoolPlymouth, Carver, Wareham Competency-based high school model for students between the ages of 15 and 232502017Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 15.7 MB
  Application
Download MS EXCEL Document  Budget
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolSturbridge, Brimfield, Brookfield, Holland, Monson, North Brookfield, Palmer, Southbridge, Spencer-East Brookfield, Wales, Webster K–83602017Download MS WORD DocumentDownload MS WORD Document
size: 11.4 MB
  Application
Download MS EXCEL Document  Budget

The state charter school statute requires that not less than two Commonwealth charters be awarded that serve a district or composite region identified as performing in the lowest 10 percent of the state before any additional Commonwealth charters may be awarded by the Board. Three of the applicant groups invited to submit a final application — Equity Lab, Hampden II and Old Sturbridge Academy — fall into that category.

The Department will announce the schedule of public hearings on the proposals after receiving the full applications.

Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Charter schools are open to all Massachusetts students, with enrollment preference given to students in the district or region where the school is located. There are 78 operating charter schools in Massachusetts, and they collectively serve more than 40,000 students. For more information on charter schools, visit Massachusetts Charter Schools.



Last Updated: September 20, 2016
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