Commissioner to Recommend New Charters in Lynn & Worcester- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

Commissioner to Recommend New Charters in Lynn & Worcester

Lynn Preparatory and Spirit of Knowledge Charter Schools Would Open in 2010

MALDEN - Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester will recommend that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education grant two new charters next week to groups seeking to open schools in Lynn and Worcester.

Commissioner Chester plans to recommend approval of charters for the Lynn Preparatory Charter School, which aims to serve 250 students in grades K-8, and the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School, which aims to serve 275 students in grades 7-12 in Worcester. Spirit of Knowledge was a finalist in the 2008-2009 application cycle and submitted an updated application before becoming a finalist this year.

"I am confident that these two charter schools both have the potential to succeed and to serve their students well," said Chester. "Both proposed schools met the necessary criteria established in the application process and present unique visions for ways to set high academic standards and close achievement gaps."

Lynn Preparatory Charter School (LPCS) will be an academically rigorous K-8 school that offers standards-based and co-curricular programs and establishes a school-family-community partnership to promote student citizenship and foster reforms. LPCS plans to open for grades K-6 with an enrollment of 196 students in fall 2010, and expand to full capacity in its third year.

Spirit of Knowledge Charter School's (SOKCS) curriculum will be based on high-standards academic learning, subject-specific, multi-year courses that span grades 7-12, and a focus on intensive math, science, and technology. SOKCS plans to open for grades 7-9 with an enrollment of 156 students in fall 2010, and expand to full capacity in its fourth year.

Founders of eight of 14 proposed charter schools during the 2009-2010 cycle were invited to submit final applications for consideration in September 2009. The eight finalists included: Discovery Charter School of Sustainability in Franklin County; Hanlin International Academy Charter School in Quincy; Housatonic River Charter School in Berkshire County; Leaders of Tomorrow Charter Public School in Worcester; Lynn Preparatory School; Rediscovery Academy Charter School; Road to Success Charter High School in Lynn, Peabody, and Salem; and Spirit of Knowledge Academy Charter School. Two schools, Rediscovery Academy and Housatonic River, withdrew their applications during the finalist stage.

Finalists went through a multi-step review process that included public hearings in the areas where the schools were proposed to be located, a rigorous review of the final application by a panel review team, a lengthy public comment process and in-person interviews. Founders of schools that did not receive a favorable recommendation will receive feedback on their applications and be invited to reapply during the 2010-2011 application cycle.

The Board will vote on Commissioner Chester's recommendation at its monthly Board meeting on Tuesday, February 23.

Last Updated: February 18, 2010

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