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Massachusetts Charter Schools

For Immediate Release
Friday, August 2, 2013
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

10 Groups Submit New Charter School Prospectuses

Proposals seek to add up to 5,200 new charter school seats in Andover, Cape Cod, Central Mass., Fall River, Fitchburg, Greater Boston, Lynn, and Springfield

MALDEN - Ten groups submitted prospectuses to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education seeking to ultimately receive approval to open new charter schools in the Commonwealth.

After reviewing the proposals submitted this week, the Department will notify in mid-September the founding groups whose prospectuses show the most promise and invite them to submit full applications, which are due on October 25, 2013.

"Massachusetts is fortunate to have many high performing charter schools that set and meet a high standard of excellence for their students and families," said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester. "For each prospectus, we'll look closely at how well the founding groups articulate their vision for delivering an outstanding educational program to students, and then invite final applications where appropriate."

For each group invited to submit a final application, their proposal will receive a comprehensive review by Department staff and external reviewers with expertise in education, business, legal and organizational structure. Commissioner Chester will then decide which finalists to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Board will vote on the Commissioner's recommendations to award new charters in February 2014.

For applicants that must demonstrate that they qualify as proven providers, an invitation to submit a final application is contingent on the Commissioner's granting of proven provider status. The determination of proven provider status will occur when the results of spring 2013 MCAS testing become available and prior to the submission deadline for final applications.

The new proposals for the 2013-2014 application cycle include 10 proposals to open Commonwealth charter schools. Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Horace Mann charter schools, of which no new proposals were received, 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.

The 2013-2014 proposals that were submitted for consideration are:

Commonwealth Charter School ProspectusesDistrict or RegionOpening YearGradesProposed Maximum Enrollment
Academy for the Whole Child Charter SchoolFitchburg2014K-5360
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolFall River20146-12644
Central Massachusetts Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics via Language Immersion Public Charter SchoolWestborough, Hopkinton, Marlborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Northborough2014K-8675
Chinese Immersion Charter School of NewtonNewton, Brookline, Waltham, Cambridge, Watertown, Weston2015K-12884
Fenix Charter SchoolLynn20145-12600
Innovation Academy Charter SchoolFall River20147-13560
Lynn Preparatory Charter SchoolLynn2014K-8360
Sea Star Charter School of Cape CodBarnstable, Dennis-Yarmouth, Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, Mashpee, Nantucket, Chatham, Nauset, Orleans, Brewster, Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet, Provincetown, Monomoy2014K-5192
Springfield Prep Charter SchoolSpringfield2015K-8486
STEAM Studio Charter School (STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Design, and Mathematics)Andover20149-12450

In January 2010, the Patrick Administration raised the charter school cap in the lowest performing school districts and made a number of changes to the charter authorizing process. The cap on district net school spending under the Achievement Gap Act is being raised from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent through incremental steps. 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 25 new charters, which at maximum enrollment will enroll nearly 12,000 students.

For more information on charter schools, visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/charter/.



Last Updated: August 2, 2013
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