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For Immediate Release
Friday, November 1, 2013
Contact:JC Considine 781-338-3112

Five Public Hearings Scheduled on Six 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 six charter school final applications.

Charter school founding groups that submitted a final application for a Massachusetts public charter school will undergo a rigorous review process over the next three months. The public hearings represent an opportunity for interested parties to provide feedback on the finalists. 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 at each hearing.

In addition to the hearings, members of the public can submit written comments through January 3, 2014, to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Charter School Office, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to charterschools@doe.mass.edu.

Public hearings will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the following locations:

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013 – Fitchburg

    Fitchburg Public Library, Auditorium, 610 Main Street, Fitchburg

  • Friday, November 15, 2013 – Fall River

    Fall River City Hall, City Council Chamber, 1 Government Center, Fall River

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – Lynn

    Lynn City Hall, City Council Chamber, 4th Floor, Lynn

  • Thursday, November 21, 2013 – Andover

    Memorial Hall Library, Meeting Room, 2 North Main Street, Andover

  • Monday, November 25, 2013 – Springfield

    Springfield Central Library, Community Room, 220 State Street, Springfield

The final application process includes a rigorous 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 the Department. 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 for consideration and vote at its February 2014 meeting.

The founders of seven proposed charter schools were invited to submit final applications during the 2013-14 application cycle. The invitation to submit a final application for six of the seven applicant groups was contingent on the Commissioner's granting of proven provider status. One applicant, the proposed Lynn Preparatory Charter School, did not demonstrate that it met proven provider qualification requirements, and therefore was not invited to submit a final application this year.

The six proposed charter schools that submitted final applications are:

Commonwealth Charter School ProspectusesDistrict or RegionOpening
Year
GradesProposed
Maximum
Enrollment
Academy for the Whole Child Charter SchoolFitchburg2014K-4278
Argosy Collegiate Charter SchoolFall River20146-12644
Fenix Charter SchoolLynn20145-12600
New Heights Charter School of Fall River (formerly the Innovation Academy Charter School)Fall River20146-13800
Springfield Prep Charter SchoolSpringfield2015K-8486
STEAM Studio Charter SchoolAndover20149-12450

In addition to the six final applications, the Department will consider amendment requests from 10 existing Commonwealth charter schools in the upcoming months that involve changes to the districts served, the grades served, and/or the maximum enrollment allowed. The Department will consider the two amendments – one from Atlantis Charter School in Fall River to increase its maximum enrollment by 605 seats, the other from KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School in Lynn to add grades K-4 and increase its maximum enrollment by 647 seats – on the same timeline as the six new applicants. The public is invited to submit written comments regarding any of the proposed charter amendments to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Charter School Office, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to charterschools@doe.mass.edu. Information on all 10 proposed charter amendments is available online at http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=7643.

For more on charter schools, go to www.doe.mass.edu/charter.



Last Updated: November 1, 2013
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