|For Immediate Release|
|Thursday, July 11, 2002|
|Contact:||Heidi B. Perlman 781-338-3106|
Information Sessions on Opening New Charter Schools to be Held
MALDEN - The first of three information sessions for applicants interested in opening new Massachusetts charter schools will be held at the Department of Education next week.
In all, 19 Commonwealth charters and 34 Horace Mann charters will be available in the 2002-2003 application cycle. Completed prospectus applications are due on September 17. Finalists will be asked to submit a full application by November 15, and the next round of five-year charters will be awarded by the Board of Education in February, 2003.
“Applying for a charter is an exciting opportunity for parents, teachers and community leaders to create a new, innovative and effective public school from scratch,” said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. “I encourage those with new ideas to bring them forward and take advantage of the expansion of the state’s charter school initiative.”
There are currently 42 charter schools (36 Commonwealth and 6 Horace Mann) in Massachusetts. This fall an additional five charter schools will open, and six more are set to open in fall, 2003. Statewide, at least 11,000 students are on waiting lists to be enrolled in charter schools.
All charter schools have the freedom to organize around a core mission, curriculum, theme or teaching method. In return, the schools must attract students and produce tangible results within five years or its charter will not be renewed.
Commonwealth charter schools operate independent of any school committee, while Horace Mann charter schools are former district public schools or part of a public school that breaks off to operate under a five-year charter. Each Horace Mann charter is approved by the local school committee, teacher’s union and the Board of Education.
All potential applicants are encouraged to attend the summertime information sessions. The schedule is:
July 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Massachusetts Department of Education. 350 Main St., 3rd floor, Malden, MA 02135
July 25, 4-6 p.m.: Robert M. Hughes Charter School, 91 School St., Springfield, MA 01105
August 1, 4-6 p.m .: Massachusetts Department of Education. 350 Main St., 3rd floor, Malden, MA 02135
The full application is available online at www.doe.mass.edu/charter. For more information, email the charter school office at firstname.lastname@example.org.