The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Applications for New Charter Schools

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
January 12, 2018

By statute, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) grants charters for new charter schools at its meeting in February. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) received three Commonwealth charter school prospectuses in August 2017. The Department also received one letter of intent from the board of trustees of a network of existing Commonwealth charter schools seeking to open a third Commonwealth charter school.1 In November 2017, the Department received final applications to establish two charter schools, including an application to replicate an existing school from the board of trustees of the two current Phoenix Academy Charter Public High Schools.

This memorandum provides a preview of the charter applications currently under review and the Department's review process. The two proposed schools are listed in the table that follows. Executive summaries for each of these final applications, as prepared by the applicant groups, are attached for your review.

Proposed Charter School NameDistricts to be ServedGrade SpanMax EnrollmentProposed Opening Date
Equity Lab Charter SchoolLynn5-126402018
Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School, LawrenceLawrence, Haverhill, Methuen9-122502018

Both proposed charter schools would serve districts or regions that, based on current analysis, are among school districts performing in the lowest 10 percent of all districts on statewide assessments.

Also attached is a detailed description of the review process and the criteria for charter school applications. Briefly, the charter school final application review process includes the components that follow.

I will forward to the Board, prior to its February meeting, my recommendations for the award of new charters. In the meantime, if you have any questions on the pending applications for charter schools or the review process, please contact Alison Bagg, Director, at 781-338-3218; Cliff Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner, at 781-338-3222; or me.



Download Word Document
Description of the Charter Application Review Process
Download Word Document
Criteria for Review of Charter Applications (New Operator and Current Board of Trustees versions)
Executive Summaries of Final Applications
Download Word Document
Proposed Equity Lab Charter School Executive Summary
Download Word Document
Proposed Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School, Lawrence Executive Summary