The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Charter Schools - Report on Action Taken for Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
September 15, 2017

The charter school regulations state that the "Board or Commissioner may impose conditions on a school's charter for violations of law or failure to make progress with student achievement, failure to adhere to and enhance its recruitment and retention plan, failure to comply with the terms of its charter, or failure to remain viable." 603 CMR 1.12.

On July 26, 2017, I notified the Board that I intended to place conditions upon the charter of Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School (PFSJCS) related to governance and organizational viability. Because no Board member requested that these matters be brought to the full Board, I imposed the conditions on the charter of PFSJCS. I have attached the memorandum, dated July 26, 2017, for reference.

Additionally, PFSJCS has submitted its application for renewal of a public school charter. The school will undergo a renewal inspection visit this fall, and evidence related to the school's performance will be presented to the Board along with my renewal recommendation later this year. During that time, I will provide an update on the school's progress related to the conditions.

Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School
Type of CharterCommonwealthLocationHolyoke
Regional or Non-RegionalRegionalDistricts in RegionChicopee, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley, West Springfield, and Westfield
Year Opened2013Year(s) RenewedN/A
Maximum Enrollment500Current Enrollment328 1
Chartered Grade Span9-12Current Grade Span9-12
Students on Waitlist0 2Current Age of school4 years
Mission Statement:
To prepare students for college success while inspiring them to be active and effective citizens. We achieve educational excellence and social responsibility for all our students through high expectations and a rigorous academic and social justice curriculum. Our students graduate with strong intellectual and ethical foundations necessary for future leaders of a global society.

The charter of PFSJCS is explicitly conditioned as follows. Failure to meet these conditions may result in the Board placing PFSJCS on probation, revoking its charter, or imposing additional conditions on its charter.

  1. Beginning on August 15, 2017, and until further notice, PFSJCS must submit to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department), at or 75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA, 02148, board meeting agendas, materials, and minutes prior to each board meeting at the same time that these items are sent to the school's board members. Additionally, if board materials do not already include this information, the school must also submit monthly financial statements.
  2. By August 25, 2017, and November 3, 2017, PFSJCS will submit complete and comprehensive Coordinated Program Review Progress Reports for special education and civil rights, respectively.
  3. By September 30, 2017, the school's board of trustees must engage in training conducted by an external consultant, acceptable to and approved in advance by the Department, on the roles and responsibilities of a board of trustees for a charter school and on the Open Meeting Law.
  4. By October 30, 2017, the school's board of trustees must have completed a comprehensive self-evaluation of its practices and its capacity.
  5. By November 30, 2017, the school will integrate World-class Design and Assessment English Language Development (WIDA ELD) into its English as a Second Language curriculum and content area curricula as needed.
  6. By December 30, 2017, the school's board of trustees will revise its bylaws, aligning them with current laws and regulations, and submit them to the Department for approval.
  7. By December 30, 2017, the school will submit a plan to the Department to come into compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, those related to the Open Meeting Law and ESL curriculum requirements.

PFSJCS, like all other charter schools, must be operated in accordance with the provisions of G.L. c. 71, § 89; 603 CMR 1.00; all other applicable federal and state laws; and such additional conditions as the Commissioner or the Board may establish, all of which shall be deemed conditions of the charter.

If you have any questions, please contact Alison Bagg, Director (781-338-3218); Cliff Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner (781-338-3222); or me.


Download Word Document
July 26, 2017 Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School Memorandum