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For Immediate Release
Monday, August 3, 2015
Contact:Jacqueline Reis, 781-338-3115

10 Groups Seek to Open New Charter Schools, 19 Schools Apply to Serve More Students

Three more groups say they will submit proposals for schools this fall

MALDEN - The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education received proposals last week from groups seeking to open new charter schools as well as requests from existing charter schools to serve more students.

The Department received prospectuses from 10 applicant groups seeking to open and operate new charter schools. In mid-September, ESE will invite the new school applicant groups whose prospectuses show the most promise to submit full applications.

The Department also received three letters of intent from groups planning to apply this fall to add a school to an existing charter school network or to create a network by adding a school. In early September, ESE will notify those three as to whether they are eligible to participate in the one-stage process and submit a final application.

In addition, 19 charter schools applied to expand their enrollment, including eight asking for 100 or more new seats.

"Massachusetts' charter schools are some of the best in the nation and present a promising opportunity to improve the overall quality of public education and the lives of the children who attend," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Increasing access to high-quality education is essential, especially for families in underperforming districts, if we are to ensure that every child, regardless of zip code or income, has the ability to attend a great school and realize their full potential."

"I am pleased to see such a wide range of applications from across the Commonwealth," said Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell D. Chester. "Massachusetts has a rigorous approval process, and my department will review each of these applications carefully before deciding which to advance to the next level."

Final applications will be due Nov. 4, 2015, and ESE staff and external reviewers with expertise in education, finance, the law, and organizational structure will review each final application. Commissioner Chester will then decide which finalists to recommend to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Board will vote on the commissioner's recommendations in February 2016.

In school districts performing in the lowest 10 percent statewide and in which the 9 percent net school spending charter cap is or would be exceeded, applications will be considered only from proven providers (a designation that is based on the performance criteria described in 603 CMR 1.04(4)). For applicants who must demonstrate that they qualify as proven providers, an invitation to submit a final application will be contingent on the commissioner's granting of proven provider status.

The prospectuses that were submitted for consideration are:

Proposals to Start a New Commonwealth Charter SchoolDistrict or RegionsProposed Grade SpanProposed Maximum EnrollmentOpening Year
Central Square Public Charter SchoolLynn5–126402017
New Bedford Cheironeum, a Commonwealth Charter SchoolNew Bedford6–121,0082017
Massachusetts Biotechnology Charter SchoolAuburn, Berlin-Boylston, Grafton, Leicester, Millbury, Northbridge, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Wachusett, West Boylston, Worcester6–129362016
Great River Community Charter SchoolMedford, Everett, Arlington, Cambridge, WinchesterK–84362017
International Academy of Montachusett Charter SchoolWachusett Regional, Fitchburg, Leominster, Clinton, North Middlesex RegionalK–121,1682016
International Academy of Western Massachusetts Charter SchoolChicopee, SpringfieldK–121,5702017
Libertas Preparatory Charter SchoolSpringfield6–126302017
New Heights Charter School of BrocktonBrockton, Taunton, Randolph6–127352016
Old Sturbridge Academy Charter Public SchoolBrimfield, Brookfield, Dudley-Charlton, Holland, Monson, Sturbridge, Palmer, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Brookfield, Tantasqua, Quaboag, Spencer-East Brookfield, SouthbridgeK–83602016
Weetumuw Wôpanâak Charter SchoolBarnstable, Bourne, Dennis-Yarmouth, Falmouth, Mashpee, Monomoy, Nauset, Provincetown, Sandwich, TruroK–82652016
Letter of Intent to Add a Charter School to an Existing NetworkDistrict or RegionsProposed Grade SpanProposed Maximum EnrollmentOpening Year
Brooke Charter High SchoolBoston9–126012016
Hampden Charter School of Science — HolyokeHolyoke, Westfield and Agawam6–125602016
UP Academy Charter School of Boston — 2016BostonPreK–5, PreK–8 or 6–810002016

Requests to Expand an Existing Charter School by More Than 100 Seats:

Existing Charter SchoolCurrent District or RegionsCurrent Grade SpanCurrent Maximum EnrollmentProposed Amendment to Charter
Boston Preparatory Charter Public SchoolBoston6–12400Increase maximum enrollment by 520 seats; Add grade 5
Brooke Charter School Roslindale; Brooke Charter School Mattapan; Brooke Charter School East BostonBoston, ChelseaK–8 each510 eachIncrease maximum enrollment by 659 Boston and 52 Chelsea seats; Add grades 9–12; consolidation into one K–12
Global Learning Charter Public SchoolNew Bedford5–12500Increase maximum enrollment by 100 seats
Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy Charter Public SchoolBoston6–8216Increase maximum enrollment by 275; Add grades 5 and 9–12
KIPP Academy Boston Public Charter SchoolBostonK–8588Increase maximum enrollment by 588; Add grades K–1 and 9–12
Neighborhood House Charter SchoolBostonPK–8400Increase maximum enrollment by 428 seats; Add grades 9–12
Pioneer Charter of ScienceChelsea, Everett, and Revere7–12360Increase maximum enrollment by 420, Add grades K–6
South Shore Charter Public SchoolAbington, Braintree, Brockton, Cohasset, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Quincy, Randolph, Rockland, Scituate, Weymouth, and WhitmanK–12610Increase maximum enrollment by 890

Many existing charter schools applied to add fewer than 100 seats. Those schools are: Alma del Mar Charter School in New Bedford, Boston Collegiate Charter School, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School, Bridge Boston Charter School, City on a Hill Charter Public School Dudley Square in Boston, City on a Hill Charter Public School Circuit Street in Boston, Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Community Charter School of Cambridge, Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School in South Hadley, and Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston.

When deciding whether to allow a school to amend its charter to expand, the commissioner and Board consider evidence regarding the success of the school's academic program, the viability of the school as an organization, and the faithfulness of the school to the terms of its charter. If seeking an increase in maximum enrollment, charter schools in some districts must also qualify as proven providers.

The commissioner and Board will also consider comment solicited from the superintendents within each charter schools' proposed district or region. Members of the public may also submit written comments regarding a school's amendment request to: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, c/o Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign, 75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148 or by email to .

As a result of the 2010 Achievement Gap Act, the cap on district net school spending on charter school tuition is rising through incremental steps from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent. 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 29 new charters, which at maximum enrollment will enroll over 13,000 students.

For more information on charter schools, visit Massachusetts Charter Schools.


For a copy of a prospectus or expansion request, please send an email to .

Last Updated: August 3, 2015

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