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D.C. Public Charter School Board Approves Four New Charter Schools | Schools

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D.C. Public Charter School Board Approves Four New Charter Schools
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D.C. Public Charter School Board Approves Four New Charter Schools

Washington, D.C. — The D.C. Public Charter School Board (PCSB) voted April 25th to approve four applications to create new public charter schools for the 2012-2013 school year. The proposed charter schools are: Creative Minds, Latin America Youth Center Career Academy, DC Scholars and BASIS DC.  Three of the applications received conditional approval and must satisfactorily address the required conditions outlined by the Board before they can be granted a charter to open in the fall of 2012. The Latin America Youth Center Career Academy was approved with no conditions.  All seven members of the Board voted on the applications with Board Member Sara Mead voting by proxy. Fourteen applications were denied.

 

“The Board received a rich array of charter applications – some from founders with extraordinary track records in other states,” said Board Chair Brian W. Jones.  “We conducted an exhaustive review of the applications including a rigorous public hearing and poured over mountains of data submitted to the Board.  The decisions we made were not made lightly,” Jones said.

 

Creative Minds will offer students a comprehensive education program that involves an international primary, project-based curriculum, including the arts, and integrates standards-based literacy and math instruction in small classrooms. While the school’s proposal was developed to serve pre-school through eighth grade, the PCSB felt that the application was stronger for pre-school through fifth grade and conditionally approved the application to serve those grades only, with the possibility of being approved to serve the middle school grades later.

 

The Latin America Youth Center (LAYC) Career Academy will provide young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who have not been successful in a traditional school setting with skills necessary to attain a GED certificate, vocational training in high-growth occupations, college-credit classes and preparation for success in college, postsecondary education, training programs or the workplace.  LAYC has founded three successful public charter schools in the District: LAYC Youth Build, Next Step and Latin American Bilingual Montessori (LAMB).  Board members noted their successful track record with these schools as a strong indicator of success with Career Academy.

 

DC Scholars will serve students in pre-school through the eighth grade partnering with Scholar Academies, a non-profit, school management organization that has been successful operating schools in Philadelphia and Washington, DC—including the highest performing charter middle school in Philadelphia.

 

BASIS DC plans to provide a rigorous liberal arts college preparatory education to middle and high school students in grades 5 through 12.  The BASIS school model has been successful in Arizona and the PCSB gave conditional approval pending the applicant’s demonstration of how this model will be adapted to the demographic profile of students in the District of Columbia.

 

The Board received many strong proposals, but felt that many applications fell short of connecting the mission with the curriculum.  “The connection of a fabulous mission to how they succeed at it was lacking,” said Board Vice Chair Skip McKoy.  “It’s not our job to connect the dots, but it’s incumbent on applicants to take this process seriously.”

 

In February, the PCSB received 19 applications with Bedford Collegiate Academy withdrawing its application after it was accepted.  The Board conducted a rigorous review process before deliberating and voting at the April 25th meeting.   During the review process, each applicant received a technical review as well as interviews with the founding groups and proposed principals.  Public hearings were held where applicants were allowed to present their proposals to the Board and the public.  The community also provided input at the hearing. All applicants will receive extensive feedback from the Board on their applications.

 

The D.C. Public Charter School Board oversees 52 public charter schools on 93 campuses serving more than 29,000 students living in every ward of the city.  Public charter schools serve approximately 39% of all public school students in Washington, D.C.  Learn more about PCSB at www.dcpubliccharter.com.

 

 

2011 Charter School Applications Decisions

 

 

Applicant School Name

Program/Focus

1st Yr Grades

 # of Students

Decision

1

Bertha B. Williams Academy

Early Childhood & Elem  - Museum Learning

PK4-3rd grade

200 students

Denied

2

City of Trees

Early Childhood & Elem  - Waldorf Inspired Nature Education

PK – 2nd grade

122 students

Denied

3

Believe

Elem & Middle - General Ed

K-8th grade

225 students

Denied

4

Monarch Academy

Early Childhood, Elem, & Middle - General Ed

PS-4th grade

325 students

Denied

5

Accomplish

Early Childhood & Elem - General Ed

PK-K

132 students

Denied

6

Renaissance

High School General Ed- Math, Science & Leadership

9-10th grade

200 students

Denied

7

Washington DC Clean Energy Adult

Adult Education/GED

Renewable energy technologies

Adult ED/GED

100 students

Denied

8

Gerry P. Stephens STARS Academy

Early Childhood & Elem - General Ed

PK-3rd grade

107 students

Denied

9

Creative Minds

Early Childhood, Elem, & Middle - Arts Based

PK-3rd grade

112 students

Conditional Approval

10

LAYC Career Academy

Adult Education/GED

Adult ED/GED

100 students

Approved

11

Strengths Academy

Early Childhood & Elem - Dual Language

PS – 1st grade

160 students

Denied

12

Driven To Succeed High School

High School General Ed

All-male high school

9th grade

300 students

Denied

13

DC Scholars

Early Childhood, Elem, & Middle - General Ed

PS – 3rd grade

274 students

Conditional Approval

14

Westminster Leadership

Elem, Middle, & High - General Ed

5-6th grade

100 students

Denied

15

Gilchrist Academy

Middle School - General Ed

Male middle school

6th grade

100 students

Denied

16

Ernest Green DC High School of Public Service

High School - General Ed

9th grade

120 students

Denied

17

BASIS DC

Elem, Middle, & High - General Ed

5-9th grade

400 students

Conditional Approval

18

Cambridge Prep Academy

Middle & High School General Ed, International Cambridge

6-9th grade

225 students

Denied


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