Framingham, MA: Today was the annual charter granting ceremony in which state education officials formally award the actual "charter" document to new charter schools as well as to those whose charter has been renewed. This year's ceremony was hosted by McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham.
Pictured below are four board members of the Lowell Collegiate Charter School, the newest SABIS charter school in Massachusetts, along with the three top education officials of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Pictured left to right are: Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester, Lowell Collegiate board members Pravin Patel, Raquel Bauman, Walter McGrail, and Alan Miller, followed by the Secretary of Education Paul Reville, State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chairwoman Maura Banta.
|Lowell Collegiate Charter School Board Members Receive the "Charter" from State Education Officials|
(Photo: Courtesy of Lee DeLorenzo)
Press Release from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary EducationFor immediate release
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Charters Awarded to 4 New Schools
7 Additional Schools Receive Renewed Charters
FRAMINGHAM – State education officials today presented the founders of four new schools and the leaders of seven existing schools with their charters at a charter granting ceremony held at Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham.
Secretary of Education Paul Reville, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester, and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Maura Banta presented charters to the founders of four new schools: Baystate Academy Charter Public School; Lowell Collegiate Charter School; Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School; and Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School.
“I am pleased to present four new charters today and continue the state’s commitment to expanding high quality, public school options for students,” said Commissioner Chester. “We expect great things from charter schools in Massachusetts and hold them accountable for results. I am eager to see these schools open successfully, deliver outstanding instruction, and prepare students for their future.”
“We are proud to welcome these new charters to Massachusetts, and look forward to seeing the innovative ways in which they will help provide their students with the tools needed to succeed,” said Secretary Reville.
“The Board takes its responsibility to grant new charters very seriously,” said Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Maura Banta. “I look forward to watching these four new schools open and provide the same level of excellence as other Massachusetts charter schools.”
Charter schools are open to all Massachusetts students, with enrollment preference given to students in the district or region where the school is located. All charter schools are chartered for a period of 5 years. At the end of that period, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education reviews the school’s performance in detail before making a decision on whether to renew the charter.
Commonwealth charter schools are fully autonomous and operate independently of the local school district. Horace Mann charter schools are developed and operated in close cooperation with the host school district, and require approval of the local school committee.
The Patrick-Murray Administration's Achievement Gap Act of 2010 raised the charter school cap in the lowest performing school districts and made a number of changes to the charter authorizing process. The cap on district net school spending under the Achievement Gap Act is being raised from 9 percent to a maximum of 18 percent through incremental steps. 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. Sixteen charter schools were approved last year after the cap was raised.
The four schools that received charters today were:
Commonwealth charter schools:
· Baystate Academy Charter School in Springfield (grades 6-12; opening in fall 2013)
· Lowell Collegiate Charter School in Lowell (grades K-12; opening in fall 2013)
· Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School in Holyoke (grades 9-12; opening in fall 2012)
Horace Mann charter schools:
· Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School in Boston (grades K1-5; opening in fall 2012)
In addition, the following seven Commonwealth Charter Schools received renewed charters:
· Academy of the Pacific Rim in Boston (grades 5-12)
· Christa McAuliffe Regional Charter Public School in Framingham (grades 6-8)
· Edward W. Brooke Charter School in Boston (grades K-8)
· Global Learning Charter Public School in New Bedford (grades 5-12)
· North Central Charter Essential School in Fitchburg (grades 7-12)
· Pioneer Charter School of Science in Everett (grades 7-12)
· Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley (grades K-8)