September 3, 2013

Lowell Collegiate Charter School Opens

September 3, 2013: Lowell Collegiate Charter School, the newest member of the SABIS Schools Network, opened today with 312 students in grades K-3.  Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, Lowell Collegiate will expand into grades K-6 next year and will add one additional grade level each year thereafter until it becomes a full K-12 school. "It's an exciting day to be part of the beginning of the first day, of the first year, of a brand new school," said Jose Afonso, SABIS Director of US Business Development.  "This school's charter was approved by the State in February 2012, and a year and a half later we're offering Lowell's parents with educational choices."

Lowell Collegiate is a tuition-free college preparatory charter school.  Students will wear uniforms and have a longer school day.  The educational program is designed to ensure students master concepts that will enable them to develop a solid academic foundation. 

The very first bus arriving on the very first school day!

June 25, 2013

Stanford Study Says Charter School Children Outperform

Charter school students are making larger gains in reading than their peers in traditional classrooms while performing on par in math, according to a study of 1.5 million U.S. children.
The average student at a charter -- a privately run public school -- learned eight more days of reading a year than a pupil in a regular school, according to the Stanford University study. In both subjects, poor students, black children and those who speak English as a second language fared better in charters.
“The charter sector does seem to be posting better results, especially with disadvantaged students,” said Margaret Raymond, director of Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, which conducted the study. “The fact that they are moving the needle with this many students since 2009 is a pretty impressive finding.”The study, one of the largest ever of charter school performance, buoyed advocates of the school-choice movement, which views charters as an alternative to the shortcomings of public education. Results from the study of 25 states and the District of Columbia represent a turnabout from a 2009 report that had shown charter schools children faring worse.
The earlier report, which included 16 states, found that students at charters schools posted seven fewer days of learning in reading and 22 fewer in math a year relative to regular school peers.

June 10, 2013

SABIS International Charter School graduates 96

on June 08, 2013 at 6:43 PM, updated June 08, 2013 at 6:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD – Jordin Whyland told her fellow graduates at Sabis International Charter School to close their eyes and think back to their first day at school.

“Open your eyes,” she told her classmates. “You made it. Be proud.”

Sabis' 13th commencement exercises for the Class of 2013 was held Saturday afternoon at Symphony Hall. There were 96 graduates, and 100 percent of them will go to college, an accomplishment noted by Whyland.

She quoted Thomas Edison, saying there “is no substitute for hard work” and said 50 students will not have to pay tuition at a Massachusetts college or university because they are John and Abigail Adams scholars, a designation they earned for their stellar MCAS performance. 

June 5, 2013

Washington Post ranks SABIS International School of Minnesota's academics among the nation's most challenging

The Eden Prairie high school ranked high on a list of America’s most challenging high schools.

Emma Marais, a senior at the International School of Minnesota, took four Advanced Placements classes as a junior and will have completed four more by the time she graduates this year. That may sound like a hearty load, but Marais isn’t an outlier at her school by any means—in 2012, 84 percent of ISM students in grades 8 through 12 took three or more AP classes, and the school offers a total of 19.
It’s no surprise that the school ranked high on the Washington Post’s recent list of America’s most challenging private high schools, placing seventh in the nation and first in Minnesota. The Post tabulated the list by dividing the number of college-level tests given in 2012 by the number of graduates.

May 2, 2013

SABIS® private school in Minnesota ranks 7th "Most Challenging School" in the country

The International School of Minnesota (ISM), SABIS®’s only private school in the U.S., recently ranked 7th on The Washington Post listing of “America’s Most Challenging (Private) High Schools.

The private school list, which was published on April 23, 2013, includes 52 schools from across the U.S.  Schools making the list are ranked based on their “Challenge Index,” which is determined based on the total number of Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), and/or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) tests given at a school each year divided by the number of seniors who graduated in May or June.  ISM is the only private school in Minnesota to make the list. 

April 26, 2013

Lift cap on urban charters in Massachusetts

April 25, 2013

By Nina Rees and Gerard Robinson

As former federal and state government education officials, we continue to be impressed by the performance of Massachusetts charter public schools. But we can’t help but wonder how a state that has opened some of the country’s highest-performing charters has failed to lift the cap on the number of urban schools that can open. Taking this simple step would create extraordinary new opportunities for families to benefit from the charter school experience.

A new Stanford University study confirms that charter schools are a smashing success in Massachusetts. The study, from Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, finds that Boston charter schools are doing more to close achievement gaps than any other group of public schools in the country.

The typical Boston charter student gains the equivalent of more than 12 months of additional learning annually in reading and 13 months of greater progress in math. Statewide, charter school students gain the equivalent of one-and-a-half more months of learning per year in reading and two-and-a- half more months in math.

Two SABIS® charter schools ranked among the “Best High Schools" in the U.S.

April 26, 2013: Once again, U.S. News and World Report has ranked two SABIS® schools in the U.S. amongst the best high schools in the country.  The SABIS® International Charter School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the International Academy of Flint in Flint, Michigan, received silver and bronze medal rankings, respectively, according to the “Best High Schools Ranking” for 2013.

To produce the 2013 Best High Schools rankings, U.S. News teamed up with the Washington D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. Over 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed and ranked based on a 3-step process.

First, each school’s student performance was analyzed to see if they were performing better than statistically expected for an average student in the state.

Second, results of each school’s least-advantaged students (African-American, Hispanic, and low-income) were analyzed to determine performance better than average for the same demographics in the state.

Third, and finally, the school’s College Readiness Index (CRI) was calculated based on the number of students who took at least one AP or IB test before or during their senior year, divided by the number of 12th graders for that year.

March 18, 2013

SABIS' Holyoke Community Charter School marched in Holyoke's St. Patrick's Day parade

March 17, 2013: Students, parents and staff of Holyoke Community Charter School marched alongside 15,000 marchers in Holyoke's St. Patrick's Day parade.

Holyoke Community's Cheerleaders, Basketball Teams, Student Prefects and the Parent Connection Executive Committee proudly represented the charter school, which has become an integral member of the community.

Congressman Richard E. Neal greeted Holyoke Community's students and families. State Representative Aaron Vega, a firm believer of education, also greeted students, with the school's cheerleaders returning the greetings with an enthusiastic cheer for Mr. Vega. Ward 2 Councilor and Chairman of the City Council, Mr. Anthony Soto, also greeted the Holyoke Community Charter School Family!

"I want to give a special thanks to Mrs. Gloria Urbina for being the photographer and for all the caring and long hours of work as Holyoke Community's Parent Liaison," said Dr. Sonia Pope, School Director.  "I also was to thank Rigoberto, Parent Connection President, and Irisneli an outstanding member for all of their support." "Outstanding job!"

March 16, 2013

Jazmine Collins is Athlete of the Week for SABIS girls basketball

Jazmine Collins, of SABIS International Charter School, helped lead the Bulldogs to an impressive 23-2 record and a Division III Western Massachusetts final appearance in the 2013 season.  
An impressive student-athlete, Jazmine averaged 20 points per game in her senior season. Her best game was a 33-point effort in a big win over Brockton High School during the regular season.  SABIS went on a 12-game win streak heading into the sectional title game.

Of note: Collins became the first player in SABIS history to score 500 points in a season. She caps her career at just under 2,000 points.splits the Lee defense for SABIS in the girls Division III Western Mass. championship. - (Republican staff photo by Don Treeger)

Source: The Republican

March 13, 2013

SABIS students "Aiming for Advanced" on the 2013 Massachusetts state exams

March 13, 2013 at SABIS International Charter School (Springfield, MA): A special breakfast was held this morning in recognition of students in grades 3-8 who made Advanced and Proficient on their state MCAS exams for 2012. Each student was given a certificate and all students were given a T-shirt “Aiming for Advanced” recognizing their capabilities for the upcoming testing which begins next week.

"The breakfast is a great success each year in recognition of our students and wishing them the best of luck in their MCAS testing," said Denise Tobin, administrator at SABIS International.

Phoenix's Vice Mayor Michael Johnson visits SABIS International School

Vice Mayor Michael Johnson addressing students at SABIS International School in Phoenix where he gave them a pep talk as they prepared for the state's AIMS exams. 

February 26, 2013

SABIS International School of Phoenix staff and students volunteer at St. Mary's Food Bank

By Kathleen Ferris,
Community Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator
SABIS International School Phoenix, Arizona

SABIS International School of Phoenix's employees along with family members and students volunteered at St. Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, this winter. The volunteers were informed by employees of St. Mary’s about how many people go hungry every day in Phoenix and across the U.S. The students learned that 16 million children live below the poverty level and many go to bed hungry each night. That equates 1 in every 5 children. This statistic really inspired the school's students and staff who volunteered for 3 hours and spent every minute of it working hard. After volunteering at the food bank the students returned to the school and helped staff assemble food boxes for some of SABIS International's neediest families. The efforts of the staff and students fed 30 of our own families and provided them with Christmas presents.

Boston Globe: Charter school proposal for Brockton passed over by state

By Christine Legere
Boston Globe Correspondent / February 23, 2013

A proposal to build a charter school in Brockton has failed to make the short list being recommended to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval on Tuesday.
“They’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their monopoly,” Afonso said. “It’s about power and money.”
Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester backed five new charter applications on a list of 11 finalists. The International Charter School of Brockton was one of six that did not make the cut.

Chester’s Feb. 15 decision takes the proposal for Brockton off the table, said state education spokesman J.C. Considine.

“The board only votes on proposals that the commissioner recommends,” he said.

Chester has recommended City on a Hill Charter Public School II in Boston, UP Academy Charter School of Dorchester, City on a Hill Charter Public School in New Bedford, Phoenix Academy Public Charter High School in Springfield, and Pioneer Charter School of Science II, serving Saugus, Peabody, Lynn, Danvers, and Salem.

The proposed Brockton charter school would have opened in 2014 with 540 students in kindergarten through Grade 5, and gradually expanded to 1,200 students through Grade 12. A nine-member board of trustees, consisting of community members and area business leaders who belong to the founding group, would oversee the school, while Sabis Educational Systems operated it. The international for-profit company runs charter schools in Springfield and Holyoke.

While Sabis has a proven track record in the state, Considine said the charter goes not to the company but to the founding group.

To read the complete article, click here.

Editorial: "Chester’s choices - Brockton can’t land a [SABIS] charter"

Worcester T&G Editorial 
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester last Friday gave his blessing to five charter school proposals, meaning that nearly 1,600 additional Boston children will have greater educational opportunies, along with hundreds of kids in Chelsea, Everett and Springfield.

But Mr. Chester again rejected a proposal by SABIS Educational Systems to open a charter school in Brockton.

That city, with the state’s fourth-largest school system, needs better options. SABIS, which serves more than 60,000 students in 15 countries, is well qualified to provide the choice and competition Brockton needs.

This marks the second time that the Patrick administration has rejected a SABIS-based school for Brockton. In 2008, Jeffrey Nellhaus, acting commissioner of education, recommended a 1,300-student SABIS proposal for Brockton. It was rejected by the state Board of Education in part because of opposition from then-chairman Paul Reville of Worcester.

To read the full editorial click here.

February 14, 2013

Boston Herald Editorial: Lesson in fairness

Boston Herald editorial staff
Thursday, February 14, 2013

The debate over charter schools has returned to Brockton, the scene of an unfortunate political battle over a charter school proposal back in 2008. The Patrick administration won that round by meddling in the application process. The administration has an opportunity now to prove the process is free of any improper political influence.

A group that includes former Brockton Mayor John Yunits has applied for a charter to open the International Charter School of Brockton, and plans to contract with Sabis, a for-profit company that runs successful charter schools in Springfield and Holyoke, to run it. Brockton is the only so-called “Gateway City” in the commonwealth without a charter school.

That distinction is thanks in part to former Education Secretary Paul Reville who back in 2008 quashed a similar application for a school in Brockton to be run by Sabis — against the recommendation of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education whose staff vetted the application and recommended it for approval.

Reville has moved on. His replacement? Matthew Malone,
who as superintendent of schools in Brockton until late last year helped lead the fight against the very charter application that is now pending. Just a few weeks before Patrick appointed him education secretary Malone proclaimed that Brockton doesn’t need a charter school and according to the Brockton Enterprise called the current application “an embarrassment.”

Malone will stay out of the final Brockton decision. And of course it is the default position of superintendents to fight charter schools that they (disingenuously) claim will “drain” money from district schools. As Patrick’s right hand on education matters he may now be singing a different tune, given the administration’s support for (limited) expansion of charter schools.

That tune should be that charter school applications — whether it’s this one in Brockton, or any of the others currently pending — must be evaluated strictly on the merits and according to the requirements of state law, and without interference by political appointees who see any particular advantage in the outcome.

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