Meet the 17 proposed Massachusetts charter schools

42 hopefuls submitted proposals for the 2010-2011 academic year

Written by Ben Eisen

Seventeen charter school proposals received the endorsement of Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester yesterday, paving the way for new school openings as early as this fall. The proposals await the final green light from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education at the end of the month.

The 17 selected schools were whittled down from 23 finalists, and include 10 in Boston and seven fanned out across the state. Fourteen are Commonwealth schools that operate independently and three are Horace Mann schools, which would run in conjunction with their local school districts. Forty-two hopefuls submitted proposals for the 2010-2011 academic year.

MuckRock obtained the original submissions for all applicants when they filed papers last August. We’ve compiled some information from the applications of the selected schools:

  • Alma del Mar Charter School: The New Bedford K-8 would focus on putting students on the path to college by helping them to become “service-oriented leaders.” Alma del Mar would also organize around, “more individualized student support, an emphasis on service leadership and a curriculum that builds core background knowledge starting in the early grades,” while providing for individual needs with an extended school day and year. 100 families have expressed interest in sending their children to the school.
  • <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7713-bridge-boston-charter-prospectus">Bridge      Boston Charter School</a>: Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhood members      have rallied around this school, giving the proposal 260 signatures of      support. The proposal emphasizes fostering a “challenging, creative,      joyful school community with full-service programming and a focus on the      whole child,” where “students develop the academic skills to thrive in      rigorous high schools, maximize their personal potentials, and view      themselves as creators of their own futures. “</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7731-community-day-charter-public-school-riverside-charter-prospectus">Community      Day Charter Public School</a>: Students for whom English is a second      language would be the focus of this Lawrence-based K-8 school. The      Community Day Charter system, at its creation, organized around, “the need      for standards based curriculum, English immersion for [English Language      Learner] students and the use of data to support student learning.”</li>
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7733-community-day-charter-public-school-south-charter-prospectus">Community      Day Charter Public School South</a>: This Lawrence-based school would be      focused on replicating its counterpart (above). The proposal states: “Student      achievement data as well as parent demand support the need for another      high performing charter school.”</li>
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7735-dorchester-preparatory-charter-school-prospectus">Dorchester      Preparatory Charter School</a>: The 5<sup>th</sup>-12<sup>th</sup> grade      Boston-based school would focus heavily on college preparation. It’s philosophy      stems from the belief that, “all students are entitled to and can succeed      in college preparatory programs when: 1) the curriculum is rigorous,      engaging, and well-planned; 2) the school emphasizes student character,      community responsibility, and exposure to life's possibilities; and 3) a      community network supports student academic, social, and physical      well-being.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8109-brooke-2-charter-school-prospectus">Edward      W. Brooke Charter School 2</a>: 475 students would enroll in this      Boston-based school, which is an attempt to replicate the successful      Brooke charter founded in Roslindale in 2002. The proposal states: “We      expect to serve a population that is very similar to the population we      have served at the original Brooke School, where 98% of our students are      African-American or Latino and 72% are eligible for free and reduced-price      lunch.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8110-brooke-3-charter-school-prospectus">Edward      W. Brooke Charter School 3</a>: Capitalizing on the original Brooke      school’s current waiting list of over 1,500, this team plans to add a      third school, also of 475 students, that would serve Boston and Chelsea.</li>
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7743-excel-academy-charter-school-boston-ii-charter-prospectus">Excel      Academy Charter School – Boston II</a>: To combat what it believes to be a      culture of underachievement in urban schools, this Boston-based school is      organizing around three pillars: 1) there is no more urgent need than      helping urban students catch up to their suburban peers academically; 2)      setting high expectations; and 3) excepting no excuses for student      performance.</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7744-excel-academy-charter-school-chelsea-charter-prospectus">Excel      Academy Charter School – Chelsea</a>: This school, like its Boston II peer      (above), will be modeled after the original Excel Academy in East Boston.</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8117-grove-hall-preparatory-charter-school-prospectus">Grove      Hall Preparatory Charter School</a>: Based on the model of the Roxbury      Preparatory Charter School in Mission Hill, this 5<sup>th</sup>-12th grade      charter will focus on sending students to college by ensuring that: “1)      the curriculum is rigorous, engaging, and well-planned; 2) the school      emphasizes student character, community responsibility, and exposure to      life's possibilities; and 3) a community network supports student      academic, social, and physical well-being.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8123-kipp-academy-charter-school-prospectus">KIPP      Academy Boston Charter School</a>: Following on the success of the 99      popular KIPP schools across the country, including one in Lynn, this      charter would repurpose the successful model for Boston. The proposal      boasts: “KIPP students attend 50% more school than their public school      peers, completing 6 years of school in 4 years.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8124-lynn-preparatory-charter-school-prospectus">Lynn      Preparatory Charter School</a>: This K-8 targets Lynn students “attending      the lowest performing schools in the most economically depressed neighborhoods      of the city.” The proposal continues: “The Founding Board of Trustees is a      diverse group with strong ties to the Lynn community.”</li>
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8125-match-charter-public-high-school-prospectus">MATCH      Community Day Charter Public School</a>: With the program’s current school      receiving 960 applications for 150 openings, the goal is to add another      Boston-based MATCH school. The guiding philosophy states that, “for      children from low-income families, college success is the most likely way      to escape intergenerational poverty. Our commitment is to provide the      support - via outstanding teaching, individualized daily tutoring, a      longer school day, aggressive outreach to parents, and quality standards-based      curriculum - to ensure that every student attains this goal.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8141-veritas-preparatory-charter-school-prospectus">Veritas      Preparatory Charter School</a>: Based in Springfield, this charter would      serve 324 students, and replicate the program’s previous successes: “Limiting      all distractions and keeping a laser focus on achievement allows staff and      students to build and celebrate student success. Daily advisory provides      the structure to teach students the values needed to thrive as scholars      and people.”</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#7714-boston-green-academy-charter-prospectus">Boston      Green Academy Horace Mann Charter School</a>: This school was proposed by      a group of experienced educators who congregated in response to the      “dropout crisis,” which has been shown to begin when students disengage      from education in middle school. The proposal states: “We are especially      committed to recruiting, enrolling, and supporting off-track 6th and 9th      grade students before they enter the "drop-out pipeline".</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8134-salem-community-charter-school-prospectus">Salem      Community Charter School</a>: The concept of this Salem charter came about      when, “More than two dozen community partners, representing social      service, college, medical, criminal justice and community-based      organizations, [came] together with the Salem Public Schools to address      the high rate of high school dropouts in the City of Salem. Students,      parents and teachers who have insight into the challenges faced by Salem's      at risk youth have joined them in this effort.” The school will target 100      15-21 year olds.</li>
    
    <li><a href="http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/2010-charter-school-applications/72/#8140-up-academy-charter-school-of-boston-prospectus">UP      Academy Charter School of Boston</a>: Quoting U.S. Education Seceretary      Arne Duncan’s mandate to turn around failing schools, this 6-8<sup>th</sup> grade Boston charter states that, “Our founding team believes that      partnering with Boston Public Schools to close an underperforming district      school and to "restart" it as a Horace Mann Charter School      represents the most effective school transformation strategy within the      broader national, state, and local school turnaround movement. “</li>
    

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