THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

James A. Kadamus

COMMITTEE:

EMSC-VESID

TITLE OF ITEM:

Revisions to Charter School Charters

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

August 25, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Approval

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

Statutory Authority to Approve Amendments to Charters

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:  

 

The Board of Regents has the authority pursuant to Article 56 of the Education Law to approve revisions to existing charters.  The Bronx Charter School for the Arts, a direct applicant to the Board of Regents, has submitted a request to change the length of the school day.  The school day for the upcoming and following years is planned to be one hour shorter each day, i.e., 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. will be changed to 8:10 a.m. 3:10 p.m.  Scheduling changes will also be made to increase time on task.  These changes include: combining lunch and recess to reduce transition time; eliminating snack time in grades 1-4, gaining a half hour of instruction time; and integrating technology instruction into the classroom in place of visits to the computer laboratory.  Staff will still be required to work on-site for an additional 40 minutes daily to plan and prepare lessons and to receive professional development.

 

The Trustees of the State University of New York have approved and submitted a proposed revision to the charter for Amber Charter School.  Amber Charter School was originally designed as a dual language school in expectation of being located in Washington Heights with an approximately equal number of English- and Spanish-language dominant students. The change of location to Harlem and subsequently East Harlem has led to the lottery selections of an overwhelmingly English-dominant student body.  To meet the academic needs of its students, Amber will implement an English language instruction program with five hours of Spanish instruction per week.

 

The Trustees of the State University of New York have also approved and submitted proposed revisions to the charters of East New York Village Academy Charter School and Family Academy Charter School of New York allowing them to delay by one year the date of commencement of instruction.

 

The potential fiscal impact upon the districts of location for Bronx Charter School for the Arts, Amber Charter School, East New York Village Academy Charter School and Family Academy Charter School of New York will not change, based on the requested revisions.

 

Materials submitted by the SUNY Board of Trustees pertaining to the amendment are available from Shelia Evans Tranumn (718-722-2796).

 

VOTED:  That the Board of Regents approve the proposed revisions to the charters of the following charter schools upon a finding by the Board of Regents that: (1) the revisions meet the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the revisions (together with the other terms of the charters) will permit the charter schools to operate in an educationally and fiscally-sound manner; and (3) the revisions (together with the other terms of the charter) are likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purposes set out in subdivision two of section twenty-eight hundred fifty of Article 56 of the Education Law:

 

        Bronx Charter School for the Arts

        Amber Charter School

        East New York Village Academy Charter School

        Family Academy Charter School of New York