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0210emsca12

TO:

EMSC Committee

 

FROM:

John B. King, Jr.

SUBJECT:

Charter Schools: Proposed First Renewal Charter for Hellenic Classical Charter School

DATE:

February 4, 2010

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

SUMMARY

Issue for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed first renewal charter of Hellenic Classical Charter School (New York City)?

Background Information

We have received a proposed renewal charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York for Hellenic Classical Charter School (“the School”).   The School’s charter was initially granted on July 1, 2005.  The School currently serves 351 students in grades K-8.  Upon renewal, the School will serve 375 students in grades K-8, and grow to serve 450 students in grades K-8 by the end of this proposed renewal term.  The School's mission is “to provide students in grades kindergarten through eight with a rigorous classical education that is rich in challenging content.”   

The School does not have a management partner.  The School provides instruction from 7:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. for 181 days per academic year.  The School teaches all students to read, speak, and understand Greek beginning in kindergarten. The study of the Greek language is accompanied by the study of Greek culture, which is a part of the Core Knowledge Sequence and is supplemented by materials provided by the Greek Ministry of Education.  Greek literature (in both Greek and English), art, music and dance are integral to the program.

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 15 on December 11, 2009 regarding this proposed renewal application. The School’s principal commented that she is proud of the facility and is happy about the charter renewal.

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Additional information concerning this renewal application may also be found on the Board of Regents website at http://www.regents.nysed.gov/.

Recommendation

              VOTED:  That the Board of Regents approves and issues the first renewal charter of the Hellenic Classical Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and that its provisional charter be extended for a term up through and including February 8, 2015.

Reasons for Recommendation

              (1) The charter school described in the proposed charter meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law, and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the applicants can demonstrate the ability to operate the school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving and issuing the proposed charter is 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. 

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the Hellenic Classical Charter School Charter School is effective immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York State Education Department

Summary of Charter School Renewal Information

Summary of Applicant Information

 

Name of Proposed Renewed Charter School:  Hellenic Classical Charter School (HCCS or “the School”)

Address:  646 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Board of Trustees President:  Charles Capetanakis

Renewal Period:  February 9, 2010 – February 8, 2015

Opening Date:  August 16, 2005

District of Location: New York City Community School District 15, Brooklyn

 

Charter Entity:  Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York

Institutional Partner: N/A

Management Partner:  N/A

Grades Served per Year:    K-8

Projected Enrollment per Year:

Renewal Year 1 – 375

Renewal Year 2 – 400

Renewal Year 3 – 425

Renewal Year 4 – 450

Renewal Year 5 – 450

 

Renewal Application Highlights

Evidence of Educational Soundness/ Attainment of Educational Objectives

 

  • The School opened in August 2005 and tested its third grade for the first time during the 2006-2007 school year.  The student achievement results for the School are shown in Attachment 1 – Tables 1, 2, and 3.
  • The School scored higher than its district of location in the English language arts (ELA) and math exams.  See Attachment 1 – Table 4.
  • The School has been deemed “In Good Standing” under New York State’s (NYS) Accountability System.
  • The School’s aggregate Performance Index (PI) of 181 on the NYS ELA and 190 on the math exams met the Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) set forth in the NYS accountability system.
  • In 2008-2009, the School met its goals that 75 percent of students in grades 3-5 who are enrolled in at least their second year at HCCS will perform at or above Level 3 on the NYS ELA and math examinations.
  • In 2008-2009, 82 percent of students in grades 3-8 were proficient on the NYS ELA examination; and 90 percent were proficient on the NYS math examination.  See Attachment 1 – Table 1.
  • The School reported that for 2009-2010, it serves 57 percent of students who are eligible for free lunch and reduced lunch; and nine percent are identified as students with disabilities.
  • The School reported that for 2009-2010, it serves four percent of students who are identified as English language learners (ELL).
  • The School’s population for 2009-2010 is: 53 percent Black, 24.5 percent White, 19 percent Hispanic, two percent Multi-Racial, one percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and a half percent American Indian/Alaskan. 
  • The School provides instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 New York State (NYS) learning standards.
  • The School uses the Pearson Scott Foresman science program, Breakthrough to Literacy and McGraw Hill for its ELA, Scott Foresman - Addison Wesley and Kaplan for its math, and the Greek Ministry of Education for its Greek language to support its instructional curriculum design.
  • HCCS also supplements all instruction with the classical study of the Greek and Latin languages, as well as history, art and other cultural studies.  The School utilizes didactic instruction, coaching and Socratic questioning (Paideia).
  • The School administers assessments to identify student levels and needs. Also, HCCS administers several Greek language assessments for letter recognition and writing, and verbal, reading, writing and listening common assessments.
  • In addition to the mandated state exams, the School administers norm-referenced assessments in reading and math such as the NYS high school Greek Regents examination for its eighth graders. 
  • The School assesses student progress towards achieving pre-determined goals through several School-developed interim assessments: the Early Childhood Literary Assessment System (ECLAS-2) for grades K-2 and Fountas & Pinnell for grades K-2. 
  • The School asserts it uses assessment data to inform teaching and learning.  The plan includes tracking the mastery of individual students; tracking the progress of classes; assessing teacher effectiveness by instructional topic; and conducting overall evaluations of the School curriculum.
  • The School employs a structured immersion strategy to help ELL students achieve proficiency in the English language. 
  • The School proposes a 181-day school year from September to the end of June.
  • The School provides instruction from 7:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday. 
  • Over the last four years, average daily attendance at the School has exceeded 90 percent.
  • For 2008-2009, the teacher retention rate was 87 percent.  The School has had two principals since opening in 2005.  The current school leader was hired in April 2008.

Evidence of Fiscal Soundness/Projected Fiscal Impact

 

  • The School maintained a positive fund balance in each year of the charter.
  • HCCS shows a positive change in its net assets for 2008-2009.  See Attachment 3.
  • The School is housed in a former parochial school building, which it has occupied since its inception.  The School is located at 646 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
  • The School has no long-term debt and leases its facility from Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church. 
  • The number of Trustees is not fewer than five and is not to exceed 11.
  • Of the eight initial members, six remain on the Board.  Trustees are elected to serve unlimited three-year terms. 
  • The School has an active Parent Organization (PO).  PO members are regularly invited to attend board meetings and provide updates, comments and concerns as part of the monthly agenda. 
  • Parents are asked to volunteer for several planning committees within the School and ad-hoc committees of the Board.
  • Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees are held 10 times throughout the year.
  • The committees of the Board of Trustees are executive, finance, accountability, education and personnel.
  • The officers of the board of trustees are president, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer.
  • The potential fiscal impact upon the District is represented below.  Please note that these projections are based upon several assumptions, which may or may not occur: that all existing charter schools will also exist in the next five years and serve the same grade levels as they do now; that the charter schools will be able to meet their projected maximum enrollment; that all students will come from New York City and no other districts; that all students will attend every day for a 1.0 FTE; that the District’s budget will increase at the projected rate; that the per pupil payment will increase (and not decrease); and that the per pupil payment will increase at the projected rate.

 

Projected Fiscal Impact of the

Hellenic Classical Charter School

(New York City – CSD 15 – Brooklyn)

2010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact

2010-2011

375

$4,666,125

0.0222%

2011-2012

400

$4,977,200

0.0237%

2012-2013

425

$5,288,275

0.0252%

2013-2014

450

$5,599,350

0.0267%

2014-2015

450

$5,599,350

0.0267%

* Assumes no annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $21 billion in 2010-2011; and no annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2010-2011 rate of $12,443.

Evidence of Parent and Student Satisfaction and Community Support

 

  • A public hearing to solicit comments from the community in connection with the charter school’s proposed renewal was conducted by the New York City Department of Education on December 11, 2009.  The School’s principal commented that she is proud of the facility and is happy about the charter renewal.
  • In the fall of 2009, 88 percent of students re-enrolled from the prior year.  In 2008, the re-enrollment percentage was 80.5 percent; and in 2007, it was 91.5 percent.
  • The waiting list to enroll in the School was 316 students for 2009-2010 and was 137 students for the previous school year.
  • High parent satisfaction is evidenced by a high response rate and strong positive sentiments on an annual parent survey in the initial years of the charter, as well as by parents re-enrolling their children.
  • The School’s survey response rate in 2008 was 81 percent; in 2007, the response rate was 51 percent; and in 2006 it was 56 percent.
  • Of the 78 percent of parents surveyed in 2009, 97 percent expressed satisfaction with the School. 

 

Summary of Charter Entity’s Findings and Recommendations

New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has recommended a full five-year renewal.  NYC DOE states that the School has implemented its key design elements and has made significant gains in its student achievement goals. NYC DOE found that the School has demonstrated the ability to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner in the next charter period.  According to the State’s NCLB accountability system, the School is deemed in “good standing.”

The School has met the student academic outcome measures included in the key design elements and performance goals.  NYC DOE found that the academic program is effective; students have demonstrated solid achievement in ELA and math.  “HCCS has implemented a robust data system, provided as part of a grant from the Partnership for Innovation in Compensation for Charter School (PICCS).” NYC DOE reported the School earned an A on its New York City progress report in 2009. 

The School has been effectively governed since inception, with six of eight initial members remaining on the board.   The School is planning to maintain its leased space at 646 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215.  It plans to continue its expansion plans at this facility.  The School will have an enrollment of 375 students in 2010-2011 and grow to 450 by 2014-2015.

 

Attachment 1

Table 1*

2008-2009

Grades 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of HCCS Students at Levels 1 – 4

3-8 ELA

3-8 Math

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

 

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

1

17

78

5

82

 

0

10

65

26

90

Table 2*

2007-2008

Grades 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of HCCS Students at Levels 1 – 4

3-8 ELA

3-8 Math

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

 

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

4

30

65

2

67

 

5

20

62

15

77

Table 3*

2006-2007

Grades 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of HCCS Students at Levels 1 – 4

3-8 ELA

3-8 Math

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

 

%L1

%L2

%L3

%L4

Proficiency

5

17

72

7

79

 

2

17

60

23

82

Table 4*

2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009

Grades 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of HCCS and District 15 Students at Proficiency Level

ELA

Math

 

2006-2007

2007-2008

2008-2009

   

2006-2007

2007-2008

2008-2009

HCCS

79

67

82

 

HCCS

82

77

90

District 15

60

65

75

 

District 15

71

80

86

* Due to statistical rounding, percentages may exceed 100.

 

 

 

 

Attachment 2

Current Enrollment

Hellenic Classical Charter School

2009-2010

GRADE

2009-10

Kindergarten

49

First

49

Second

53

Third

50

Fourth

49

Fifth

25

Sixth

25

Seventh

25

Eighth

26

TOTAL

351

Projected Enrollment

Hellenic Classical Charter School

2008-2009 to 2012-2013

GRADE

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Kindergarten

50

50

50

50

50

First

50

50

50

50

50

Second

50

50

50

50

50

Third

50

50

50

50

50

Fifth

50

50

50

50

50

Sixth

25

50

50

50

50

Seventh

25

25

50

50

50

Eighth

25

25

25

50

50

Total

375

400

425

450

450

 

Attachment 3

Hellenic Classical Charter School

Change in Net Assets for 2005-06 through 2008-09*

Year

Change in Net Assets

2005-06

($130,813)

2006-07

$129,750

2007-08

$320,092

2008-09

$975,063

*Source: Audited Financial Statements provided as a part of each Annual Report.

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