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January 2010

TO:

EMSC Committee

 

FROM:

John B. King, Jr.

SUBJECT:

Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School

DATE:

January 5, 2010

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Decision

Should the Regents approve and issue the proposed charter for Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School (New York City)?

Background Information

We have received a proposed charter from the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York for the establishment of Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School (BSNB or “the School”).  The School will open in September 2010.  Initially, the School will serve 200 students in grades K – 3 and grow to serve 298 students in grades K – 5 in its fifth year of operation. The School's mission is “to create a supportive and rigorous academic environment.  By setting high academic standards, students will excel in the core academic subject areas in preparation to enter and succeed in academically competitive schools as well as become responsible citizens of the global community.” 

BSNB will enter into a lease with the Diocese of Brooklyn to occupy space in the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY.  Until the end of the 2009-2010 academic year, the facility will be occupied by St. John the Baptist Parochial School, which is then scheduled to close.  Because of these factors, staff did an analysis to determine whether the establishment of the proposed charter school would result in a conversion from the current parochial school, as per section 2852(3) of Education Law.  Staff has determined that this is not a conversion for among the following reasons: the charter school’s educational program will be non-sectarian and will provide instruction in all 28 of the State learning standards; the leadership and staff of the school will be completely new; the charter school does not have substantially the same board of trustees as the parochial school; the charter school will serve initially only grades K to 3, while the parochial school serves grades K to 8; there will be significant differences in the enrollment of the charter school and the parochial school; and there will be no transfer of assets between the parochial school and the charter school.

The School does not have a management partner.  The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for 190 days per academic year. 

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 16 on July 20, 2009.  No public comments were made or received.

Additional information concerning this 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 charter of the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including January 11, 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 Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School is effective immediately.

 

 

 

New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School:  Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School (BSNB or “the School”)

Address: 82 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Applicants: Joseph Sciame and Patricia Bramwell

Anticipated Opening Date: September 7, 2010

District of Location:  New York City Community School District 16, Brooklyn

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

Institutional Partner(s):  N/A

Management Partner(s): N/A

Grades Served:                      2010-2011:  K - 3

2011-2012:  K - 4

2012-2013:  K - 5

2013-2014:  K - 5

2014-2015:  K - 5

 

Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011:  200

2011-2012:  249

2012-2013:  298

2013-2014:  298

2014-2015:  298

 

Proposed Charter Highlights

Applicants

              Joseph Sciame currently serves as Vice-President for Community Relations at St. John's University, New York, and has been with the University for over 40 years.  He is the chairperson of the Board of Ethics for the Town of North Hempstead and served on the Advisory Committee for St. John the Baptist School in Bedford Stuyvesant.

Patricia Bramwell is a certified social worker.  She served as an assistant professor/psychological counselor at City College in the Department of Special Programs – SEEK Program (Search for Education Elevation Knowledge).  While at SEEK, she provided supportive services to students from economically and educationally disadvantaged areas of New York.  Ms. Bramwell also served as the Vice Chairperson on the Bedford Stuyvesant District 16 Community School Board.  She is currently retired.

Institutional Partner

N/A

Management Partner

             

N/A

Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction

 

  • As part of its educational philosophy, BSNB will set high standards for its students, staff, and families. 
  • The School will provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 NYS learning standards.
  • The School will use the E.D. Hirsch Core Knowledge curriculum as a framework for its school-wide educational program. 
  • BSNB will supplement the Core Knowledge ELA and math curriculum with the Scott Foresman series.
  • The School will provide daily instructional blocks of 90 minutes in ELA and math.  
  • The School will provide daily instructional blocks of 60 minutes in science for grades K-2, and 90-minute blocks for grades 3-5.  
  • The School will offer instruction in Latin to grades 3-5, three times per week.
  • All students will be expected to perform 25 hours of yearly community service.  This may be in the form classroom-created art projects for younger students and outside events for older students.  Community service is not a promotional criteria.
  • The School will use assessment data to inform teaching and to assign remedial help to underperformers. 
  • In addition to all New York State exams, BSNB will use the following assessments: Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) conducted twice annually, internally developed assessments conducted every six weeks, and additional weekly assessments (Waterford Early Reading Lab) in grades K-2.
  • Special education students’ Individual Education Plan (IEP) requirements will be met via the services of the New York City Department of Education, an independent provider, or School personnel. 
  • The School will employ a process of structured English language immersion for limited English proficient (LEP) students. 
  • The School will address the needs of students with disabilities (SWD) through an inclusion model of instruction. 
  • SWD will be removed from the regular classroom only if the nature of the disability is such that the goals of the IEP cannot be achieved satisfactorily with the use of supplementary aids and services within the classroom.
  • The daily schedule will allow collaborative planning time for classroom and specialty teachers. 
  • The School proposes a 190-day school year from September to the end of June.
  • The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.  Classes will conclude early on Fridays to allow two hours of professional development activities for teachers. 
  • Depending on available funding, the School may offer a voluntary Saturday program for tutoring and enrichment.  The program would consist of at least two half-day classes every month.

 

Governance

 

  • The number of trustees shall not be fewer than seven and shall not exceed 15. 
  • The Board of Trustees will include a parent of a BSNB student and a resident of the local community.
  • Trustees will be elected to serve three-year terms with the exception of the parent trustee who will serve a one-year term. 
  • Standing committees will include the following: executive, finance, development, grievance, and family life committees.  Ad-hoc committees will be formed as necessary. 
  • Officers of the Board of Trustees will be: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.  The board may have other officers as needed.
  • In addition to the annual meeting which will be held in the month of June, regular meetings of the Board of Trustees will be held ten times throughout the year.  
  • The BSNB Parents’ Association will work to ensure that the board and head of school are aware of the needs and concerns of families so that their issues can be addressed.
  • Teachers and other staff will have opportunities for advising the decision-making process through board meetings.

 

Students

 

  • The School will serve 200 students in kindergarten through grade three in the first year of instruction and will add one grade in each of the following years.  BSNB will grow to serve 298 students in kindergarten through grade five in its third year of instruction and will remain with this configuration through the fifth year of the charter.
  • Each grade will have two classes of approximately 25 students each.
  • The student to teacher ratio will be 25:1.
  • The School anticipates the ages of students will range between five and 11 years old.
  • The School anticipates that through the general application process, a number of students will be enrolled who currently attend a parochial school that intends to close in June 2010.
  • The School’s recruitment strategy includes the following: mailings to residents of CSD 16; flyers and notices posted in local newspapers, supermarkets, community centers, apartment complexes, and communities of faith; open houses conducted at public and private elementary schools, after-school programs and youth centers; visits to local organizations in surrounding neighborhoods, and; canvassing neighborhoods to further reach interested families.
  • In its outreach efforts to families of English language learners (ELL), the School will provide applications in Spanish and will have translation services available to all families in need.   
  • The School will hold special open houses for and conduct one-on-one meetings with parents of students with disabilities, and will disseminate information in advertisements about the special education program.  
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community: 85 percent Black, 12 percent Hispanic, three percent Other, 16 percent SWD, three percent ELL, 76 percent eligible for free/reduced lunch.

 

Budget/Facilities

 

  • BSNB will enter into a lease with the Diocese of Brooklyn to occupy space in the Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist. 
  • The facility is located at 82 Lewis Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, NY.
  • Until the end of the 2009-2010 school year, the facility will be occupied by St. John the Baptist Parochial School. 
  • The School will lease space at the cost of $540,000 in Year One and will grow to $1,112,400 in Year Five.
  • The School anticipates that its Year One revenue will be $3,783,584 and will grow to $4,717,588 in Year Five. 
  • The Year One budget anticipates total expenses of $3,390,000 and by Year Five to equal $4,624, 211.
  • For Year One, the School anticipates $200,000 in a CSP grant and an additional $70,000 in a grant from the New York City Charter Center.
  • The School will create a dissolution fund of $100,000 over the first year of operation, with deposits of $8,333 each month for 12 months. 
  • 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 NYC and no other districts; that all students will attend everyday 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

Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School

(New York City – CSD 16 – Brooklyn)

2010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact

2010-2011

200

 $ 2,563,200

0.0142%

2011-2012

249

 $ 3,286,920

0.0177%

2012-2013

298

 $ 4,051,755

0.0212%

2013-2014

298

 $ 4,173,308

0.0212%

2014-2015

298

 $ 4,298,507

0.0212%

* Assumes a three percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $18.035 billion in 2010-2011; and a three percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2010-2011 rate of $12,819.

Personnel

 

  • The School will be led by a head of school.
  • A director of instruction and director of operation will report to the head of school.
  • In Year One, BSNB will employ one finance associate, one data associate, one special needs coordinator, one dean of students, eight general education teachers, one physical education teacher, one special education teacher, four teacher assistants, one librarian, one guidance counselor and one parent coordinator. 
  • Teachers will receive professional development in August, prior to school opening. 
  • The daily schedule includes common planning time of a minimum of two hours, Monday through Thursday, for collaboration among teachers.  
  • Dismissal on Fridays will be early in order to allow two hours per week of professional development.

 

Community Support

 

  • BSNB provided signatures of interested families sufficient to fill the number of seats proposed for 2010 – 2011. 
  • BSNB has provided letters of support from four local residents.

 

Public Opinion

 

  • The New York City Department of Education sent a letter and posted a notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in Community School District 16 of the proposed application for Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 16 on July 20, 2009, concerning this application.  No public comments were made or received.