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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:55pm

TO:

EMSC Committee

 

FROM:

John B. King, Jr.

SUBJECT:

Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory 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 Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory 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 Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School (TFACS or “the School”).  The School will open on August 22, 2011.  Initially, the School will take a planning year, then serve 228 students in grades K – 1 in Year 2.  The School will follow the Waldorf Education looping model and will serve only the same two cohorts of students during the first charter term.  In Years Two through Four, the School will address enrollment losses through attrition by admitting students from waiting lists for grades K – 2.  In Year Five, the School will serve students in grades 3 – 4.  The School's mission is “to prepare students to become future professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc.) who will lead our global society in the 21st century.  To this end, TFACS seeks to provide a fun, ‘college-successful’ preparatory elementary school experience to our primary demographic of low-income inner-city youth, where they will be nurtured, challenged and ultimately cultivated into highly intelligent, creative and critically thinking young leaders.”

The School does not have a management partner.  TFACS will provide instruction from 7:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. for 191 days per academic year.  The School’s governance and staffing model is based on the professional partnership firm in the fields of law, medicine, and accounting.  The three-person leadership team of the School will be known as “partners.”  One partner will be responsible for operations, instruction, and finance, respectively. Teachers who demonstrate instructional and organizational excellence may become partners upon completing one cycle (five years) with a cohort of students.  The School “is committed to creating an instructional environment that is student centered, data driven and mastery focused, where every teaching professional holds themselves and each other accountable for the school’s most important outcome: high student achievement.”

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 16 on July 28, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  No public comments were made or received. 

Additional information concerning this initial 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 Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory 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 applicant 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 Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School is effective immediately.

 

 

 

New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School:  Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School (TFACS or “the School”)

Address:  TBD

Applicant:  Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II

                             

Anticipated Opening Date:  August 22, 2011

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:  Planning

2011-2012:  K – 1

                                                        2012-2013:  1 – 2 

2013-2014:  2 – 3

2014-2015:  3 – 4 

 

Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011:  Planning

2011-2012:  228

2012-2013:  228

                                                        2013-2014:  228

2014-2015:  228

 

Proposed Charter Highlights

Applicant

              The lead applicant, Mr. Rafiq R. Kalam Id-Din II, is an attorney, educator and resident of the Bedford Stuyvesant community.  He is the former executive director of the AnBryce Foundation based in Vienna, Virginia.  The foundation operated academic enrichment, leadership and character development, and career exploration programs for youth.  He is a former staff attorney at Cravath, Swaine and Moore, in New York City and Hong Kong.  The applicant has been admitted to the bar of the State of New York.  Mr. Kalam Id-Din earned a juris doctor from NYU, an M.A. degree and a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia.  Mr. Kalam Id-Din has also served on the board of directors of The Lowell School, Washington, D.C.; the New York University Black, Latino, Asian Pacific-American Alumni Association; Generation Engage, and True Potential. 

Institutional Partner

N/A

Management Partner

             

N/A

Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction

 

  • The School is committed to creating an instructional environment that is student centered, data driven and mastery focused. 
  • The School will use Understanding by Design as the instructional curriculum design tool. 
  • The School will provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas.  The proposed curriculum is aligned to all 28 New York State (NYS) learning standards. 
  • TFACS will take a balanced literacy approach using the Good Habits Good Readers (Pearson) curriculum.  Writing instruction will be provided using the WRITE Source Program.  The emphasis will be on thinking skills through topic selection and development, research, source evaluation, and thesis formulation.
  • The School will use TERC Investigations for math and FOSS for science.
  • The School will offer instruction in Spanish four days per week for 45 minutes per week. 
  • Teachers will loop with students for each year during the term of the charter.  A single classroom teacher will remain with a cohort of students for four years.  The School will provide instruction, beginning in Year Two, with one classroom teacher for each of the six classes in grades K and 1.  The teachers will then teach a single grade in each successive year of the charter.
  • In the first year of instruction, six teachers will provide instruction for students in kindergarten and six teachers will provide instruction for students in grade 1.  In the second year of instruction, the prior year’s teachers of kindergarten will teach grade 1 and the prior year’s teachers of grade 1 will teach grade 2. 
  • In the third year of instruction, the instructional Year 2 teachers of grade 1 will provide instruction for grade 2.  Instructional Year 2 teachers of grade 2 will then provide instruction for grade 3. 
  • In the fourth year of instruction (and fifth year of operation), Instructional Year 3 teachers of grade 2 will provide instruction for grade 3 and Instructional Year 3 teachers of grade 3 will provide instruction for grade 4. 
  • The looping practice is based on the widely-used Waldorf Education model. 
  • For at-risk students, TFACS will provide no less than 6.5 hours per week for leadership development and academic enrichment through “Better Choices, Better Chances” and “Schoolhouse Rocks Olympics.” 
  • The School will administer teacher-created formative assessments, summative assessments, the Terra Nova assessment (twice annually), the Developmental Reading Assessment 2 (three times annually), and all required New York State  exams including the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test.
  • TFACS will provide an after school program and may offer Saturday tutoring to meet the needs of struggling students. 
  • The School will offer a summer academy to support increased student achievement. 
  • TFACS will offer a full inclusion model for students with disabilities (SWD) and structured immersion for English language learners (ELL). 
  • The School will emphasize the use of data to drive instruction.
  • The School proposes a 191-day instructional year. 
  • The School will provide an extended day with instruction from 7:15 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.  Professional development sessions will be held on Fridays, as students transition to enrichment activities at 1:15 p.m.

 

Governance

 

  • The number of Trustees shall not be fewer than five and shall not exceed 15.  Two seats will be reserved for the parents and/or guardians of enrolled students.
  • Trustees will hold office “until the next regular Board meeting at which a general election of Trustees is held,” and will not be divided into classes for the purpose of staggering terms of office. 
  • The officers of the corporation will be chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
  • No more than 40 percent of trustees will be affiliated with the School as a compensated employee or contractor or any other single entity; and such persons will not serve as chair or treasurer of the Board. 
  • Regular meetings of the board of trustees shall be held no less than six times each year. 
  • The initial standing committees of the board of trustees shall be for executive, education, facilities, finance, and fundraising.

 

Students

 

  • TFACS will serve 228 students in grades K – 1 in the first year of instruction (Year Two) and serve 228 students in grades 3 – 4 in Year Five. 
  • The School will follow the Waldorf Education looping model and serve the same two cohorts of students for each year during the charter term. 
  • To fill slots lost to attrition, the School will admit students from waiting lists in grades K – 2.
  • In Year 2, if needed, the School will use waiting lists for grades K – 1 to maintain enrollment losses from attrition.  In Year 3, if needed, the School will use waiting lists for grades 1 – 2.  In Year 4, if needed, the School will use the waiting list for grade 2.  
  • TFACS will enroll 114 students per grade in its first year of instruction.  Each grade will have six classes of 19 students each.
  • The School anticipates the ages of students will range from five to ten years old.
  • By staffing each class with a teaching apprentice and an instructional intern, TFACS will have an adult-to-student ratio of less than 1:7 in each class. 
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community, which is projected at 80 percent Black, 20 percent Hispanic; and 95 percent of the area public school children participated in the federal free/reduced lunch program.
  • The School expects to enroll approximately 10 percent ELL.
  • The School expects to serve approximately 10 to 15 percent SWD.
  • TFACS has developed a multi-layered outreach plan designed to target institutions and individuals within Community School District (CSD) 16.  The School will distribute flyers, run newspaper and radio ads, and attend meetings of various community boards, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, community centers, social service agencies, and pre-school and day care centers.
  • The School will conduct no less than six open houses or information sessions in partnership with local community and social service organizations.  The purpose of these activities will be to target families with higher percentages of Title I eligible youth.

 

Budget/Facilities

 

  • NYC DOE provided a commitment letter that it will provide underutilized space to the School. 
  • TFACS projects financial surpluses in each year of the charter term and in each month of the planning year. 
  • TFACS projects carrying forward a balance of $3,500 from the start-up period.
  • The School projects Year One revenues of $325,000 growing to $3,129,704.
  • The School anticipates expenses of $321,500 in Year One growing to $605,354 in Year Five.   
  • TFACS has budgeted $1,000,000 for a federal education innovation grant, $700,000 for a federal start-up grant and $500,000 through Partners for Developing Future. 
  • The School anticipates an annual surplus of $3,500 in Year One, $2,640,902 in Year Two ($420,902 exclusive of grants), $895,014 in Year Three, $720,801 in Year Four, $605,354. 
  • The School will reserve in an escrow account $70,000 by Year Three, making contributions of $50,000 in Year Two and $20,000 in Year Three towards its dissolution fund.
  • TFACS estimates receiving a City of New York Start Up Grant in the amount of $179,148 based on its projected enrollment.
  • The School assures that it will perform all programmatic and fiscal audits annually as required by the New York State Charter Schools Act, in accordance with auditing standards and Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
  • 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

Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School 

(New York City – CSD 16 – Brooklyn)

2010 – 2011 through 2014 – 2015

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact

2010-2011

Planning Year

2011-2012

228

$3,009,709

.0162%

2012-2013

228

$3,100,001

.0162%

2013-2014

228

$3,193,001

.0162%

2014-2015

228

$3,288,791

.0162%

* 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 $12,816.

 

Personnel

 

  • The School will be led by a managing partner, a pedagogy partner, and a stakeholder services partner. 
  • The managing partner is equivalent to a chief executive officer or head of school.  The pedagogy partner is equivalent to a chief instructional officer or director of instruction.  The stakeholder services partner is equivalent to a director of student services. 
  • Each partner will be responsible for one classroom of students, in addition to a number of school-wide obligations. 
  • The managing partner will also be responsible for overseeing and managing enterprise-wide operations (facility, insurance, technology, meals, etc.) finances, personnel, external relations, organizational development and government relations.  The managing partner is the official representative and spokesperson of the School.
  • The pedagogy partner will be responsible for the development of the School’s curriculum plan, instructional leadership and professional development. 
  • The stakeholder services partner will be responsible for “wrap-around” and pupil services for SWD and ELL, and counseling services. 
  • The School will employ the following staff in its first year of instruction: six junior associates (classroom teachers), three senior associates, 12 teacher apprentices, 24 instructional interns, a special education and learning specialist, a foreign language and global studies instructor, a social work consultant, an operations associate, an executive officer, an administrative assistant, a health-wellness manager, a security guard, and a maintenance engineer.
  • TFACS will run a professional development lab for two periods each day.  Teachers (with the assistance of the teaching assistant and instructional intern) will provide individualized, differentiated support (including enrichment) for students.  Services may be delivered one to one or in small groups. 
  • The School will make extensive use of video to aid in professional development for teachers.  TFACS will use the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) to assess and improve instruction. 
  • TFACS staff will form small professional development teams consisting of one partner, one senior associate, and two junior associates.
  • Teaching apprentices will be college or graduate students fulfilling student teaching requirements.  Instructional interns will be participants in service programs like City Year or AmeriCorps.

 

Community Support

 

  • The School provided over 235 signatures of parents of K-1 eligible children who have expressed interest in TFACS.
  • The School has also received letters of support from the following community organizations and leaders: Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Hakeem Jeffries, Member, New York State Assembly (57th District); Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association of New York University; and Randy Hertz, Supervising Attorney, New York University Law School Juvenile Defender Clinic.
  • The School also received letters of support from Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson, University of Virginia Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy; Dr. Robert C. Pianta, University of Virginia Dean of the Curry School of Education; John Sexton, President of New York University; Kenneth Raisler, Attorney, Sullivan & Cromwell; Jason Hill, Partner, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP; Sarah Fitts, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; and Justin Rockefeller, Co-founder, Generation Engage and Member of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service.

 

Public Opinion

 

  • The New York City Department of Education mailed a letter and posted a notice on its website, notifying the public and independent schools in CSD 16 of the proposed application for Teaching Firms of America Professional Preparatory Charter School and inviting comments at a public hearing. 
  • The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 16 on July 28, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  No public comments were made or received.