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Meeting of the Board of Regents | January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:50pm

TO:

EMSC Committee

 

FROM:

John B. King, Jr.

SUBJECT:

Charter Schools: Proposed Charter for New Hope Academy 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 New Hope Academy Charter School (New York City)?

Background Information

We have received a proposed charter from the Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY) for the establishment of New Hope Academy Charter School (NHACS or “the School”).  The School will open in September 2010.  Initially, the School will serve 168 students in grades K – 2 and grow to serve 336 students in grades K - 5 in its fifth year of operation. The School's mission is “to provide a safe, structured and quality learning community where our students’ creativity and potential will flourish.  We will employ a committed and well equipped staff whose excellence in teaching and high academic and behavioral expectations will promote the excellence we know our community’s children can achieve.  We will enhance the learning experience of our students by integrating science and technology into core subject areas, the arts, and various enrichment programs.  Our students will leave NHACS with a solid foundation in science and technology, providing them with a head-start in our increasingly technological society and with a clear understanding of the seamless integration of science and technology into their everyday lives.”  

The School has contracted with Victory Schools, Inc. as its management partner.  The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. for 182 days per academic year.  The School will provide an educational program that emphasizes literacy, higher order thinking, and multi-cultural awareness.

The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 18 on August 3, 2009 regarding this proposed charter application.  Six comments were made in support of opening the School.

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 returns the proposed charter of the New Hope Academy Charter School to the Trustees of the State University of New York, and with the following comments and recommendations: (1) That the charter school provide evidence that the lead applicant is either a teacher, parent, school administrator or community resident; (2) That the charter school align its curriculum to the 28 New York State learning standards; (3) That the charter school amend its goals to align with the SUNY approved template, and to include goals pertaining to student engagement, responsible school leadership, parent/staff/student satisfaction, and academic performance of grades K-2; 5) That the charter school provide signatures of interested parents as evidence that all seats in Year One will be filled.

Timetable for Implementation

The Regents action for the New Hope Academy Charter School is effective immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York State Education Department

Summary of Proposed Charter

Name of Proposed Charter School:  New Hope Academy Charter School (NHACS or “the School”)

Address:  475 East 57th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11203

Applicant:  Orlando Findlayter

Anticipated Opening Date:  September 7, 2010

District of Location:  New York City Community School District (CSD) 18, Brooklyn

Charter Entity:  Trustees of the State University of New York (SUNY)

Institutional Partner(s):  N/A

Management Partner:  Victory Schools, Inc.

Grades Served:                      2010-2011:  K-2

2011-2012:  K-3

2012-2013:  K-4

2013-2014:  K-5

2014-2015:  K-5

 

Projected Enrollment:         2010-2011:  168

2011-2012:  240

2012-2013:  288

2013-2014:  336

2014-2015:  336

 

Proposed Charter Highlights

Applicant

              Reverend Orlando Findlayter is the founder and current pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship, an independent church located in Brooklyn, NY.  He studied theology at Nyack College and served as Community Center Director for the Salvation Army, Assistant Director of a men’s shelter, and Program Director and Administrator of a Beacon program in Brooklyn.  He also established a number of community social services programs that address the needs of youth, adults and senior citizens in Brooklyn.  


Institutional Partner

N/A

Management Partner

             

Victory Schools, Inc. (VSI) is a for-profit management company which currently manages 17 schools, serving more than 6,500 students.  Of the 17 schools, eight are charter schools in New York State, one is a contract school in Chicago, two are charter schools in Chicago, one is a charter school in Philadelphia, and five are public district schools in Philadelphia.  Two new charter schools in New York, including NHACS, are anticipated to open in September 2010.  VSI’s main role is to support and provide guidance to the principal and the School in attaining student achievement goals, and to ensure financial viability.  VSI will provide services that include charter application submissions, student recruitment and enrollment, materials selection and distribution, professional development, principal coaching, instructional and curriculum support, and operations and financial services.  Attachment 1 provides information on student performance on ELA and math State assessments by all charter schools in New York State managed by VSI. 

Curriculum/Assessment/Instruction

 

  • The key design elements of the School’s educational program will include: student academic performance, teacher quality, intensive student enrichment and support, character development, and parent involvement.
  • The School will provide an educational program that emphasizes literacy, higher order thinking, and multi-cultural and global awareness.
  • Science and technology will be integrated into the curriculum and enrichment activities across all disciplines.
  • Technology will be an integral part of instruction.  Computers, internet, audio visual systems and interactive whiteboards will be used as instructional tools.
  • Medgar Evers College and SUNY Downstate Medical Center will provide programs and professional development to assist staff, students and parents with the use and integration of science and technology into the school day.
  • The School will not provide instruction in each subject in the seven general curriculum areas and the proposed curriculum is not aligned to all 28 New York State (NYS) learning standards.
  • In English language arts (ELA), the School will provide 135 minutes of daily instruction to all students. A balanced literacy approach will be used.
  • Students will receive 90 minutes per day of math instruction.
  • Teachers will use hands-on, project-based instructional strategies in the classroom.
  • The School will implement a debate program to help students develop skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • Community engagement and civic responsibility will be infused throughout the school culture.  
  • Students in grade 5 will serve as Big Brothers and Big Sisters for incoming kindergarten students.
  • The School will use assessment data to inform teaching and to assign remedial help to underperformers. 
  • In addition to all mandated New York State exams, NHACS will assess students through the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), student portfolios, and interim assessments developed by VSI, Princeton Review and curriculum publishers.
  • Each student will have an individualized learning plan developed by a Student Assessment Team.  Each team will consist of the principal, assistant principal, key teachers and, if the student has special needs, a special education teacher.
  • The School will address the needs of students with disabilities (SWD) through an inclusion model of instruction. 
  • The School will directly provide required services for SWD in need of consultant teacher services and/or a resource room setting,
  • For SWD in need of related services, the School will contract with the student’s school district of residence or a private provider.
  • The School will provide instruction to English language learners (ELL) using a structured immersion model.
  • The School proposes a 182-day academic year from September to the end of June.
  • The School will provide instruction from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.  Students will be dismissed at 2:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month to allow for teacher professional development.

 

Governance

 

  • The number of trustees shall be no fewer than nine and shall not exceed 13. 
  • Trustees will be elected to serve five-year terms.  All trustees will be eligible for re-election.
  • Officers of the Board of Trustees will be: chairperson, secretary, and treasurer. 
  • Standing committees will include the following: executive, finance and fundraising, academic and personnel, strategic, and grievance committees.  The board may create additional ad hoc committees as necessary.
  • Trustees will have experience in public relations, human resources, finance, fundraising, legal, marketing, real estate and/or strategic planning.
  • Parents will be involved in school governance through the establishment of a principal’s open-door policy, membership in a Parent Organization (PO), appointment of the PO president to the Board of Trustees as an ex-officio voting member, assignment of a Parent Coordinator who will communicate the needs of parents directly to the principal, and the formation of ad-hoc committees of parent volunteers to work on various school matters. 
  • The Board of Trustees will meet, at a minimum, monthly during the academic year.    
  • Trustees, officers or employees of any single organization shall hold no more than 40 percent of total seats comprising the board.

 

Students

 

  • The School will serve 168 students in grades K-2 in the first year of instruction and will add one grade in each of the following years.  NHACS will grow to 336 students in grades K-5 in the fourth year of the charter.  Enrollment will remain the same in the fifth year of the charter.
  • In Year One, the School will enroll 48 students per grade in kindergarten and grade one, and 72 students in grade two.  Kindergarten and grade one will have two classes of 24 students each, and grade two will have three classes of 24 students each.  In subsequent years, each cohort will follow the same enrollment plan. 
  • In Years 2 and 5, the School will enroll 72 new students in kindergarten.  Students will be divided into three classes of 24 students each.  In subsequent years, this cohort will follow the same enrollment plan. 
  • In Years 3 and 4, the School will enroll 48 new students in kindergarten.  Students will be divided into two classes of 24 students each.  In subsequent years, this cohort will follow the same enrollment plan. 
  • The student teacher ratio will be 12:1 in grades K-1; the ratio will be 24:1 in grades 2-5. 
  • The School anticipates the ages of students will range between four and 10 years old.
  • The School’s recruitment strategy includes the following: mailings to families with school-age children; advertisements in local newspapers; open houses; recruitment fairs, and; distribution of information kits to local businesses, day care centers, social service agencies, and any other institution serving families with young children.
  • In its outreach efforts to families of ELL and SWD, the School will provide marketing material that highlights its commitment and services to this population, and staff will make visits to neighborhood feeder schools that serve higher numbers of such students.  Material will be in both English and Spanish, and translation services will be available to families in need.  
  • The School expects the student body to reflect the population of the target community: 90 percent Black, seven percent Hispanic, three percent Other, 14 percent SWD, four percent ELL, 60 percent eligible for free/reduced lunch.

 

Budget/Facilities

 

  • NHACS will locate within an existing parochial school building at 475 East 57th Street in Brooklyn.
  • The School will occupy the currently-vacant third floor of the building as incubation space for a minimum of three years. 
  • To accommodate the growing enrollment of each year, the School will increase the leased space on a yearly basis.
  • The School anticipates rental costs of $60,000 in Year One and $125,000 in Year Three of the charter.  Rental costs, if any, for years subsequent to Year Three will be negotiated in Year Two.
  • NHACS anticipates a start-up budget of $88,413 which will be offset by a $90,000 line of credit.
  • NHACS anticipates Year One revenues to be $2,391,368 and expenses to be $2,373,835.
  • NHACS anticipates Year Five revenues to be $5,063,522 and expenses to be $5,060,120.
  • By the close of Year One, the School will have a dissolution escrow account of $75,000.   
  • 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

New Hope Academy Charter School

(New York City – CSD 18 – Brooklyn)

2010-11 through 2014-15

School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact

2010-2011

168

$ 2,153,088

0.0119%

2011-2012

240

$ 3,168,115

0.0171%

2012-2013

288

$ 3,915,790

0.0205%

2013-2014

336

$ 4,705,475

0.0239%

2014-2015

336

$ 4,846,639

0.0239%

*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 principal.
  • In Year One, the administrative staff will include one business manager and one administrative assistant.  
  • An assistant principal will be hired in Year Three.
  • Instructional staff in Year One will include seven classroom teachers, four teacher assistants, one specialty teacher, one certified special education coordinator/teacher, a part-time Title I teacher, and a part-time social worker.  Instructional staff in Year Five will include 14 classroom teachers, five teacher assistants, two specialty teachers, one special education coordinator, one special education teacher, two Title I teachers, and one social worker. 
  • In an effort to help teachers grow professionally, the School will provide the following: early dismissal (2:00 p.m.) on the first Wednesday of each month to allow for professional development (PD) opportunities, two weeks of PD in the summer, three full days of PD during the school year, coaching opportunities for teachers through VSI, and participation in external PD opportunities.
  • Each teacher will have a Professional Improvement Plan developed in consultation with the principal and VSI.
  • The daily schedule will allow collaborative planning time for classroom and specialty teachers. 

 

Community Support

 

  • NHACS did not provide signatures of interested families sufficient to fill the number of seats proposed for 2010 – 2011.
  • The School has received letters of support from the following community leaders and organizations: State Senator Kevin Parker, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Medgar Evers College, and SUNY Downstate Medical Center.

 

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 CSD 18 of the proposed application for New Hope Academy Charter School and inviting comments for the public hearing. 
  • The New York City Department of Education held a public hearing in CSD 18 on August 3, 2009, regarding this proposed charter application.  Six comments were made in support of opening the School.


ATTACHMENT 1

Performance of NYS Charter Schools Managed by Victory Schools, Inc.

on the ELA and Math State Assessments

Compared to the School District of Location

 

Percent of Students Scoring At or Above Level 3 on State Exams

Charter School

2006-2007

2007-2008

2008-2009

 

3-8

ELA

3-8

MATH

3-8

ELA

3-8

MATH

3-8

ELA

3-8

MATH

Sisulu-Walker Charter School

68.6

100

82.1

98.1

84.5

98

CSD 5

37.3

53.3

45.9

63.2

58.9

72

Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NYC Charter HS for Arch, Engineering  & Construction

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

Peninsula Preparatory Academy

55.7

74.4

65.7

82.7

65.1

89.6

South Bronx Charter School for Int’l Cultures and the Arts

NA

NA

64.9

94.7

74.7

96

CSD 7

30.7

45.2

37.2

56.8

51.4

69.8

Merrick Academy

54

65.8

70.5

85.4

88.1

98.1

CSD 29

53.9

64.9

58.8

72.8

69.3

79.6

Charter School of Educational Excellence

45.2

52.3

56.8

77.7

86.8

95.7

Yonkers City School District

46.8

52.3

88

65.1

65.6

74.1

New Covenant

34.8

55.3

48.1

71.1

64.3

77.4

Albany City School District

43.8

48

49.1

58.1

60.7

67.2