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Meeting of the Board of Regents | July 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 11:00pm

sed seal                                                                                                  signature of Johanna Duncan-Poitier







Johanna Duncan-Poitier


Charter Schools: Proposed Second Renewal Charter for Bronx Charter School for Excellence



July 24, 2008


Goals 1 and 2






Issue for Decision


Should the Regents approve the staff’s recommendations concerning the proposed second renewal charter for Bronx Charter School for Excellence (New York City)? 


Reason(s) for Consideration


              Required by State statute, Education Law §2852.


Proposed Handling


This question will come before the EMSC Committee in July 2008 for action.  It will then come before the full Board for final action in July 2008.


Procedural History


The New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 requires the Board of Regents to review, in accordance with the standards set forth in Education Law §2852(2), proposed charters, renewal charters and revisions to charters and renewal charters that have been approved and submitted by other charter entities.  The Board of Regents may either approve and issue a charter, renewal charter and/or revision as proposed by the charter entity, or return the same to the charter entity for reconsideration with written comments and recommendations. 

Background Information


We received a request from the Trustees of the State University of New York (“SUNY”) to approve and issue a second renewal charter for the Bronx Charter School for Excellence (BCSE or “the School”).  The School’s initial charter was granted by the Board of Regents on April 29, 2003, and a first renewal went into effect by operation of law on April 15, 2008.  The Board of Regents voted to return the School’s first renewal charter to SUNY for reconsideration because a public hearing concerning its proposed renewal had not been held. On April 29, 2008, the New York City Department of Education conducted the required public hearing for the School’s second renewal.  One public comment was made in favor of the School.  SUNY is requesting that the charter be renewed and its provisional charter be extended from August 1, 2008 through July 31, 2009.


Charter schools that have taken one or more planning years seek renewal with no more than three years of school and student performance data.  SUNY believes that the limited time of operation makes it difficult for their staff to determine any trends in student performance and to make a well-reasoned determination as to whether the School should be renewed for a full term of five years.  Bronx Charter School for Excellence’s charter will expire on July 31, 2008 unless an extension of its charter is granted.  At its March 2008 meeting, the SUNY Board of Trustees accepted a “short-term planning year renewal,” to extend the School’s charter through and including July 31, 2009.  Upon approval of the extension, the School will add a fifth grade in 2008-2009, as contemplated by its original charter.


Staff recommends that the Board of Regents approves and issues the second renewal charter of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence as proposed by the Trustees of the State University of New York.




              VOTED: That the Board of Regents approves and issues the second renewal charter of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence as proposed by the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, and that its provisional charter be extended for a term up through and including July 31, 2009.


Reason for Recommendation


              (1) The charter school meets the requirements set out in Article 56 of the Education Law and all other applicable laws, rules, and regulations; (2) the charter school has demonstrated the ability to operate in an educationally and fiscally sound manner; and (3) approving the proposed renewal 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 Bronx Charter School for Excellence will be effective on August 1, 2008.


New York State Education Department


Summary of Charter School Renewal Information


Summary of Applicant Information




Address:   1960 Benedict Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462


Board of Trustees President:  Joyce Frost


Requested Renewal Period: August 1, 2008 – July 31, 2009


District of Location: New York City Community School District 11, Bronx


Charter Entity:  SUNY Board of Trustees


Institutional Partner(s): N/A


Management Partner(s): N/A


Grades Served per Year:    K - 5                                               


Projected Enrollment per Year: 300



Renewal Application Highlights


Evidence of Educational Soundness/ Attainment of Educational Objectives


  • The student achievement results for Bronx Charter School for Excellence are shown in Table 1.
  • In 2006-2007, the School administered the NYS English language arts (ELA) and math exams for the first time. There were no testing grades for science or social studies.
  • In 2007-08, the School’s Performance Index (PI) In ELA was 187 with a student proficiency level of 87 percent. Community School District (CSD) 11 had a PI of 148 with a proficiency level of 58 percent.  The School’s PI in math was 198 with a student proficiency level of 98 percent compared to Community School District 11’s PI of 177 and a proficiency level of 82 percent.  See Table 2.
  • The School was deemed to be in “Good Standing” under the State’s accountability system for the 2006-07 school year.
  • The School’s population for 2007-2008 consisted of 68 percent Black or African American and 32 percent Hispanic students.
  • For 2006-2007, the School served 98 percent low income students and 8.1 percent students with disabilities.
  • For 2006-2007, the School served 0.0 percent limited English proficient students.
  • For 2006-2007, 56.8 percent of students qualified for free lunch, while 15.7 percent qualified for reduced lunch.
  • The School administers the Early Childhood Literacy Assessment System -2 (ECLAS-2) and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).  Results have indicated that kindergarten and first grade students are achieving most of the targeted reading goals.  The second and third grade students were not as successful.  The School asserts that it has identified the problems and developed intervention strategies for those grades.
  • In 2006-2007, the School met the ELA Annual Measurable Objective (AMO) of 122 set by the State’s accountability system with a Performance Index (PI) of 145, indicating that half of the students scored at Level 2.
  • In 2006-07, in the School’s first year of State mathematics testing, 78.1 percent of third grade students scored at the proficient level.
  • The School’s Performance Index (PI) for the 2006-07 school year was 177 in mathematics, which exceeded the New York State standard.
  • The School exceeded the AMO of 86 set by the State in mathematics for the 2006-07 school year.
  • On the State mathematics exam in 2006-07, the School performed slightly below its cohort in Community School District 11, where 81.5 percent of students performed at or above proficiency compared to 78.1 percent in the School.
  • The School did not meet its goal to outperform PS 106X on the mathematics exam.  Eighty-three percent of students at PS 106X performed at or above proficiency.
  • The School acknowledged that its mathematics results on interim assessments were not at the targeted level where they should be in Kindergarten.  In order to improve these results, the School’s intervention strategy includes developing and implementing a stronger math program.
  • The School instituted a Saturday Academy for kindergarten through second grade students who have been identified as having academic weaknesses.
  • The School will add eight Saturday Academy days for grades three through five.
  • The School has hired a Reading and Learning Specialist to identify and develop interventions for students not performing at grade level.
  • During the 2006-2007 school year, the School experienced a change in leadership. The founding principal resigned in August 2006. A new principal was hired in March 2007. 
  • In its Third Year Report from November 2007, SUNY stated that there have been demonstrable changes under the new leadership which include the effective use of assessment and evaluation data.
  • In 2007-2008, one teacher was identified as returning out of 13 teachers. This figure represents a decline from the 2006-2007 school year when 3 teachers returned out of a total of 10.


Table 1


Grades 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of BCSE Students at Levels 1 – 4

Grade 3 ELA

Grade 3 Math
























Table 2


Grade 3-8 State ELA and Math Assessments

Percent of BCSE and District 11 Students at Proficiency Level

Grade 3-4 ELA

Grade 3-4 Math

























District 11















Evidence of Fiscal Soundness/Projected Fiscal Impact

  • The School maintains a positive fund balance in its net assets for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. The School’s detailed financial statement for the year which ended June 30, 2008 revealed that revenues totaled $3,581,341 while expenses totaled $3,581,054 for a surplus of $287.
  • For the 2008-2009 renewal year, total revenues are expected to be $4,273,900 while expenses will total $4,273,670 for a net surplus of $230.
  • The School, through the “Friends of The Bronx Charter School for Excellence” has access to an asset in the form of an option to purchase both the leased facility and the vacant land adjacent to the school building.
  • During the past four years, the School and the Board of Trustees have proven their capacity to raise monies for one-time capital expenditures and maintain a sustained level of operating support.
  • See tables below.  The first renewal charter will end in July 2008, so the first table below addresses the 2008-09 school year only.








Fiscal Impact of the

Bronx Charter School for Excellence


School Year

Number of Students

Projected Payment*

Projected Impact





* Assumes a 3 percent annual increase in the District’s budget from the base of $20.12 billion in 2007-2008; and a 4.5 percent annual increase in the average expense per pupil per year from the 2007-2008 rate of $11,023.


Charter School
for Excellence

Change in Net Assets 2004-05 through 2006-07*


Change in Net Assets





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



Evidence of Parent and Student Satisfaction and Community Support

  • Out of a total of 187 parents with children attending the School, 153 or 76 percent responded to the survey.
  • Over 95 percent of the respondents expressed overall satisfaction with the quality of education at the School compared to the previous year’s results of a 75 percent parent satisfaction rate at the School. 
  • Eighty-four percent of the student population returned for the 2007-2008 school year.
  • Pursuant to Education Law Section 2857(1), a hearing concerning the renewal of the School was conducted on April 29, 2008. One public comment was made expressing support for the School.